Job Descriptions: Not Just a One Trick Pony

Marcus Neumaier, SHRM-CP, HR Generalist | Jul 2, 2018

Many times, an organization sees job descriptions as HR’s “Holy Grail” when it comes to recruitment and retention. In addition to recruitment and retention, HR professionals and managers can use job descriptions as a tool when handling other employment situations and decisions.

If an employee was injured at work, and is cleared for light duty, HR and managers can provide the employee’s medical care provider with a job description outlining the employee’s essential functions of the job. The medical care provider will review the essential functions of the position and confirm which essential functions the employee can perform with restriction, without restriction, or not perform until fully cleared.

Similarly, job descriptions can be used by HR professionals and managers during the interactive process when an employee is requesting an accommodation. The job description’s essential functions are the essence of what a person must be able to do – with or without an accommodation – so the job description can assist in determining what, if any, reasonable accommodation will be permitted.

By having up-to-date job descriptions in place for each position, organizations are well-prepared to make decisions about recruitment, retention, performance, return-to-work, and accommodations. If you are you curious as to whether or not your job descriptions should be reviewed to ensure they have the information needed to make sound business decisions, contact The Employer Group at

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