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How important are Job Profiles?

Preparing your Job Profiles and having them updated regularly to keep them accurate and current, can save your company from many potentially costly issues during an employee’s lifecycle with your company. Your employee’s job profiles are the basis of countless HR interventions. From the moment the candidate applies for a position within your company, the job profile can make or break the integrity of the recruitment process.  It all starts with you, the employer, having a good understanding of the job functions and the role required for the candidate to successfully execute their duties in your business. A job profile reflects the minimum requirements for a position. These include the required qualifications, experience, knowledge, skills and behavioural competencies. A job profile also contains the main responsibilities of the position. This is the heart of the job profile.

Bearing in mind that Employment Equity requires employers to be mindful of the fact that targets for population groups within your company must still be attained. This means that if there is a candidate who does not have quite the right levels of education or experience that these individuals still should take precedence over other candidates who fall outside of designated population groups. An employee, who has the potential to be trained and mentored into the position without severe cost or loss to the employer, should always be given precedence.

While employers may have to juggle the needs of employment equity against the immediate needs of the company, it becomes even more apparent that a job profile which is accurate will assist you in making the right decisions for your company.

Job profiles are not only used for recruitment and selection purposes. Once you have employed the candidate whom you have selected, the job profile forms the basis for monitoring the performance of your employees within their functions. Depending on whether your employee should fall short of, or exceed your expectations in terms of the job function they are required to perform, the job profile can be used as a gauge whether the individual is ready to be considered for transfers, promotions or training and development for the purposes of succession planning. Or the job profile can be used to assist the employee in better performing their duties. In situations where an employee may not be reaching their targets, the job profile is the baseline for which you can manage their performance, even to the point incapacity proceedings.

It is clear that the job profile is a powerful tool in an organisation.  In order for job profiles to be relevant, meaningful and useful, they must be reviewed and updated regularly. This prevents them from becoming redundant. Job profiles are living, evolving documents that when used properly can help your organisation to maximize the use of its most important asset – its people .