Jim Foote: Make job description reviews routine

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
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Maybe it’s just me, but I was appalled and astounded to read the front page article on Feb. 7 that the Saugus School Board was reviewing and making changes to the superintendent’s job description after 20 years!

As an HR guy I cannot fathom that this hasn’t been done more often. Times change and to have any job description that is not kept current seems somewhat apathetic to me. I do understand that reviewing JD’s is certainly not something that most businesses managers and organizations like to do, but it is critical in the hiring process.

Reviewing JD’s doesn’t have to be a hair pulling process, in reality it can be made easier and more palatable. In my experience one of the best ways to keep a job description current is through the employee exit process. When someone leaves an organization (other than for cause), give them a copy of their job description and have them mark it up. Strike out stuff they did not do, add in the stuff they did. Have a supervisory team who understands the position review it and give to Human Resources for wordsmithing. And it’s done.

While this process may not work in all situations, one thing that best practices in hiring demands is that the job description be topically current and valid to the job itself. Business, any business, is about the customer or end user, and 20 years was way too long.

But kudos for finally getting around to it. Oh yes, it is OK to review a job while the current position holder is still there. Like I said, times change and so must business. While the district is at it, perhaps they should look at other jobs that need to be reviewed. Those would be tax dollars well spent.


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