The importance of clear job descriptions

By Kristina Di Nunzio

staffing agency focus

With the Ontario Government introducing the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (also known as Bill 148) as of April 2018, job descriptions are now mandatory for all contractor engagements.

While the amendments to this Act may sound intimidating, they instead, set clear classification parameters for all parties involved.

The benefits of having a clear job description in the employment agency sector may appear straightforward, however; improper verbiage and definitions in the content could have the opposite effect. And these effects could land you, your client or your resource in legal hot water. Or conversely, when written correctly your job descriptions could position your agency as an industry leader that attracts top talent.

So, why are clear job descriptions so important in recruitment? Let's break it down: 

1. They protect your client

A clear job description allows clients to protect themselves from what could result in costly legal fees. In the event of any legal action filed by a contractor in relation to functions of the employment, a legal team can refer back to an actual executed document for clarification.

2. They protect the resource 

Bill 148 is a two-way street. It also allows the expectations to be clearly defined for the contractor by the client. For instance, clear job descriptions forces transparency in things like the maximum amount of hours a contractor is permitted to work at any given week, which would prevent him or her from working overtime that wasn’t accounted for. Unpaid work is never the goal for anyone.

Going onsite without an understandable SOW signed by all parties is always a risk, as you truly don’t know what you’re signing up for, and Bill 148 prevents the resource from signing on to perform a task that’s outside of their skill set. Setting clear expectations in job descriptions gives all parties involved a clear understanding before any offer is accepted.

3. They protect your agency 

Staffing agencies are responsible for their contractor workforce over a variety of issues, ranging from legislative compliance (equal pay, WSIB/WCB, etc.), client contractual obligations and for insurance coverage restrictions. To meet these legal and business obligations, staffing agencies need to be aware of what their contractors are doing on assignment, as they aren’t usually onsite with the client and resource.

4. They filter talent

Clear job descriptions will also drastically expedite your search for talent. Writing that you’re hiring a “java developer” isn’t very clear. Are you searching for a front-end or back-end developer? Does he/she need exposure to .NET or any other technologies? Would you want someone with experience in support, or strictly developing? Instead of sending recruiters out on a wild goose chase, job descriptions realistically set your expectations, saving you from reviewing resumes from unqualified candidates.

Clear job descrpitions build a strong foundation between you and your client, as only applicants who meet the criteria are placed for interviews-- And as the old adage goes, time is money.

Are you working with a staffing agency to find top talent? 

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by Kristina Di Nunzio

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