HR Advisors Conference Blog

Further thoughts from the conference or about the challenges of being in an HR Advisory role.

Are your job descriptions right for your culture?

This year at the HR Advisors Conference we’re exploring how HRA’s can be culture champions. One of the essentials parts of HR is making sure there are position descriptions or job descriptions in place for when you recruit and so employees know what is expected of them in their role.

They can be seen as pretty ho-hum, but even a humble PD can make a difference to your company culture!

Here are some things to think about with your company PD’s:

  1. Do the job titles really reflect what the role does? If your organisation is more formal do they reflect that? Do the titles reflect the different levels of roles (e.g. advisor, senior advisor, consultant) and provide some career progression even if you’re quite a flat structure? If you’re trying to be more funky are you making them more funky (for example some large companies are using the term ninja instead of customer service officer). If your culture is quite results focused, do your job titles focus on what the role achieves, rather than what it does (e.g. Fire Fighter instead of Fireperson, Team Happiness Engineer instead of HR Advisor! For more about that  you may want to read conference MC Angela Atkins article about reinventing job titles by clicking here).
  2. Are the duties in your PD’s very task focused rather than being responsibility areas (e.g. answering incoming calls, welcoming visitors rather than ‘effectively managing the reception desk, providing visitors with a welcoming experience’. Changing to responsibilities rather than tasks can change your culture from input focus to outputs. You may then need to provide managers with training and look at your performance review process too…
  3. Do you build your company values into your PD’s? They may not be a responsibility of the role, but they should be in there to show what’s important to your business and what values the person should live by. Do you use graphics or colours to make your PD’s more exciting (good for a more dynamic culture)?
  4. What is the language like? Does it reflect a more formal bureaucratic organisation or a plain English, easy to understand culture? Is this the right language for building the culture you want?

Reviewing your position descriptions may not be an exciting task, but actually they are one of the first things a candidate sees when they apply for a role, and they form the basis of what employees understand is expected of them.

So if you’re looking at influencing the culture of your company – talking to your HR Director about redoing the position descriptions could be a great place to start!


Register now for the HR Advisors Conference UK

Tickets are still open for Bristol, London, Edinburgh and Manchester so if you’re keen to attend, or you know someone who might – then make sure you visit



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This entry was posted on May 9, 2016 by in Operational HR work, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , .

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