Here’s something municipal HR managers need to pay close attention to: a job description and a job posting are different from one another.

Yes, we just said that. These two are not the same. Well, let’s find out why they aren’t the same and what makes them different from one another. 

A job description is a technical document that details some top-tier qualities, such as competencies, abilities, and compliance. You cannot have a fair and equitable work environment unless you have clear job descriptions. 

A job posting is a much simpler document. It’s simply the information that goes on Logojo. It’s what outlines to the municipal job seeker the minimum qualifications they need to have to be eligible to apply for the job. It also tells them what they need to highlight on their resume. They’re a marketing document. 

All of this matters because job posting don’t have every piece of information that makes up the entire job. 

If you get that job description right, you will attract the best of the best. It is the backbone of recruiting and HR practices. 

The job description will provide a clear understanding of what a person is required to do. This give the municipal manager the perfect handbook that helps them assess a person’s performance. It will also help municipal employers to identify issues, such as employee training gaps, comply with legislation around employee standards, compensation, and career pathing. 

Again, the job posting is a very small part of this.

A job description is more like a look inside someone’s secret safe. Sometimes municipalities may not even have highlighted job descriptions. They may simply be relying on material that was prepared decades ago. It’s important that municipal managers remember to update these job descriptions, so they aren’t dated and address all workfield trending issues.

This is especially true if you’ve budgeted to create a new position. You want to make sure the person you’re hiring delivers exactly what council has approved them for.

The first rule of a job description is answering the question: what is the job?

Go into as much detail as you can. Talk about who reports to whom. Discuss who performs the job if that person isn’t available. Don’t forget to include what “other” responsibilities that candidate may have to perform in addition to what is directly related to their job. 

This way, you’re adding to the success of the person you’re employing and not setting them up for failure by not defining precisely what it is they are expected to perform. If you want to remember how it is you’re assessing them, go ahead and add it right there in the job description. Tell them they’re required to fill our assessments every six months.

This way, the employee will remind you themselves! And always keep records of what assessments are performed. If the municipal employee is provided training that enhances their skills and adds to their job description, make sure to update it!