HR for Entrepreneurs

Without their own job analysts or (in many cases) human resource managers, many small business owner’s face two hurdles when doing job analyses and job descriptions. First, they often need a more rationalised approach than those provided by questionnaires. Second, there is always the reasonable fear that in writing their job descriptions they will overlook duties that subordinates should be doing not usually associated with such positions. What they need is listing all the possible positions they might encounter, including a detailed listing of the duties normally assigned to these positions.
The small business owner has at least three options. The occupational classification, mentioned provides detailed descriptions of thousands of jobs and their human requirements. Web sites provide customizable descriptions by title and industry.

Start by developing at least the broad outline of a corporate plan. What do you expect your sales revenue to be next year, and in the next few years? Products you intend to manufacture, areas or departments in your company you think will have to be expanded, reduced or consolidated given where you plan to go with your firm over the next few years. New positions needed in order to accomplish your strategic plans.

Next, develop an organization chart for the firm. Show who reports to the president and to each of his or her subordinates. Complete the chart by showing who reports to each of the other managers and supervisors in the firm. Start by drawing up the organization chart as it is now. Then, depending upon how far in advance you are planning to produce a chart showing how you would like your chart to look in the immediate future (say in two months) and perhaps two or three other charts showing how you’d like your organization to evolve over the next two or three years.

You can use several tools here. For example, Microsoft’s MS Word includes an organization charting function: On the Drawing Toolbar, click Diagram, or Organization Chart. Click on the organization chart diagram and then click OK.
Next, a job analysis questionnaire to determine what the job (s) entails. You can use one of the more comprehensive questionnaires however, the job descriptions questionnaire, a simpler and often satisfactory alternative. Fill in the required information then ask the supervisors and /or employees to list the job’s duties breaking them into daily duties, periodic duties and duties performed at irregular intervals. You can distribute a sample of one of these duties to supervisors and /or employees to facilitate the process.

The list of job duties you uncovered in the previous step may or may not be complete. We’ll therefore use O*NET to compile a more comprehensive list. Assume you want to create job descriptions for a retail salesperson. Type in Retail Sales for the occupational titles, and Sales and Related from the job families, drop down box. Click Find Occupations to continue which brings you to the Find Occupations Search Result (B) Clicking on Retail Salespersons summary produces the job summary and specific occupational duties for retail salespersons (C). For a small store you might want to combine the duties of the retail salesperson with those of the first line supervisors/ managers of retail sales workers.
Next, return to the Snapshot for Retail Salesperson ©. Here, instead of choosing occupation specific information, choose for example, Worker Experience, Occupational Requirements and Workers Characteristics. Use this information to help develop a job specification for recruiting, selecting, and training the employees.

Finally, write an appropriate job summary for the job. Then use the information already obtained to create a complete listing of the tasks, duties and human requirements of each of the jobs you will need to fill up.

Example of Job summary: Answers inquiries and gives directions to customers, authorizes cashing of customers checks, records, and returns lost charge cards, sorts and reviews new credit applications, works at customer service desk in department store.

Example of One Job Duty: Authorizes cashing of checks: authorizes cashing of personal or payroll checks (up to a specified amount) by customers desiring to make payment by check. Requests identification such as driver’s license from customers and examines check to verify date, amount, signature, and endorsement. Initials check and sends customer to the cashier.