Have you heard about the quality assurance tester who described his job as making people feel really bad about the work they did? It sounds ridiculous but nevertheless contains a grain of truth. A quality assurance tester does his job by looking for mistakes in the finished product or services rendered to a client. It is a job that is made more colorful and exciting by employees who commit mistakes on their job. However, this view is valid only if the actual role of the quality analyst is not understood. Even if this employee describes himself or herself as someone who is the worst nightmare of another employee, the general impression would be different and in fact beneficial, if the true job description has been openly discussed with the employee himself and the manager.
No employee would want to be left in the dark as to what is expected from them. Good employees would actually like to know what more they can do beyond the expected coming to work on time and producing the results of what they have been charged to perform. While they know that it is perfectly within their employer's rights to give them orders on what to do and limits them to certain tasks, good employees would like to know too that they can work and think "outside the box" in order to obtain better results than when confined to the boundaries as stated in their job description. While it might be difficult to achieve this delicate balance, stating the obvious limitation while allowing for openness will more likely bring about the best in even the most mediocre employee. The importance of a well-written job description is in its function as more than a mere guide - it gives way to the creation of interrelated thought processes and work flow methods as generated by the employees themselves which the managers value because they are geared towards the fulfillment of the organization's mission and vision.
Potential employees expect to see a description of the job they are applying for; it should present to them an outline of the skills they are expected to possess and the training and education they should have gone through if they are to successfully complete the job and carry the results of their efforts to further the goals of the company. The job description should not merely spell out the responsibilities and tasks that go with the job but also give the employee enough reason to believe that they can contribute beyond what those responsibilities and tasks ask from them. Employers routinely use job description as a recruitment tool but many fail to recognize its value beyond being a document for evaluating performance once the employee is accepted for employment. A job description should be as real as possible. It should reflect what is being actually done on the floor where real people put the words of the job description into practice and write as part of the job description all that they practice on the floor.