Job postings sometimes include what might be called a disclaimer, intended to let job seekers know that the tasks and responsibilities listed are not the only ones applicable to the position.
This disclaimer usually takes the form of a phrase or a sentence.
Here are a few examples, from actual job postings:
- Complete other duties at the discretion of management
- Perform all other duties assigned by supervisor or manager
- Perform other duties as assigned by store team leader
- Perform appropriate duties as assigned by management
- Other duties may be assigned
- Perform all other duties and tasks as assigned
- Other duties as assigned from time to time
These statements sound rather vague, don’t they? This is often by design. The idea is that a manager can later ask an employee to take on work outside the usual scope of the job and the person can’t say it’s not in the job description. There it is, in the job description, as well as in the job ad.
Providing More Insight
But is this a good way to hire? Isn’t it better to tell a job seeker what these additional duties will entail?
Some ads provide more information. Here are a few examples, again from actual job postings:
- Perform other job-related duties as assigned
- Perform related duties as assigned, within your scope of practice
- Other duties as assigned such as data collection and entry
The first statement implies the employee won’t be shipped off to another department, while the second suggests any additional duties will be of a professional nature. The third provides examples of additional duties.
All of these offer a bit more information than a general statement. But do these details provide enough insight into additional employee tasks?
Telling It Like It Is
Although you may want to limit what you share about other duties in a job ad, you should definitely expand upon these duties when interviewing job candidates.
How should you broach the subject? After discussing the primary duties and responsibilities of the position, you should be straightforward about what else is required. For example:
- All employees who work in the department cover for each other during vacation or if someone is out sick. This means you may have to occasionally take on tasks outside the normal scope of your job.
- Although your job involves working on the assembly line, sometimes you may be required to pack items for shipping. This doesn’t happen often but if we have a backlog of orders that have to go out, it’s all hands on deck.
- You will primarily work as a cashier at the front of the store. However, you may be asked to do other things on occasion, like bring in shopping carts.
Then simply ask if the candidate is OK with this, and if there are any questions.
By getting specific about other duties, you will give the candidate a more realistic view of the job—and eliminate any surprises that may negatively impact employee engagement and retention once he or she becomes an employee.
|Paula Santonocito, Contributing Editor for Recruiting Daily Advisor, is a business journalist specializing in employment issues. She is the author of more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of human resource and career topics, with an emphasis on recruiting and hiring. Her articles have been featured in many global and domestic publications and information outlets, referenced in academic and legal publications as well as books, and translated into several languages.|