Part 10: All Things Are Hard, but Writing Good Job Descriptions Is Worth It

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Thanks Theresa, for the summary of your comments about the job descriptions. However, before we close this off, I think we need to say more than that job descriptions are hard to write.

Yes, job descriptions are hard to write, but they still need to be done. I would hazard a guess here, based on experience, that many of the problems we see with missionaries several years down the road may arise partly from descriptions of their jobs that are vague or simply leave important information out. Here are some things to consider, and then I am done:

  1. I think it is better to err with too much information, rather than too little. I like position #3 above, because it is more complete. I get that it might look like it is trying to keep certain people out, but I would think that if all the position descriptions were complete, than this might be ameliorated somewhat.
  2. I would like to put forth an idea that we need even more information. I would like to see a position description tied to a series of narratives developed by the people who have held those positions previously, which articulate the pros and cons, and especially provide information about how someone surmounted the difficulties. This turns the position description into more of an interactive learning experience.
  3. Even though this might be distasteful to most, I think a session in the interview process needs to be to go over the position description carefully, to discuss if the candidate truly understands the nuances of the responsibilities.

If people know what to expect and are well-prepared, they are less likely to have problems later on.


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