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Extension Dairy Team Updates Tool to Assist Producers in Creating Job Descriptions

Posted: December 14, 2014

Appropriate job descriptions communicate the image of a well-managed business and can be useful in a very competitive labor market.

Job descriptions are an essential part of the employee-recruitment process, helping dairy farms communicate the image of a well-managed and organized business to a very competitive labor market. Now creating appropriate job descriptions has been made easier than ever with the Job Description Generator, an online tool newly updated by the Penn State Extension Dairy Team from its original 2006 version.

Dairy managers and owners can access the free, easy to understand online program.

Well-constructed job descriptions show that management is aware of specific labor needs and the qualifications and skills that a successful candidate will possess. Job descriptions spell out the specific duties that are required of employees and help candidates to decide if the job will be a good fit for them.

The newly released job description generator takes the dairy manager through a five step process using a customizable tool to create a professional and easy to read job description. Job descriptions do not need to be lengthy, but this tool simplifies the process and insures all key points are covered. These can be used to post a new job opening or to update a current position.

Job descriptions should never be considered final; they should be open to changes and should be reviewed at least once a year by both employee and supervisor. Updating job description or starting a new position with one can help employees and supervisors reach a mutual understanding about important details of a job in order to avoid problems or misunderstandings.

Lisa Holden, Associate Professor of Dairy Science, said, "Job descriptions can be very helpful to dairy managers in making effective selections with potential employees. With the required qualifications and duties clearly specified in the job description, managers can more objectively select candidates based on their potential for job success, rather than on personality traits." She noted that once a candidate is selected, the job description can serve as a guide to the skills and knowledge that the new employee will need to perform the job. Those skills that the employee already possesses should be refined and applied in the new position, while skills or knowledge that the employee lacks can be acquired through training.

For more information, please visit the Dairy Team website for this and other useful dairy manager resources. Or contact Lisa Holden at lah7@psu.edu or 814-863-3672.