The point of writing job descriptions is not due diligence or a paper trail or so that you can rely on a paragraph to tell you when someone is not working with the gusto that you require of them.
It is also not to make your company appear more professional or to keep your Human Resources Manager busy.
The point of writing job descriptions is so that people know how to spend their energy or the percentage of “bent out of shape” they must get over the matter at hand.
The point of writing job descriptions is to say YOU! You there! You have authority over this decision and the rest of us are mere air currents in the room that you may take note of but should not be paralyzed by.
It’s to set up the parameters of someone’s next few paces. It’s to tell them “here, ignore the rest of what Twitter and your mom and the speaker at that meet-up told you – THIS is where we see you in a year.”
It’s to remind them at 3am what they’re doing with their lives in a big city with a big rent and a small budget for travel.
The point of writing job descriptions is to tell a person you employ that they matter and that their skill set matters and that the growth of that skill set matters.
And once you’ve written someone’s job description, don’t forget to rewrite it one day. Because that’s what a promotion is, a reminder that a person matters and that the growth of their skill set still matters and an assurance that you’ll rewrite their job description as often and as frequent as necessary.
Because that’s called career path. And career path is how your whole company is going to get to where it’s headed.