Have You Tried the New Job Description and Performance Review Tools?

Accurate job descriptions and effective performance reviews are two key tools for success in any organization.  As previously announced, Hawaii Employers Council members now have access to complimentary online tools to help create job descriptions and performance reviews.  Learn more about these tools and how they can help you.

HEC’s partnership with Wolters Kluwer Law & Business provides members access to CCH AnswersNow Library, which provides thousands of resources and tools related to HR and Benefits issues members face every day, including sample forms, checklists, policies, daily news articles, answers to common HR and Benefits questions, and more.  These resources are available 24/7 via the HEC website and have been designed to help HR professionals become more effective and efficient.  The Job Descriptions and Performance Review tools are the most recently added features.

Get Started

  • To access the job descriptions and performance evaluations tools, HEC members who are logged in can go to the Resources page of HEC’s website, click on CCH Answers Now, and then click on the “Go To CCH” box. Once you are on HEC’s CCH page, click on “Job Descriptions and Performance Review by HRTMS.”

  • This will take you to JDXchange, where first-time users can fill in their first and last names and company name, as well as view and agree to the licensing agreement. On subsequent visits, you will go straight to the tools home page where you will have access to both the Job Descriptions and Performance Reviews tools.

  • The JDXchange homepage has a “Need Help” button, which leads to helpful videos, FAQs, and will soon feature a Community section where you can post questions to each other.

Job Descriptions Tool

Written job descriptions play an important role in many processes including recruitment, selection, conducting performance appraisals, and compensation.  Outdated and inaccurate job descriptions can create employee relations issues (“That’s not in my job description!”) and legal compliance challenges under disability, wage and hour, and equal employment laws.  For example, accurate job descriptions are important in:

  1. Determining essential functions of a job for an analysis under the ADA,
  2. Determining exempt status under FLSA’s duties test, and
  3. Proving an employee was passed over for a job because she failed to meet a required job qualification, as opposed to discriminatory reasons.

Additionally, with the recent proposed increase of the salary level threshold for overtime, now is the perfect time to audit your job descriptions.

Facts and Tips on the New Job Descriptions Tool

  • Sample Job Descriptions: You have access to a library of nearly 2,000 sample job descriptions.  The library is searchable and sortable by job “families.”  In addition to the library, you can also see other users’ job descriptions by clicking the “Public” box.

  • Easy to Create: You can use a sample job description as a starting point or create your own from scratch.  The job descriptions are split into multiple sections with various suggestions for each:  Job Information, Job Summary, Essential Functions, Qualifications, Physical Demands, Competencies, Scope, Compensation, and FLSA.

  • Under the Competencies section, there are 12 suggested competencies from which you simply click and select sample language for entry-level, novice, mid-level, experienced, Senior, or Expert. After choosing your competencies, the tool even suggests interview questions based on what you chose!

  • Under the FLSA section is a questionnaire to help you determine whether the position is exempt or non-exempt.

  • Easy to Edit: The job descriptions are easy to edit.  You can type in your specifications, search the library to see language from other samples, or copy and paste from documents on your computer.
  • You can easily save your works-in-progress job descriptions and come back to them when you have time. When you finish a job description, you can download it to your computer in pdf, word, or html format.  Note that after you download to Word, the document is password protected to prevent unintentional editing.  If you need to edit the document, however, the password is visible in the bottom right corner of the document.

Performance Reviews

Employee performance, or the lack of performance, has a direct impact on an organization’s bottom line.  Performance reviews acknowledge outstanding performance, encourage better performance, and influence strategies to turn around poor performance.  They are an important part of determining promotions, compensation, training needs, and discipline.  Conducting performance appraisals can be intimidating, but the right tools can help make the process much easier.

Facts and Tips on the New Performance Review Tool

  • Core Competencies: You can select a rating (1-5) for each core competency (e.g., accountability, ethics and integrity, job knowledge, etc.).  Based on your rating, numerous suggested comments will appear (e.g., “Her quality of her work is highly consistent” or “He does not understand the core basics of the job” or “She fails to reprimand employees even when they make serious mistakes”).  You can add the suggested language to the performance review, and/or manually add comments.

  • Goals: You can add SMART goals to your performance reviews.  To learn more about SMART goals, join us in our Goal Setting for Success training (see below for more information).

  • As with job descriptions, you can save your work-in-progress performance reviews and come back to them when you have time, and you can easily download them to your computer in pdf, word, or html format.
  • Performance Reviews are private, and cannot be accessed except by the user who created it.

Learn More

  • Brief video guides for these tools are available here:
  • A webinar about these tools was recently conducted by Bill Harmon, Licensing & Business Development Manager and AnswersNow Product Specialist with Wolters Kluwer Law & Business. The 1-hour webinar was on March 8, but members can view the recorded webinar by clicking here.
  • In addition to these new tools, HEC is offering two new programs as part of our Fundamentals of Supervision” series:
    • Goal Setting for Success: Learn how to manage employee performance through an ongoing process that prepares supervisors for the annual review.  This class provides an overview of how to set SMART goals and performance standards and provide tools for keeping your employees on track.
    • Performance Review: Purpose, Process, and PayoffLearn how to avoid common errors that supervisors often make with performance appraisals and gain awareness of liability issues to protect against legal claims.  In this interactive session, attendees will practice techniques to effectively communicate with employees during the performance appraisal process, both verbally and in writing.  Supervisors will have the opportunity to complete a performance appraisal form and conduct a performance appraisal meeting.  Prerequisite: Goal Setting for Success
  • Check out these helpful guides and forms on HEC’s website:
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