RESEARCH AND PRACTICE
IN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Software Review:
Descriptions Now!
Developer: KnowledgePoint

KnowledgePoint (199?). Descriptions Now!, KnowledgePoint.

Reviewed by: Chay Yue Wah

Good job descriptions support many aspects of the staffing process, for instance, recruitment, performance appraisal, compensation, and training, among other HR functions. Writing job descriptions is therefore an important if not a common feature of HR work. KnowledgePoint (USA) has published Descriptions Now! a software application which allows HR personnel a convenient and hassle free approach to creating and managing job descriptions. It is available as a singleuser or multi user network application and runs on either DOS or Microsoft Windows 3. 1++. The software takes up about 10.5 megabytes of hard disk space for a full installation including the tutorial (3 megabytes). I tested the Windows version of Descriptions Now! 1.0 for this review.

The application has a useful tutorial which takes the user through five main sections of writing a full spec job description. These five steps are clearly detailed and the user performs the following: (1) selects the job description for a specific job from a library of some 4700 jobs using a search facility, (2) completes a short section which describes the job title, department and other administrative details (3) completes a summary of the duties and responsibilities of the job (4) creates the remaining supervisory responsibilities section of the job description process, and (5) spell checks, previews, saves and prints out the completed job description.

An additional feature makes transporting portable files from the office to the home a simple task, similar to ‘packing the briefcase’ in the Windows 95 system.

Some 4720 job titles are listed in the job library and a search facility enables the user to search for specific job titles by job category, alphabetically or using, keyword/string titles.

Online help is directly available allowing context sensitive help and advice, similar to those found in many current application software.

As the user creates a job description, the program adds that job description to a User Job list, thereby increasing the job descriptions library. New job descriptions are subsequently saved under the Library of User Jobs.

Chay Yue Wah