of Job Descriptions
All employees like
to know what is expected of them and how they will be evaluated. Job descriptions
can also be a great value to employers. Creating a job description often
results in a thought process that helps determine how critical the job
is, how this particular job relates to others and identify the characteristics
needed by a new employee filling the role.
A job description
typically outlines the necessary skills, training and education needed
by a potential employee. It will spell out duties and responsibilities
of the job. Once a job description is prepared, it can serve a basis for
interviewing candidates, orienting a new employee and finally in the evaluation
of job performance. Using job descriptions is part of good management.
Components of a
- A summary statement.
These one or two sentences include a general statement of duties and
mentions who the employee would report to.
- Functions of
Usually this section is the most lengthy. It details what the job actually
entails and can be quite specific. It should detail any supervisory
functions in addition to being as specific as possible describing tasks
the employee will face every day. This is also the best place to indicate
whether the person will deal with customers, the public or only internal
employees. You can also use this section to place priorities on the
needed for the position.
If the position involves the use of machinery (or computers), spell
out what type of machines or software the employee will use. Also detail
any technical or educational requirements that may be critical or desired.
This is also the place to provide some insights into the type of work
environment you are attempting to maintain. Is it pure business, or
must the person be able to contribute to an overall spirit of the organization?
Provide details on the reporting and organizational structure. This
will help the employee better understand how their activities fit into
the total organization.
The more specific you can get the better. Writing this section will
probably enable you to define what is most important for the organization
as well as the employee. Try to make sure the evaluation criteria of
the position will promote the type of activities to enhance the success
of the business. Also provide details on when evaluations will take
Including a range instead of a specific figure will give you more flexibility,
but most people will feel they should be at the top of the range. It
is usually better to have a specific dollar amount, especially if you
are giving the job description to the employee. If your organization
uses salary grades, use that.
- Physical location
Using job descriptions will help an organization better understand the
experience and skill base needed to enhance the success of the company.
They help in the hiring, evaluation and potentially terminating of employees.
All too often, there is a misunderstanding of what a position entails
and a well-prepared job description can help both sides share a common