The primary purpose of a job description is to inform staff within the department and new employees how the job being described fits in with the company’s organization of work. It is intended to outline the job duties for any incumbents and inform management so that it has the ability to perform job evaluation and performance appraisal.
In creating an effective job description, following are key (using our suggested headings may be helpful in organizing your document):
- “Job Title.” Set a job title that identifies and differentiates this job from other positions. The title should clearly relate to the main tasks of the position.
- “Location/Department Name and Number.” Use your organization chart and identify the organizational unit(s) that will use the job description.
- “Reports To.” Show the title of the position that provides the immediate supervision of the duties described.
- “Approved By.” Indicate which division/department head or delegate is appropriate for issuance of approval required for creating the job. Type the name and functional title of the person approving the job and secure his/her signature.
- “Purpose and Scope.” Describe the job’s primary objectives. This should be completed after the work performed section because it summarizes the major duties in a few sentences.
- “Work Performed.” The purpose of the job description is indicate:
- WHAT is done–using an action verb to begin each sentence.
- HOW it is done–briefly, because detailed instructions belong in other documents.
- WHY it is done–what is the objective or purpose?
- WHAT IS THE FREEDOM TO ACT–if appropriate.
For example, if the position description is for an apartment rental agent:
Analyze applicant’s rental history, credit report and financial information, under direct general supervision of broker, consistent with standard practices of a licensed rental agent, to determine worthiness of an apartment rental applicant.
WHAT: Analyzes rental history, credit report and financial information
HOW: consistent with practices of a licensed rental agent
WHY: to determine worthiness of an apartment rental applicant
FREEDOM TO ACT: under general but not direct supervision
Keep these things in mind when writing the description:
- Writing clearly is the most important consideration. A person outside the specialized field should be able to understand the description.
- If you have to make a choice between being brief and being clear, BE CLEAR.
- Providing meaningful and correct information is more important than exactly following a proper sentence form.
A job description is written to describe work as currently organized and performed by a FULLY QUALIFIED employee.
Job duties should be sequenced in logical manner considering priorities, chronological order, and length of time to perform the task.
All job descriptions submitted for evaluation must be accompanied by a evaluation form with metrics for measuring performance and an proposed modified organization chart.