magnifying glass roundI think we can all agree that job descriptions are important. A good job description will make sure that employee duties align with your organization’s mission, vision, and values. Recruiting becomes easier when the position’s scope has been clearly articulated, and a solid job description is a central part of smoothly onboarding a new employee.

They’re also an integral part of performance management- when expectations are not being met, a clear job description will help identify areas in need of training and development.

But most employers don’t spend enough time on developing and updating job descriptions. This is a mistake: putting job description development on the back burner creates uncertainty around expectations, and the miscommunication and lack of clarity can snowball, causing bigger problems.

Almost every human resources function becomes less straightforward when employee roles aren’t clearly defined. Twitter_logo_blue

Job description development (or re-development) can be a daunting process, and it’s easy to be indecisive about what to include.

We’ve got you covered! Here’s a job description checklist to get you started:

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•    Organization Name
•    Position Title
•    Reporting Position (by position, not by individual)

Position Summary
This section contains 1-2 paragraphs listing the employee’s general responsibilities.
•    Short list of key tasks and their purpose
•    Overview of relationships with customers, coworkers, and others
•    General results expected from employees

Key Duties & Responsibilities
This section conveys the complexity, scope, and level of responsibility of the job.
•    List key areas of responsibility within the job
•    Include duty statements: these provide additional information about the tasks associated with key areas of responsibility

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
This section outlines the competencies necessary for the employee to succeed in the position
•    Factual or procedural knowledge necessary to the job
•    Level of task proficiency necessary to fulfill job duties
•    Skills and abilities necessary to successfully perform in the position
•    Other attributes (values demonstrated, personal attributes) necessary to function in the job

Qualifications
•    Education level required
•    Experience level required
•    Special certification and/or training required
•    Technical skills necessary

Special Demands
•    Any extraordinary or unique conditions applicable to the job
•    Working conditions if they are exceptional (heavy lifting, temperature/noise exposure, prolonged standing, travel expectations are examples).

While the exact content of your job descriptions should always be tailored to your organization and the specifics of the position, this checklist will help make sure you’ve included everything you should.

Your Engaged HR Assignment:

Get your employees to help with revamping your organization’s job descriptions. Provide a template based on our checklist, and ask each employee to fill it out. They can usually clearly articulate the position better than you can (because it’s their job!), and the process also provides a check-in to make sure employee efforts are concentrated in the right place.

Still not sure where to start? Let us give you a hand—we’re happy to help you tackle your job description projects!

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