When looking to attract and recruit new talent for your business, how strategic are you when it comes to crafting a job description?
Job descriptions are extremely important and often used during the hiring process to attract a pool of candidates. However, job descriptions serve a much broader purpose; they are essential in identifying the various employee attributes needed for the job. They are also one of the pieces of evidence most widely used during employment claims, performance reviews or disciplinary actions when an employer is unsatisfied with an employee’s performance.
Job descriptions also provide both employer and employee clarity as to the parameters of the position. Because of this, they should be carefully constructed.
Here are six key elements of a job description:
Job Title and Summary
The job title is a brief description of the job, usually 1 to 4 words, which reflects the content, purpose, and scope of the job. A proper job title helps define the nature of the job and also offers a sense of identity within the workplace. In this summary, make sure to include:
- the department to which this job belongs;
- the reporting relationship for this position (ex: “Reports to V.P. of Marketing”);
- the date you plan to have this position filled; and
- whether this job is contracted, temporary, full-time, or part-time.
Job Purpose and Objectives
Write a brief but concise statement (about 1 to 4 sentences) describing the purpose and objectives of the job in question. An effective statement will help applicants determine whether or not the position suits them.
Job Duties and Responsibilities
This section should contain a description of the duties and responsibilities assigned to the job. This will describe the fundamental nature of the job which occupies a large proportion of the employee’s time. When writing this description, make sure to:
- explain why, how, where or how often the tasks and duties are performed;
- reference areas of decision-making the employee will influence or impact;
- identify areas of direct or indirect accountabilities; and
- list job duties which reflect the position requirements and ensure they are not based upon the capabilities of any one individual.
Scope and Limits of Authority
Outline the areas of responsibility assigned to each person, including where duties may overlap and who is ultimately responsible for the finished product or service. Also, explain the nature and extent of supervision given and received as well as the level of authority over others.
This section lists the required level of job knowledge (such as education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities) required to do the job. This section focuses on the “minimum” level of qualifications for an individual to be productive and successful in this role. The description should be detailed enough for prospective job candidates to determine whether or not they possess the necessary qualifications for the job.
To be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, identify the working conditions and physical demands which relate directly to the essential job duties and responsibilities. Make sure to describe the type, intensity, frequency, and duration, of physical or mental capabilities, required.
Fill out the form below to download a helpful Job Description Template to get started.
This post is provided by the HR Pros at the HR Support Center and Corporate Payroll Services. It is for information purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice. When you need essential information on human resources issues, from benefits, hiring, and management, to culture, technology and regulations, HR Support Center is a resource on which you can rely. To learn more, visit www.cpsgo.com/hr-support-services/ or contact us at 770-446-7289 x2102.
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