Job descriptions are not just for recruitment purposes. It is definitely the starting point and sets out expectations. Used as an objective communication tool, job descriptions allow employees to understand from the outset what is expected from the job. They form the basis for performance management and align roles with the company’s vision and mission. Job descriptions also help develop interview questions and determine areas of training and development.
HOW TO CREATE A JOB DESCRIPTION
If the job already exists, start off by interviewing the person currently doing the job. Ask the person what they do, who they report to and what skills and qualifications they need for the job. New jobs should be “brainstormed” with a list of key responsibilities
- Avoid writing a “shopping list” of duties, tasks and responsibilities. Ask questions.
- What are the most important duties, tasks and responsibilities in the role?
- What duties, tasks and responsibilities take priority?
- What are the reporting lines?
- What results should the employee deliver?
DEFINE THE JOB DESCRIPTION
It should include:
Job title, department and reporting line.
Job duties, tasks and responsibilities.
Most important duties, tasks and responsibilities (list from most to least important).
Skills and characteristics (for example, good writing skills, able to work in a team).
Level of education required.
The most difficult part is defining key responsibilities. Here is a guideline:
Put down all aspects of the job (randomly list anything that comes to mind). Keywords that may help include, “processes”, “planning”, “executing”, “monitoring”, “reporting”, “managing”, “resources”, “activities”, “inputs”, “outputs”.
Develop the aspects of the job into key responsibilities (a junior position would need at least eight key responsibilities and a senior role about 15).
Rank the responsibilities in order of importance.
Run it past an employee currently in the role or someone who has previously done the job, if possible.
Ensure the responsibilities are actually important to the role and that they are achievable.
Never put targets into a job description! The description should instead describe the task/s required to ensure the targets are met.