What are components of a job description?

Entrepreneurs & Their Communities September 16, 2013|Print

A job description is often written after analyzing a job to develop a thorough understanding of the various attributes of the position. Done properly, a good job description will help the employer in every step of the recruitment process from writing winning advertisements to screening applicants for interviews. A complete job analysis should provide you with information on the following components:

  • Title
    • Short, clear and accurate. For example, "cashier", "delivery driver", "baker", "sales clerk" may seem boring but they tell potential applicants exactly what the position will be. 
  • Job summary
    • Two or three sentences about the position and the company are enough at this point. It is a good idea to include a sentence about the importance of this position to the company.
  • Tasks, responsibilities
    • Identify major categories and general responsibilities. For example, a field manager for a pick-your-own berry operation might include "Determining which fields to direct customers to daily" and "Training and supervising cashiers"
    • For more complex positions it may be helpful to indicate the percentage of time a task will take. For example, a farmers' market manager position might contain: 15% - Recruit vendors; 20% - develop and place PR for the market; etc. 
  • Qualifications
    • Education or degree requirements along with any special licences or certifications required. For example, Commercial Drivers License, ability to life 50 pounds, or ability to read and speak Spanish are legitimate qualifications. You might also include prior knowledge or prior experience desired.
  • Supervision
    • Who does this employee report to? Is there direct supervision or is this a position that must be self-regulating?
  • Working conditions
    • Any particular physical requirements or environmental considerations that are unique to this position should be spelled out. For example, if the position requires working outside in a variety of weather conditions that should be mentioned. Likewise, long hours of standing, driving, or doing repetitive tasks should also be mentioned here. You will want to be clear on these points when conducting interviews. 
  • Salary and benefits
    • Although there is some disagreement on whether this information should be included in the recruiting materials, it absolutely should be part of the position description. This is also the place where notes can be made regarding whether this position is exempt or non-exempt, salaried or hourly, part time or full-time.

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