What is Job Description

A job description(JD) is a narrative that describes or lists the general duties, responsibilities or any other related tasks of a position in an organization.

It may also specify job title, the designation of the person whom the position has to report, skills needed, qualifications, working conditions, and salary range.

In simpler terms, a job description is a documentation which gives all the details which the company is expecting from the job applicant.

The job description is generally drawn up by the HR department or external recruiter during job analysis. Job analysis is divided into two components – job description and job specification.

What is the Importance of Job Description?

Job descriptions form the foundational step in processing the staffing programs.

Whether it is a hiring process or a performance review, it is important to have a good job description in place for all the positions in the organization.

Job descriptions play a critical role in many processes like recruitment, compensation, performance review, selection, training, setting expectations etc.

A good job description is always related to the vision of the company and specifies the key responsibilities, skills, and qualifications. A well-written job description is a great tool in the hands of recruiter during the interviews.

Here are some of the advantages of a job description.

  • Job descriptions help you to ensure that the employee duties are aligned with the company’s vision.
  • It gives a clear idea to the job applications of what their responsibilities for a position would be.
  • It helps the recruiter to make optimal hiring decisions as it outlines the role and the responsibilities the organization is expecting.
  • It provides a stable understanding across all departments in the organization on how the job position contributes the organization to progress.
  • It is used to figure out the areas where the training is required.
  • It forms the basis to develop the employee’s payment plans. You can justify the employee’s pay by referring to the responsibilities and duties of his position.
  • As it outlines the duties and responsibilities of the particular position, it also creates the limitations regarding his role.
  • It is the foundation for designing the interview questions.
  • It protects the organization when the employee files a discrimination or termination lawsuit.

A well-written job description makes it easier for both sides (organization or recruiter and job applicant) to share a common understanding.

It helps in evaluating the performance of existing employees, the hiring process and potentially in the employee termination process.

What are the Key Elements of Job Descriptions?

  • Company Information: Presenting candidates a glimpse inside your company and how the position holds up the company goals.
  • Job Title: The line which reflects the nature of the position. It should be in harmony with the industry and generic enough for easier understanding.
  • Date and Location: The date from which the job is effective from and the location of the workplace.
  • Job Summary: A brief summary describing the purpose of the role.
  • Responsibilities: A detailed list of duties that the position is expected to handle and to whom would they report.
  • Skills and Experience: A detailed list of core skills one has learned through. A description of the experience and educational qualifications required.
  • Salary: The salary range for the position.

There are a few things that must be avoided in the job description. It must not mention how well or bad the current employee is performing the job.

The job descriptions are not meant for judgments. It is also not recommended to discuss what is expected from the candidate in the future.

It is important to keep your job descriptions up to date especially if you are a larger organization.

The up-to-date job descriptions for all the job positions helps the HR teams and also training department to sort out the training programs for the positions.

An Example of Job Description

Here is a job description example

Job TitleHuman Resource Manager
LocationSan Diego, California
DescriptionThe HR manager will be responsible for maintaining and enhancing human resources policies, programs, and practices.

He/She will also be responsible for establishing and conducting orientation and training programs.

The HR manager should be motivated and willing to make decisions on his/her own.

The HR manager will also be responsible for looking after the appraisal of employee and their salary.

He would be leading a team junior HR executives (approx. 3-4 team size)

EducationPost Graduate, Preferably MBA
Experience5-6 years of experience in human resource management
Salary$45000-$60000 per annum

The above is a job description sample. You can write your own job description as per your requirements.

For example job descriptions, plese check Project Manager Job Description, and Business Analyst Job Description

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