Narration of tasks, duties and responsibilities is very essential to describe a job. And so is important for an employer to simplify the tasks and performance criterion about the job.
What is Job Description?
A job description or JD is a written narrative or synchronization of all the general tasks, duties, and responsibilities which are required to be performed on a job position. It may include all those guidelines or any other specifications like qualifications, ‘technical know how’, working tools, equipments, work aids, or salary standards necessary for the individual on that position of performing the job.
However, a job description can be completed only after job analysis. Job description is useful in the recruitment process of staff. It includes relationships among all the levels from functional level to all other supervisory and higher level. It is helpful in setting basic and organizational goals; employees’ training employee’s job performance can also be evaluated through this.
A perfect job description includes job title, location of job, T&C, salary/rate, requirements, about the company, about the role of working individual, responsibilities, candidate requirements, and details of the person to whom the individual can contact. As a course, JD includes a summary of all the small details which are the job title, skills, duties and responsibilities required overview of the job etc.
Contents of a Job Description
A big question arises about the contents of a job description, and whether should it be descriptive or should it be clear, short and explicit? Well, a JD and a job specification both are product of job analysis. Contents of both are different as JD describes the job and Job Specification specifies the needs of a job.
The contents of a good JD are as follows:-
The title of the job should be indicated at top. It should be specific. And should define about a particular job, the name of job and its identification.
The name of department where the job exists in the organization.
T&C and Job summary
It should be attractive, strong and attention seeking. All the terms and conditions of job performance along with a short summary about the job, it can be some short lines or a paragraph explaining the tasks and duties.
Duties, roles and responsibilities of the incumbent
This is one of the most important part in a JD as it outlines and defines the role of an individual in the organization, duties which are required to be performed, about the capabilities he should have, the challenges and competencies he should have to face. It describes the day to day activities of the position and specifies how the position sets into an organization. Along with these, it clearly implies the technical skills, abilities, key roles etc.
Salary and other requirements
Salary depends on education, experience, knowledge, skills technical abilities and other factors. Qualifications may vary accordingly for a particular job and the individual should have the requisite knowledge and qualifications as the job demands.
Working conditions and working environment are also mentioned under this segment, which may include the sitting arrangement, temperature, postures, hazards etc. Other requirements also includes material, tools, aids, equipments, machines which might not be readily available and sometimes has to be arranged the individual himself.
Contact person details
This is a necessary item in JD as the incumbent can clear the doubt after referring the recruiter or hirer. Employer can just simply write a call-to-action to encourage readers to apply for the job, telling them who to contact and how. It should include email address along with valid official contact details of the recruiter or hiring manager.
Hints for writing a good job description
Writing a good job description is very essential as it attracts the deserving and well qualified candidates for the job. It is that platform or source where the employers can present their job for future employees. An effective JD should be a proper balance between providing enough details so that the candidate can understand their role in the organization.
It should be in a manner where all the major components are depicted so that it makes a better understanding and clarity of the job in front of candidates. Some of the below mentioned guidelines should be followed while writing a job description:-
- The starting of each sentence should be an action verb and each sentence includes the usage of present tense.
- It should be clear, complete and concise and in direct format. Along with this it should be accurate, simple and easy to understand.
- Sufficient details of the job should be presented with defining each specific duties and responsibilities.
- It should simplify the level of direction from Superior to subordinate employees and their delegation of authority.
- Allocation of paragraphs to each major task is necessary and each paragraph should be serially numbered and arranged in a logical task sequence.
- Usage of simple words should be taken into consideration rather than complicated and unusually sophisticated words
- Abbreviations and acronyms should be used only in case of necessity, and if used, the meaning should be defined in notes and avoid if not necessary. Because every person might not be in a position to understand or grasp the meaning.
- Gender specific language should be avoided. For example: ‘he is accountable’, ‘she holds the position’ etc. should not be used. In addition, name of other employees as reference should not be used.
- Present assigned duties should be included, not the future duties. Essential duties should be mentioned and unnecessary duties should be eliminated.
- Temporary duties should not be written.
- At last, ensuring that an incumbent understands the JD easily and in a better knowledge of the job after reading the job description.