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Job descriptions are helpful tools for many reasons. They have many legal and practical applications.

In this article, we will define a job description, why you need one, and the steps necessary to create a successful one.

What Is A Job Description?

A job description is a document that states the job requirements, skills, job responsibilities, and duties required to perform a specific role. It usually includes company details such as mission and culture, salary range, and benefits.

How Do You Create A Job Description?

List An Accurate Job Title

Every job description starts with an accurate job title. A good job title has the following qualities.

  • A job title should reflect the nature and duties of the position
  • It is free of bias such as age or gender insinuations
  • The importance of the role is not exaggerated
  • The job title is generic to make it comparable to a similar job in the industry for equity and pay considerations.
  • It is simple enough that it can be used in a job posting during the recruitment process and is easily searchable.

An example of a good job title is ‘Software Engineer’. An example of a bad job title for the same position would be ‘Rockstar Engineer’.

Write A Summary Overview of The Job

The job description overview should contain a few paragraphs defining the daily tasks, assignments, or projects the employee will be working on.

List The Job Responsibilities And Duties

This list should explain the responsibilities and duties required of the position. Use about 5 to 10 bullet points outlining the list.

Give a percentage of the day assigned to each duty. For example, 30% of the day will be spent conducting research and product design work will take up to 60% of the day.

Explain in Detail What Success Looks Like

Define what success looks like in the role for the first month, first quarter, and the first year. List any metrics or numbers that must be met on a consistent basis.

Include Who The Position Reports To

You should include the working relationships and the direct manager the position reports to.

This helps clarify the structure of the organization and how their position fits with the team. It also helps avoid any compliance issues that may arise.

When representing working relationships it is a good idea to use an organization chart stating reporting lines for the overall organizational structure.

You also want to state the size of the department and any interdepartmental interactions between teams.

State the Salary Range

Put a salary range in the job description rather than an exact salary. Make sure the compensation is competitive with similar positions within the organization.

The salary range should also take into consideration different educational and experience backgrounds.

Have A Colleague Look It Over For Any Errors

Send the job description to a coworker, have them check for errors or anything that should be added to the job description as needed.

Have the Hiring Manager and HR Approve The Final Draft

Send the final draft to the hiring manager and HR in case any additional changes are needed.

Publish the Job Description For Easy Employee Access

Make sure employees have easy access to the job description so there is no confusion on the role entails.

This way they can reference any duties and responsibilities and expectations that are expected of them.

What Is The Purpose Of A Job Description?

  • Can be used as a starting point for a job posting
  • Stating a job summary
  • Listing the benefits of a job
  • Listing the duties and responsibilities of a job
  • Stating the qualifications needed for a job

Why Do You Need A Job Description?

Clear and concise job descriptions define what the job role is, and the skills required for the role. It also states how the role fits in the overall structure of an organization.

A job description is important to stay compliant with federal and state labor and employment laws.

Job descriptions help hold employees accountable making sure they perform the functions stated. They also use it in creating job postings on job boards. 

Job Posting VS Job Description

While similar a job posting and job description are not the same. Job postings are created to attract job seekers through advertisements on job boards.

A job description is a document created for internal use stating the duties, responsibilities, and working conditions of the job.

Conclusion

Learning how to create a job description is a straightforward process. Make sure to give the reader a good sense of the job, a clear picture of duties, responsibilities, and expectations of the role.

The job description can aid in measuring performance while taking the necessary steps to mitigate any disputes or other issues.