The Purpose of a Job Description

Job descriptions play an important role in assisting with human resource planning as well as providing employees a description of specific job functions and expectations. Job descriptions also serve as a starting point for employee recruitment.

Definition

A job description is typically a two-to-four page document that outlines job details and requirements of a specific position. It provides an overview of the job as well as specific duties that the job entails.

Significance

Not only does a job description supply an employee or prospect with details about the job, but also it can be used as a tool for managers and human resource departments. Managers may utilise a description to evaluate an employee's performance, while human resources might use a description to recruit for vacant positions or to restructure positions or departments within the organisation.

Details

Regardless of the type of job, a job description typically contains the following standard information: job title, pay grade, job overview, job duties, required/preferred education, necessary skills or certifications, required/preferred work experience, physical requirements or equipment usage. Many organisations require an employee's signature as proof that he has been presented with and has had an opportunity to review the job description.

Considerations

A job description will in no way be able to include every aspect of a job; therefore, employees, prospects, managers and human resource departments alike should use it as a general guide only.

Review Process

Managers should review and edit job descriptions periodically as job duties evolve or change over time. In addition, they should allow, even require, employees to review their job descriptions each year.

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About the Author

Heather Eastridge is a business professional with a passion for learning. Her areas of expertise include project management, supply chain services and information technology for health care. Eastridge has earned associate degrees in business administration from Trinity Baptist College and Florida State College at Jacksonville.

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