Tips for Writing Job Descriptions
Why do we have job descriptions?
- So that employees know what is expected of them.
- To help employees understand how their work makes a contribution to the department & the College as a whole.
- To communicate with applicants during the hiring process.
- To define the minimum education and experience that would make someone qualified for a position.
- To assist with determining appropriate compensation levels for the position.
- To define the essential elements of the position, used if the employee requests changes to their duties as an accommodation under the ADA.
NOTE: The job description is an official document, therefore it should be written in appropriate language. Personal characteristics such as age, gender, race, religion, should never be used to define a position.
A job description should be:
- Written in straight-forward, simple language
- Broadly define key responsibilities. (An appropriate level of detail can usually be achieved in 2 pages or less.)
- Shows how the position supports the strategic plan/mission of the department and the College
- Identifies essential tasks in the appropriate field. (A job function is considered "essential" when performance of the function is the reason that the job exists. A function may be "essential" when: the number of employees available to perform the function is limited, the function requires specialized skills, the function occupies a large percentage of time, and failure to perform the function may have serious consequences.)
A job description should not be:
- A list of tasks
- Include personal characteristics such as age, gender, race, or religion. These items should never be used to define a position.