Job Descriptions are intended to provide individuals with an overview of the position scope, responsibilities, education, and experience needed to be successful in the position.
Human Resources works with members of the Senior Leadership Group to balance the needs of the individual units and the institution through a position review process.
Prior to confirming or communicating any change in roles or responsibilities, it is critical that the potential costs be assessed and the financial resources be identified. Updates to positions which could result in a reclassification (pay increase), in-grade adjustment or exceptions to standard compensation guidelines must be approved by the Ways and Means Committee (WMC). In order to update a description or request compensation review, the request must be made in PeopleAdmin.
Middlebury stores job descriptions in the PeopleAdmin database. Please use the link below to view job descriptions for the individuals that you supervise. Please note that this is a shared resource for the Middlebury and Monterey campuses. The link below will pre-select to filter your search by campus (Middlebury) and position type (Staff). In addition, you may narrow the results further by entering a keyword or department.
Access the position description library for Middlebury Staff positions in PeopleAdmin.
Why 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 and Middlebury 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 clear.
- 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.)
- Show how the position supports the strategic plan/mission of the department and Middlebury.
- Identify 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.
Keep in Mind
- Job descriptions can be updated at any time. However, well-written job descriptions generally don’t need frequent updating, if the language is broad enough. Minor changes in specific projects, tasks, budget amounts, and so on do not need to be noted. Major changes would include adding or changing whole areas of responsibility, usually requiring new skills and knowledge to perform.
- Either the supervisor or the employee can request an update to the job description but the supervisor must initiate the process in PeopleAdmin and is ultimately responsible for determining whether an update is warranted. Consult Human Resources with questions.
- The employee should be involved in editing or proposing changes to an existing job description. His or her knowledge of the position should be given serious consideration. It is important to note, however, that the supervisor is ultimately responsible for defining the job.
- Some job descriptions cover more than one person doing the same job. Changes to the job description would need to be true across the board for everyone doing that same job.
- The supervisor must approve and submit all changes to a job description in PeopleAdmin.
- As a part of the approval process in PeopleAdmin, the VP must approve all requests for band and level re-evaluations.
- HR evaluates job descriptions on a monthly basis for changes in placement in the staff compensation program.
Job Description Format
Please use the following format.
If developing a new title, it may be helpful to review other job titles at Middlebury on PeopleAdmin. If your field has a national professional association, sample job descriptions and alternate titles can often be found there as well.
This field will only be empty for new positions. Enter NEW.
This section should list the main reason the job exists. Ideally, this can be expressed in 1–3 concise sentences, reflecting the most important aspects of the job. This section can also reference the department and/or College’s strategic goals and/or mission. When this position is posted to invite applicants this is the summary field that will display on the full listing of active job postings.
The following tips should be considered when developing position details and can be applied to both the Essential Functions and General Responsibilities fields.
- Loosely prioritize this list so that the most important tasks are at the top.
- Avoid excessive detail; this list does not need to specifically name every single task. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 8–14 points. It can be helpful to create a detailed draft for this section by listing all activities, then group them into related ‘families’ of tasks and create a sentence or two that is broad enough to cover everything in that group.
- Ideally, each point includes the purpose and/or the result to be accomplished. For example, “Work with senior administrators to set appropriate goals for the ___ program, determine the most effective methods to achieve those goals, implement innovative program activities that engage employees, and evaluate results in order to ensure the College leads our industry in ____results.” rather than “Oversee _____ program.”
- Do not include information that changes frequently (i.e. refer to ‘applicable procedures’ rather than describing the procedure itself.)
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. List any tasks that meet this criteria for this position.
Include as a standard point “Other duties as assigned”
This section describes non-essential tasks that are somewhat significant and are performed occasionally. They do not affect the essence for the position. In many instances, a job may not have any non-essential duties. Reassigning these duties to another person would not significantly affect either person’s job overall. For example, opening and distributing the mail may take approximately 10 minutes per day and therefore would not significantly change a person’s job if it is reassigned. Opening and distributing mail was not the reason a particular job was created in this example.
Facts to consider:
- Relationship of the task to the other tasks within the job.
- How reassigning the task will affect other employees and their jobs.
- Significance of the task and the conditions under which it is performed.
Education and Training
- Define the minimum level of education and training that would be required for someone to be successful in the position: “High School/Associate’s Degree/Bachelor’s Degree in a related field is required” and/or “Master’s Degree preferred.”
- Define the minimum level of qualifications, not the ideal. If you are hiring, you will not be able to consider candidates who don’t meet this minimum standard. Hopefully you will have many applicants with higher qualifications than the minimum to choose from.
- Note that current incumbents do not have to meet the minimum standard. If the job requires an Associate’s Degree, but the current staff person does not have such a degree, that’s fine. Put the true requirement in the job description to ensure accuracy. The existing staff person will not be affected by this.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (and other)
- Note any special knowledge required or preferred.
- For example,
- Effective interpersonal skills required.
- Well-developed written and oral communication required.
- Experienced Hyperion user preferred.
- Note any licenses or additional certifications required or preferred.
- Alternatively, the ability to obtain a license or certification may be required—for example: “ability to obtain a driver’s license is required.”
- Note any other significant qualifications required or preferred. (May list under sub-heading titled “Other”)
- Note any travel requirements. (May list under sub-heading titled “Other”)
- Note significant weekend or evening work commitments. (May list under sub-heading titled “Other”)
- Note the minimum level of work experience required. “At least ___ years of related experience is required”
- You can use “preferred” to indicate things you would like to have, but don’t necessarily require.
- Also include specific types of experience that are required or preferred. For example, “Experience in closing leadership level donations is required.” or “Project management experience preferred.”
- Again, this is the minimum, not the ideal.
- Current incumbents are not required to meet this standard.
- Note the physical demands of the position. For example, “Ability to climb stairs frequently, lift up to 50 pounds occasionally, and kneel, stoop, or crawl regularly.”
- If a post-offer pre-employment screening is required for the position, the Human Resources office will include a link to the full physical demand requirements for the position.