5 Component of a Good Job Description

A good job description should be based on a job analysis and should be brief and factual as possible. The headings under which the job description should be written and notes for guidance on completing each section are set out below:

1. Job Title
A job title is a term that describes in a few words or less the position held by an employee. Depending on the job, a job title can describe the level of the position or the responsibilities of the person holding the position. The use of terms such as ‘manager’, ‘assistant manager’, or ‘senior’ to describe job level should be reasonably consistent between functions with regards to the grading of the jobs.

2. Reporting to
The job title of the manager or person to whom the job holder is directly responsible should be given under this heading.

3. Overall Purpose
This section should describe as concisely as possible the overall purpose of the job. The aim should be to convey in one sentence a broad picture of the job.

Avoid describing the activities that will be carried out but rather write a summary that clearly distinguishes the role of the job holder and contribution they should make towards achieving the objectives of the company and their own function or unit.

4. Main Activities, Task or Duties
This is one of the hardest sections to write in a job description. The purpose of this section is to define the job tasks, duties, or responsibilities that are to be performed on the job.

It’s also the information most vital to your other talent management processes since it defines the criteria that should be used for assessment and development.

This section often ends up being an exceedingly long and detailed list of tasks that is tough to maintain, but even tougher for an employee to remember and apply in their day-to-day work.

So how do you write effective job responsibilities that are useful and manageable, while still capturing all the important details?

How do you ensure the employee clearly knows what is expected of them and what they are accountable for?

To create the task list for a job, you go through a typical day on the job and write down the tasks that are performed.
Define each activity in one sentence, starting with a verb in the active voice, to provide a positive indication of what has to be done and eliminate unnecessary wordings. Examples include: assist, complete, create, plan, prepare, implement, test, liaises with, and collaborate with.
State briefly the purpose of the activity in terms of outcome, output or standard to be achieved. For example: Work collaboratively with key stakeholders to determine areas of optimization deconstruct issues and develop a solution approach.

5. Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
This section covers the technical competencies required to do the job.

Knowledge Skills and abilities should be expressed in terms of ‘need to know’ the required knowledge of techniques, processes, procedures, systems and the business generally ( its products, services, and its competitors and customers) and the ‘need to be able to do ‘ the skills required in each area of activities.

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