Writing a Job Description

Conveying the Meaning of the Job

A good job description lists the requirements of a role and gives each team member a clear, precise idea of what you expect from them. It can also act as a framework for managing performance, evaluating people, and giving feedback.

But perhaps more importantly, a good job description is also a dynamic, “live” document that enables you to align individual roles with your team’s goals and your company’s vision, even in environments where those roles can change quickly. In other words, it conveys meaning and a sense of purpose.

Consider this scenario. The HR department at Pedro's company has asked him to produce a set of job descriptions for his growing team. Some exist already, and they just need to be updated. Others have to be written afresh, and one is required for an upcoming set of interviews. But Pedro isn’t relishing the task. To him, writing job descriptions – ticking off competencies, listing skills, mapping team goals onto functions, and so on – is just a box-ticking exercise and a real grind. But maybe it’s time for Pedro to think differently about job descriptions.

Done well, a job description will answer these questions: "What are my key responsibilities and priorities?", "What are my critical success factors?", and above all "Why does my job matter?" Read on to find out the main points to cover when writing a job description, including examples.

A good job description will describe the expectations of an employee as well as their responsibilities.

Reasons for Job Descriptions

Job descriptions are an essential part of managing the work of any organization. Use them to do the following:...

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