This is an extremely important document. It is an essential part of the contract between employer and employee and ensures that both parties know what is expected of the role holder, even though many will contain a “catch all” such as “and other duties as specified “.

Still it is a good place to start. It is useful if a job has to be advertised as it clearly indicates to potential applicants what is expected. It is also invaluable at appraisal time.

What should it include?

Tjob-descriptionhis is a dynamic document which should be reviewed regularly as the company and job roles change and new performance targets are agreed. The appraisal meeting is the perfect time to do this.

The document ideally defines the scope, responsibilities and accountabilities. It should state why the role exists and what contribution the holder is expected to make to the organisation.


At its most basic these are the fields that should be included;-

Job Title:

Current job holder: Name

Department:

Reports to: job title of their line manager

Direct reports managed:
who reports to them

Purpose of job:
this should be a couple of sentences that summarise the unique role, and how it contributes to organisational objectives.

Responsibilities: list the main requirements of the job

Key performance targets: list the Key areas where results must be achieved. Include standards of performance.
Think SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic. Time bound)

Agreed :Jobholder …………………………… date ………………………………
Agreed :manager …………………………… date ………………………………
Review date ……………………………………….

job-descriptionThe responsibilities section will list everything the jobholder is expected to carry out.

The best style is to begin with an action verb, and use the present tense. For example

“Handles all incoming emails to the customer service account”.

It is important to distinguish between tasks the jobholder will carry out, and those they have responsibility for.

E.g.“Select a range of merchandise for sale in xyz to achieve budgeted sales and other KPI’s”

“Ensure contracts with suppliers are placed in a timely fashion”

Standards of performance should also be included where possible, such as “in a timely fashion “and “to achieve budgeted sales and other KPI’s” above.

Once job descriptions are written for everyone, it is [possible to move on to designing a performance management system.
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