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Job Description

Written By: Vidhi Gogari on June 13, 2011 3 Comments


Job Description

In the earlier article, “Why is Recruitment important to any organization?” there was a brief understanding of the term “Job Analysis”. We had provided a succinct understanding of the term. The paragraph was:

When we say we require people for the functions of business, how do we acquire people for these functions? This is done by RECRUITMENT. For recruitment to happen the company has to do a Job Analysis of the job to be assigned to an eligible candidate. Job Analysis is further bifurcated into 2 sub-parts i.e.

JOB ANALYSIS:

This is not a book definition so to say but in layman’s language, Job Analysis means a process where the company analyses and defines the skills required to perform a particular job in the company.

  • Job description is a written statement showing job title, tasks, duties and responsibilities involved in a job. It also prescribes the working conditions, hazards, stress and relationship with other jobs.
  • Job specifications, also known as man or employee specifications, is prepared on the basis of job specification. It specifies the qualities required in a job incumbent for the effective performance of the job.”

This was about “Job Analysis”. In this article, let’s take a closer look at the subpart of Job Analysis, i.e. Job Description.

A job description is usually developed by conducting a job analysis, which includes examining the tasks and sequences of tasks necessary to perform the job. The analysis considers the areas of knowledge and skills needed for the job. A job usually includes several roles. The Job Description is more position specific rather than being person specific. A job description may include relationships with other people in the organization- Supervisory level, managerial requirements, and relationships with other colleagues, i.e. whom will the candidate Report to or who will be his Reportees if he is selected. A Job Description may not just be referring to the current situation or responsibilities; it can also be providing an insight to the set of goals that will be expected of the candidate to achieve in future.

Job Description is usually prepared to drive / attract new workforce to be hired, pace the recruitment campaign, etc. With job descriptions essential to so many human resource functions, it’s particularly important that companies take the time to write their organizations’ descriptions. A good job description follows a simple but consistent format that describes key roles played by that job, as well as “essential functions.”

A Job Description is usually prepared by the particular departments and handed over to the HR department as and when they have an opening for that position. A Job Description is prepared for every position (advisable) before hand so it does not become a task when the vacancy is generated and the Job Description is to be provided for sourcing candidates. The Job Description can be later modified according to the requirement of the Position.

A few points that should be kept in mind while creating the Job Description:

  1. Try to give as much information as possible to allow candidates to make an informed and rational decision about their suitability for a post
  2. Consider any legal requirements i.e. work and travel permissions that might prevent a candidate from working in a specific country
  3. Provide relevant details of climate/security/isolation that candidates need to consider before applying for a post

GUIDANCE ON WRITING JOB DESCRIPTIONS (checklist):
A job description should clearly and accurately set out the duties and responsibilities of the job. It should include:

1. Job title: Accurate titles reflecting the function and level of the job should be made lucid in the Job Description to make it comprehensible for the candidate.

2. The department: The department should be mentioned so that the specialist in the field will be able to apply and this will make the screening of the applications quick and effortless

3. Position: Stating the job title the employee is responsible, as well as titles of those reporting to the job holder.

4. Areas of responsibility: The Job Description should also provide information of the responsibilities the job holder will be handling and performing on the job. The responsibilities should be brief.

5. Purpose of the job: Concisely stating the overall purpose of the job, the principal role of the job holder and the expected contribution to achieving objectives should be stated in the Job Description

6. Main tasks:
Identifying the tasks and include the objective or purpose of each task

7. Special requirements / Competencies:
Special requirements could be-Equipment, Tools, Special Skills

8. Location:

Location of the job and travelling needed to be done by the candidate in case he is applying for the position and even after selection. Candidates not willing to shift base would not apply and the screening process becomes simple.

9. Educational Qualification and Work Experience:

The educational qualification required as well as preferred should be mentioned. Also the minimum work experience (if any) required to qualify for the position should be stated.

10. Contact details:

The Job Description should mention the contact details of the person in charge of screening the candidates. The contact details are mentioned so that the candidate could contact the organization in case of any queries.

A few Job Descriptions may have more details provided or even less. But these are the standard points that need to be covered in the Job Description. A Job Description is made to help the candidate understand what to be expected of the position. The person creating should try and keep it simple and comprehensible and avoid using jargons. A Job Description that is clear will attract more applications rather than a complicated heavy Job Description. Also the person should have the Job Description checked and approved by the HOD (Head of Department) to avoid minute errors and having it approved will also make it an official statement and can be further used without having it checked every time. As mentioned earlier, Job Description is position specific, so it has to give appropriate information about the position and not the qualities that the person has to possess.

For a better understanding of how a Job Description looks like, shown below is the format of a Job Description form. As mentioned earlier, there could be some more areas that an organization can cover in the Job Description, a standard Job Description would be something like this:

JOB DESCRIPTION FORM

Requisition Date Requisition raised by
Cost /Budget Range Type of recruitment New Replacement

 

Position Title:
Function:
Reporting  to:
Reportees:
Location:
Brief Job Description: 

  • .
Educational Qualification:
Work Experience and Skills required: 

 

APPROVAL / SIGNATURES:

  • Service Group Head/ Functional Head
  • HR Head
  • COO

 

 

 


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