Job description is a document which contains the details of the Job responsibilities of a position, function, department, grade, and working title. It defines the roles and responsibilities of a position and activities which are expected to perform in an organization.

However, it is not the “assessment tool” rather it provides the bases for establishing the purpose and standard of conducting assessment.

The job description is not only for internal organizational purposes but it also an important tool of hiring. On the basis of job description, the vacancy/opening details are publicize or posted on job portal. It is an instrument which filters the candidate’s application basis on requirements mentioned in job description. In other words, it defines how and what is to be done and why.

The analyses of candidate’s applications are considered or shortlisted on the basis of knowledge and skills which are needed for a job. Furthermore, a job description is not necessarily defines or explains the current situation or job requirements but it may also set-out goals for what can be achieved in future. The fundamentals of writing job description are as follows:

  1. Position Details
  2. Performance Standards
  3. Job roles and responsibilities
  4. Job Factors

Exhibit -1 (Sample of Job Description)

Job Description Writing Guide

Position Title

Job Classification Manager – I
Hiring Range Shs. 100000-1200000 PA
Provisional Period 6 mints
Pay grade level M2

Position Information

Department Finance
Working Title Finance Manager
Assignment Category Regular , Full – time
Job Type Staff
Job Description Summary
Comparable Positions

(If there are any comparable positions within the department, identify these positions by position number and note the similarities and differences.)


Contents of job description

1. Job identification

It is the basic parameter to define and identify the job and factors on which they are created, for example department, division, job title, code number, plant or branch office etc. Hence the title of the job should be chosen carefully because it reflects the status, level and importance for an employee

2. Job Title

Job title provides the identity of a position of an organization. It describes the designation of a particular job.

3. Job Summary

There are two purposes of preparing job summary. First, it defines the job and status of a particular job level in an organization. Second, it serves the summary by providing additional information related to it.

4. Relations to the other job

Job description is an instrument which describes and locates the job in an organizational structure. It reflects the vertical/ horizontal work flow of a position, the team size, reporting structure and hierarchical order of job in company

5. Contents of working conditions

Working conditions refers to the environment under which the demanded job and responsibilities will perform. For example, in manufacturing units, the working environment is predefined for employee’s safety and health by company. In other words, it determines the demand of a particular job imposes on employees, like:

  • Environmental conditions
  • Job specifications related to safety, security and Job hazards / safety
  • Job related tools, machinery and equipment’s to be provided to perform work
6. Job Duties And Responsibilities

It comprises the list of duties and responsibilities of a job and frequency or percentage of time devoted to each activity of job performance.

7. Key Result Areas

Key result areas are the indicators on which the individual job is measured and analysis. It is one of the most essential tools of defining the key performance indicators as well.

Performance Standards

The reporting manager, department head, hiring manager, or designated administrator are responsible bodies of writing performance standards. They provide the information about the performance expectations, key accountabilities of a particular role or level. In short, the performance standard contains:

  1. a)            The knowledge, skills and capabilities required to perform a particular job
  2. b)            It is a tool which communicates the expectations of the job
  3. c)            It provides the basis of measuring performances

Following is the example given for the position of Administration Manager and its performance standards:

Key Accountability Administration Manager
Duty Statement Coordinate departmental and programmatic requirement
Coordinate with vendor
Make travel arrangements
Make arrangements for housekeeping, pantry, and other
Performance Standards The activities are expected to be carried out with minor supervision.
Must be capable of setting priorities and working under pressure
Must be able to multi-task, planning several events simultaneously
Ability to work well with internal and external participants is essential
Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite is imperative

Job description writing guide- Do’s & Don’ts

It is very important to remain careful while designing the job description of a particular position. While writing job description, following are the important do’s and don’ts needs to be consider

  1. Write an precise, brief, and comprehensive job description
  2. The job description should always align the department’s / function needs or requirements
  3. Maintain the structure simple and specific of job description and avoid information or details which do not contribute relevance.
  4. The position or designation of reporting manager should be mentioned instead of name of the reporting manager
  5. Keep the critical activities on the top five points of job description.
  6. The grades, level, department should also be an important part of it and mentioned clearly in it.
  1. Avoid lengthy sentences in job description. It may dilute the essence of writing it.
  2. Writing job description is a joint responsibility instead of individual department activity. Hence, it should be written with the consent and involvement of all stakeholders like human resources department, functional head and reporting manager (if, any).
  3. Do not use different fonts, color, sizes and style of writing it. Always maintain uniformity in writing job description across levels & positions. Do not generalize the job description for same levels but different department. Always, mention the skills, knowledge level, and key result areas as per the need of department.
  4. Do not write job description as per an individual rather it should be written as per the position in the organization. In other words, do not write the job description as per employee, instead, write the job description first and then fit a competent employee in it.
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