Good job descriptions or role specifications are probably one of the most important tools a business has in its HR Tool Kit. A good job description will clearly detail what is required and expected from the role, it provides a strong reference point if you need to discuss or challenge someone’s performance and is essential in effective recruitment.

We have put together a few tips on what we think are some of the key areas that should be contained and thought about within a good and effective job description.

Job Titles in Job Descriptions

First and probably most importantly when you start to think about job descriptions, especially if you are starting from scratch, is the job title. Once you have identified and defined this it should help you to have a strong idea of what you will be wanting someone to do. The correct job title will really set the tone and structure for your job descriptions.

Roles, Responsibilities & Duties

This can be quite tricky to define especially with a new role, we advise our clients to write down a wish list of what they want the role or position to achieve. Think in terms of one, over reaching, clear sentence. For example for an Administration Assistant you might consider “to support and assist the Office Manager in the day to day administration of the company”.

From here you can then start looking and defining how they will do this. Think about the in-house systems and procedure you use, the equipment they will be using, who they may work with, what qualifications or experience do you want them to have. All these areas will help you to really define the role.tender

General Requirements

So you have clearly identified the job title and the duties specific to the task but what about general requirements you might have for your business, for example;
• Are there standards of dress or presentation that you expect or uniforms that should be worn?
• Are there Health & Safety and Wellbeing requirements that need to be met?
• Do work places need to be kept clean and tidy?
Have a think about general requirements for all roles in your business

The Important Stuff – Money, Hours & Benefits

Make sure you record somewhere on the job description the following information;
• Salary & salary scale
• Hours to be worked
• Location or base
• Any benefits or perks associated with the role

This is essential for recruitment and selection but again it serves as a reference point when you need to refer back to it in the future.

Update, Update, Update

Every time there is a significant role or duty change, update the job description. This is probably one of the most over looked areas but also one of the most important. Consider updating the job description if you introduce new systems or processes, any new duties or responsibilities, pay increase, working hours, a new line manager etc…

We suggest this so you can refer to the job description with confidence in any dispute situation. For example you have asked the Administration Assistant to start preparing invoices for payment which they have been doing happily for a few months. But then, for whatever reason, they stop doing it, you will want to be able to refer to the updated job description that clearly states invoice preparation as a duty.

We hope you found this useful and if you would like assistance with your Job Descriptions or any area off HR support or advice please do not hesitate to contact us.