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What Are the Components of a Job Description?

by Nicole Long

A well-written job description not only sets the stage for finding the right employee, but it also creates a framework for managing employee performance and setting expectations. Taking the time to carefully craft a job description that includes all necessary components will help focus recruitment efforts and ensure a smooth hiring process for both management and prospective employees.

Position Summary

The position summary should provide essential details about the position. This component of the job description should clearly define the purpose of the job and identify the title of the position. Along with the job title, details about the hiring department and manager should be provided. In addition, the position summary should provide details concerning the expected status of the position, such as full-time or part-time, and any additional pertinent information applicants should know up front, such as whether the job is being offered as a temporary or permanent position and the anticipated working hours.

Job Responsibilities

An accurate and thorough listing of the duties and responsibilities related to the position benefits both applicants and management. It sets the expectation for potential employees and allows management the opportunity to define roles, manage workload and evaluate performance. This section should include both essential and non-essential job duties. Listing job duties and responsibilities in a manner that paints an accurate picture of the position is critical. Depending on the position, this could be accomplished by listing duties from most important to least important or by identifying the percentage of time expected to be spent on each task.

Qualifications

The qualifications component of the job description will identify the minimum and expected qualifications for the position. Common qualifications listed in this section include the minimum education and any previous work experience expected of applicants. This component should also provide details regarding any necessary skills or abilities required to be successful in the position. Additional information regarding any special licenses or certifications, or the need to acquire any after acceptance of the position, should also be included.

Other Essentials

An accurate job description will include additional components based on the needs and requirements of the position. The working conditions and physical demands of a position are often included in job postings for everything from construction work to office work. In addition, a general disclaimer stating that the job description is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of all duties or responsibilities related to the job can be included to ensure flexibility in job assignments and activities.

About the Author

Nicole Long is a freelance writer based in Cincinnati, Ohio. With experience in management and customer service, business is a primary focus of her writing. Long also has education and experience in the fields of sports medicine, first aid and coaching. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Cincinnati.