Job descriptions are a fundamental HR management tool that can help increase individual and organizational effectiveness by describing the tasks, duties, and responsibilities that an employee will work on. For the organization, good job descriptions contribute to organizational effectiveness by:
Making sure that the work carried out by staff is in line with the organization’s mission.
Showing where and when responsibilities between jobs overlap.
Helping management identify the most appropriate employee for new duties when changing how work is shared between positions.
In addition to their use for organizations, job descriptions also help employees understand:
Their duties and responsibilities.
The relative importance and frequency of their duties.
How their position contributes to the mission, goals, and objectives of the organization.
A job description can be viewed in two parts. First, the description of duties (what needs to get done) and second, the Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Factors (KSAOs) required to do the job (what it takes to do the job).
The minimum qualifications necessary to successfully perform the job. Minimum qualifications are used to ensure that:
Candidates who do not possess the minimum qualifications are not considered for the job.
Qualifications are not inflated, and therefore potentially discriminatory.
Capable individuals are not screened out during the recruitment process.
The qualifications described are education, professional designation, knowledge, skills, and abilities, plus other factors such as personal attributes.
Asset qualifications, sometimes referred to as “nice to haves”, are those elements that candidates may have and that employers would see as giving a candidate an advantage while still not being a required quality to be considered for the job.