Job Descriptions

By: Bob Pearce

I.What Job Descriptions do

Most importantly they:

&bullClarify expectations for the role
&bullProvide basis for measuring performance, and performance appraisals
&bullProvide clear description of the role
&bullEnable total organization structure to be compiled by allocating tasks across the board
&bullRemove possibility of misinterpretation by employee or manager
&bullAllow pay and grading to be structured fairly
&bullProvide a reference tool in the event of a dispute or discipline
&bullProvide a reference point for training, development, career progression, succession planning, or counselling

II.Smaller Businesses

Staff in smaller businesses usually cover a wider or more mixed range of responsibilities than in a larger organization. In smaller businesses job descriptions might therefore cover a greater number of listed responsibilities. This should never exceed about 15 because the result can become unwieldy.

III.Compiling Job Descriptions

This is an opportunity as an employer or employee to clarify expectations of the role. Start by writing down all the tasks which the role is expected to carry out. This may be quite a long list, but be careful to distinguish what might be covered by an Operations Manual, if one exists. Wherever possible refer the details of procedures or processes to the "Operations Manual", or "Agreed procedures", or "Agreed standards". It is easier to change a Job Description than an Operations Manual! By looking at the list in Paragraph V below you will find that you will be able to group some tasks under these headings.

IV.Job Description Template

Use the following headings:
&bullJob Title
&bullWhere based (Business, unit, section - if applicable)
&bullPosition reports to (Line Manager, Supervisor etc)
&bullJob Purpose Summary (Ideally one line or sentence)
&bullKey Responsibilities and Accountabilities (8 - 15 numbered points in order of importance if possible)
&bullDimensions (The areas to which responsibilities extend e.g. staff, customers, territory, products, equipment, premises etc.)
&bullDate and any other references necessary

V.Writing Job Descriptions

Group and allocate the list of responsibilities you have compiled in Paragraph III above into the following general areas, in order of importance to the role, if applicable:

&bullCommunicating (With whom, what, how)
&bullPlanning and/or organizing (What)
&bullManaging (People, recruiting, assessing, training)
&bullMonitoring and/or reporting (What)
&bullEvaluating and deciding (What)
&bullFinancial budgeting and control (Of what)
&bullProducing things (What)
&bullMaintaining/repairing things (What)
&bullQuality control (Of what)
&bullCreating and/or developing things (What)
&bullUsing equipment and/or systems (What)
&bullSelf development

Senior roles may also include items such as:

&bullDeveloping policy
&bullCorporate responsibilities
&bullDeveloping strategic direction as part of a Strategic Business Plan

An example of a Job Description is given below.

Page 1 of 1
26 July 2007

JOB TITLE - Operations Manager

BASED AT - Head Office

REPORTS TO - Board of Directors

JOB PURPOSE - To manage and oversee the day-to-day operations of (Company) production facilities in a profitable manner. Plans and schedules production through all studios, in all company locations, supervises staff to achieve the schedules and oversees marketing and customer service functions.


�Ensure effective allocation of resources across all areas of the operation to accomplish expanding customer driven priorities. This includes work allocation, staff training, problem resolution, evaluating performance, and motivating employees to achieve peak productivity.

�Plans and coordinates the business functions of the organization, to include customer service, and marketing and advertising activities.

�Participates in the development of operating goals and objectives, recommends, implements and administers methods and procedures to enhance operations.

�Monitor profitability of operation by reviewing costs against budgets set.

�Monitor marketplace and recommend strategies and business plans to increase (Company's) share of the potential market, to improve competitiveness.

�To monitor performance ensuring the operation is totally customer focused.

�Balance market growth with organizational ability to follow through on implementation.

�Participates in the development of the Strategic Business Plan

�Provide reports for Board of Directors as required

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