Job Descriptions and Specifications


the output of job analysis is used to

develop a job description and its job

specifications a job description

identifies the jobs tasks duties and

responsibilities it describes what is

done why it's done where it's done and

briefly how it's done well the job

description outlines activities to be

done the job specifications lists the

knowledge skills and abilities known as

KSA's an individual needs to perform the

job satisfactorily KSA's might include

education experience work skill

requirements personal abilities and

mental and physical requirements a

person needs to do the job but not

necessarily the current employees

qualifications performance standards

flow directly from a job description and

indicate what the job accomplishes and

how performance is measured in key areas

of the job description if employees know

what's expected and how performance is

measured they'll have a better chance of

performing satisfactorily performance

standards must be communicated to

employees if the job descriptions are to

be effective tools a typical Job

Description contains several major parts

following will present an overview of

the most common components each

organization formats job descriptions in

the way best suited for its inherent

culture and management practices

consistency of information and

formatting across the organization's job

descriptions ensures uniformity the

first part of a job description is the

identification section which includes

the job title department reporting

relationships location and date of

analysis it's advisable to note other

information that's useful in tracking

jobs and employees through HR systems

additional items commonly noted in the

identification section are a job code

pay grade exempt non-exempt status under

the Fair Labor Standards Act and the

EEOC classification from the EEO one


the general summary is a concise

statement of the general

responsibilities and components that

make the job different from others

simply put in 30 words or less describe

the essence of the job often the summary

is written after all other sections are

completed so that a more complete

overview is prepared the essential

functions and duties are generally

listed in order of importance in this

component of the job description it

contains clear precise statements of the

major tasks duties and responsibilities

performed in the job writing this

section is often the most time-consuming

aspect of preparing job descriptions

because of the amount of detail of

information reported the qualifications

needed to perform the job satisfactorily

are identified in the job specification

section the job specifications typically

are stated as knowledge skills and

abilities education and experience and

physical requirements and working

conditions the components of job

specifications provide necessary

information to determine things like

accommodations that might or might not

be possible under the Americans with

Disabilities Act many job descriptions

include approval signatures by

appropriate managers and a legal

disclaimer the disclaimer allows

employers to change employee's job

duties or to request employees to

perform duties not listed so the job

description is not viewed as a contract

between the employer and employee the

critical end-product of job analysis is

job descriptions which identify the key

tasks duties and responsibilities of

jobs and job specifications which lists

the knowledge skills and abilities

needed to perform the job satisfactorily