How to write an effective job description
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How to write an effective job description. East Carolina University Department of Human Resources. Step 1: perform a job analysis. What is a job analysis?.

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How to write an effective job description

How to write an effective job description

East Carolina University Department of Human Resources

What is a job analysis
What is a job analysis?

  • A job analysis is the process used to collect information about the duties, responsibilities, necessary skills, outcomes, and work environment of a particular job.

  • The job analysis may include these activities:

    • reviewing the job responsibilities of current employees,

    • doing Internet research and viewing sample job descriptions online or offline highlighting similar jobs,

    • analyzing the work duties, tasks, and responsibilities that need to be accomplished by the employee filling the position,

    • researching and sharing with other companies that have similar jobs, and

    • communicating the most important outcomes or contributions needed from the position.

Factors to consider in job analysis
Factors to consider in job analysis

  • Labor Market Resources

  • Equipment or Work Process Alternatives

  • Competing Demands for Funds and Space

  • Overall Goal or Program Priorities

  • Reorganization of Current Work Responsibilities

What to outline in your job analysis
What to outline in your Job analysis?

  • What are your staffing needs?

  • Where will this position fit within your current organizational design?

  • Why will the job exist?

  • What are the qualifications needed?

  • What are the mental/physical tasks that will be involved with this position?

  • What are the methods and or equipment that will be used?

What is a job description
What is a job description?

  • Snapshot of a specific job

  • Legal document

  • Sets clear expectations for the employee

  • Provides an opportunity to clearly communicate your organization’s direction

  • Tells the employee where he or she fits inside of the big picture.

  • Helps organization employees, who must work with the person hired, understand the boundaries of the person's responsibilities.

What resources should i use
What resources should I use?

  • Job analysis information

  • Other staff

  • External sources (i.e outside agencies, websites, professional requirements)

  • Existing job descriptions

  • Competency Profile (only as a guide- do not copy word for word!!)

  • If reclassifying a position, use the current employee as a resource.

Basic components of a job description
Basic Components of a job description

  • These are the basic components of the job description:

    • Overall position description with general areas of responsibility listed,

    • Essential functions of the job described with a couple of examples of each,

    • Required knowledge, skills, and abilities,

    • Required education and experience,

Components of the ecu job description
Components of the ecu job description

  • Identifying Information (i.e. department, work hours, etc.)

  • Primary Purpose of the Organizational Unit

  • Primary Purpose of the Position

  • Change in Responsibilities or Organizational Relationship

  • Description of Work

  • Competencies

  • Preferred Education and Experience

  • ADA Checklist

  • Organizational Chart

Primary purpose of the organizational unit
Primary purpose of the organizational unit

  • A general description of the organizational unit

  • Description of the programs and services to be provided

Primary purpose of the position
Primary purpose of the position

  • Summary of the job responsibilities

  • Brief paragraph

  • No specific details of responsibilities

  • Overall objective of the position

    Example: Under the general supervision of the department head, provides a broad range of secretarial and office management services in support of teaching, research, and administrative functions of the department.

Change in responsibilities or organizational relationship
Change in responsibilities or organizational relationship

  • Organizational changes, restructuring, change in duties

  • Be specific

  • How does it affect position?

  • How does it affect relationships within the unit?

    Example: Due to the restructuring of the department, this position will now be assigned budgetary functions to include various line item accounts such as travel, equipment, and supplies. These functions were previously assigned to position 123456, Accounting Technician Contributing. Position 123456 will not be filled and will be abolished.

Description of work
Description of work

  • Detailed description of duties to be assigned

  • Related to competencies required

  • Discuss supervisory responsibilities, complexity, accountability, etc.

  • List in order of importance

  • Percentage of time assigned

  • Indicate how this will be measured


  • Brief summary of the competencies needed for the position

  • List technical, educational, managerial, physical, etc.

  • Do not copy description of work or competency profile

    Example: The employee must be able to work effectively with people in a constantly changing environment, communicate clearly with others, be comfortable training users, and have considerable knowledge and understanding of computer technology and how it relates to libraries. He/she must possess a thorough knowledge of operating systems, and the capabilities and limitations of computer and peripheral equipment. In addition, he/she must have a thorough knowledge of the principles and techniques of computer applications and documentation; the ability to comprehend, analyze, and interpret programming needs.

Preferred education and experience
Preferred education and experience

  • Must be no less than Minimum T&E for Class

  • May include specific certifications

  • May include specific training or skills

    Example: Additional training and experience include one year programming experience with a working knowledge of at least one high-level programming language such as C++, Cold Fusion, C#, or PHP; working knowledge of relational database systems such as MS SQL, Oracle, MySQL, or Sybase; web development experience; knowledge of designing relational databases, HTML programming experience; experience in an academic library preferred.

When should you review update your job description
When should you review/ update your job description?

  • Job Change

  • New Leadership

  • Prior to Posting Vacant Position

  • Reorganization

  • Should be reviewed every year during annual evaluation period to assess changes