Job Descriptions Training for Supervisors

INTRODUCTION

Job descriptions can be very useful to employers, employees
and job applicants when carefully written and kept up-to-date.
Job descriptions outline the responsibilities for an employee’s
work. They also serve as a tool to help employers gauge
employee performance and for recruiting/selecting candidates.
This presentation will address the importance of having job
descriptions, what to include and tips for writing job descriptions.
This sample presentation is intended for presentation to new
supervisors and to experienced supervisors who need refresher
training. It is designed to be presented by an individual who is
knowledgeable in developing job descriptions. This is a sample
presentation that must be customized to include and match the
employer’s own policies and practices.

©SHRM 2008

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• Explain the difference between job descriptions and position descriptions.OBJECTIVES At the close of this session you will be able to: • State what a job description is. • Cite the reasons why it is important to have well-written and updated job descriptions. ©SHRM 2008 3 . • Outline what should be included in a job description. • State what job specifications are. • Cite tips for writing job descriptions.

specific responsibilities and duties and the employee characteristics required to perform the job.WHAT IS A JOB DESCRIPTION? A job description is a written description of a job which includes information regarding the general nature of the work to be performed. ©SHRM 2008 4 .

desired experience and specialized skills or knowledge required. They list any educational requirements. ©SHRM 2008 5 . Job specifications complement job descriptions.WHAT ARE JOB SPECIFICATIONS? Job specifications are the personal/individual requirements expected from the employee.

They include general responsibilities and duties as well as the employee characteristics required. • Position descriptions customize responsibilities to departmental needs including supervisory relationships. ©SHRM 2008 6 .JOB DESCRIPTIONS VS. They focus on outcomes and accountabilities rather than duties. POSITION DESCRIPTIONS  Job descriptions document the general nature of the work to be performed. They define the employee’s specific duties and are used to manage performance. They are used for job classification and as a basis for position descriptions.

> Focus on the work not the person. Avoid the “wish list” of skills or personality traits. Consider future department/company needs: Keep in mind the changing needs of the department/company to help identify gaps in workforce. concise and easily understood language Allow for flexibility. ©SHRM 2008 7 . > Organize the list from most essential tasks to least essential tasks. > Speak with managers/department heads/major decision makers to determine future hiring needs. > • List job tasks by priority.TIPS FOR WRITING JOB DESCRIPTIONS • Focus solely on the job. > • • • • Use action verbs (See examples in Appendix A) Use clear.

> • Setting the “bar” too high or too low can affect candidate pool.TIPS FOR WRITING JOB DESCRPTIONS (CONT’D) • • Be specific. Solicit information from employees.” “occasionally. disability. > • Example of what to avoid: Heavy lifting required .” and “periodically”. gender.. etc. > • Define terms like “may. color. ©SHRM 2008 8 . > • Have reasonable expectations. managers/supervisors. race. Be consistent. etc.only male candidates will be considered for heavy lifting positions or bilingual ability required – only Hispanics will be considered. Obtain input from others. Include a miscellaneous clause (i.e. Avoid any reference to protected class or prejudicial language (i.). nation origin.e. other duties as assigned)..

> Use titles that are common in your industry. > • Employment status > • Full-time. FLSA status (exempt or nonexempt) ©SHRM 2008 9 . Temporary. responsibility and type of work. Part-time.WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A JOB DESCRIPTION? • Title Communicates the level.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A JOB DESCRIPTION? (CONT’D) • Location: Address and/or city where job will be located.e. > ©SHRM 2008 1 . > Add scope of authority (i. hiring/firing). > Include information if position does not report to a specific location. > Include description of complex tasks. > Incorporate decision-making requirements. skills and abilities necessary to perform job. > • Duties/responsibilities: > List duties/tasks: • Major or minor • Include essential functions of the job Include knowledge..

etc. Certified Nursing Assistant. > Certifications: • Examples: PHR/SPHR/GPHR. Certified Compensation Professional. PhD. • Include information if years of experience in other industries will be considered. Certified National Real Estate Agent. MBA. Certified Financial Planner. • Include information if equivalent combination of education and/or work experience (as opposed to education only) will be considered. > Education: • High School Diploma or equivalent.WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A JOB DESCRIPTION (CONT’D) • Qualifications > Work experience: • Years in field required. etc. Electrician. ©SHRM 2008 1 . Certified Public Accountant. BA/BS.

Desired work traits (ability to work independently. etc. Lawyers. etc) > ©SHRM 2008 1 . overtime consideration. Dietician/Nutritionist. etc) > Computer skills > Communication/Interpersonal skills > • Special considerations (working conditions): Physical requirements > Travel > Work hours (on-call.WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A JOB DESCRIPTION (CONT’D) • Qualifications (cont’d): > Licenses: Examples: Doctors. Nurses.

Supports the succession planning process. Serves as tool for recruitment and employee selection. Limits legal exposure to issues such as equal opportunity and discrimination laws. Helps to establish pay levels. nonexempt).IMPORTANCE OF A WELL-WRITTEN AND UPDATED JOB DESCRIPTION • • • • • • • • • • Establishes responsibilities. Establishes performance guidelines. Assists in determinations of American with Disabilities Act (ADA) reasonable accommodation. ©SHRM 2008 1 . Helps to manage employee expectations. Aids in the establishment of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) classification (exempt vs. Assists with employee career development.

and the employee characteristics required to perform the job. desired experience and specialized skills or knowledge required. specific responsibilities and duties. Position descriptions differ from job descriptions in that they customize responsibilities to departmental needs including supervisory relationships.SUMMARY • •  A job description is a written description of a job which includes information regarding the general nature of the work to be performed. They list any educational requirements. They define the employee’s specific duties and are used to manage performance. ©SHRM 2008 1 . Job specifications complement job descriptions. They focus on outcomes and accountabilities rather than duties. Job specifications are the personal/individual requirements expected from the employee.

employment status. and organizing the information by order of priority. location. duties. including accurate information. ©SHRM 2008 1 . qualifications and special considerations.SUMMARY (CONT’D) • • • Tips for writing job descriptions pertain to using effective and appropriate language. The following items should be included in a job description – title. FLSA classification. evaluate employee performance. and comply with Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and non-discrimination laws. Well-written and updated job descriptions serve as tools to help an employer with recruitment.

APPENDIX A • • • • • • • • • • • • • Accumulate Administer Advise Allocate Approve Collaborate Collect Communicate Compile Conduct Consult Counsel Create • • • • • • • • • • • • • ©SHRM 2008 Delegate Deliver Develop Direct Distribute Draft Edit Educate Establish Estimate Formulate Furnish Gather 1 .ACTION VERBS .

APPENDIX A (CONT’D) • • • • • • • • • • • • • Guide Interact Invent Issue Manage Market Motivate Negotiate Obtain Order Participate Plan Present • • • • • • • • • • • • • ©SHRM 2008 Provide Reconcile Recruit Research Review Solicit Solve Submit Supervise Supply Test Train Translate 1 .ACTION VERBS .

QUIZ 1. Why it is important to have well-written and updated job descriptions? ©SHRM 2008 1 . What are some tips to follow when writing a job description? 3. What is included in a job description? 4. What is a job description? 2.

avoid reference to protected class or prejudicial language. What is a job description? A job description is a written description of a job which includes information regarding the general nature of the work to be performed. allow flexibility. specific responsibilities and duties and the employee characteristics required to perform the job. use action verbs. ©SHRM 2008 1 .QUIZ ANSWERS 1. consider future department needs. What are some tips to consider when writing a job description? Focus on the job. etc. 2.

Education. Duties. Employment Status. FLSA Classification. Licenses and Special Considerations. Why it is important to have well-written and updated job descriptions? To help establish duties. What is included in a job description? Title. Qualifications. performance guidelines. limit legal exposure. 4. Certification. establish pay levels. Location. recruit for vacancies. career development.QUIZ ANSWERS (CONT’D) 3. ©SHRM 2008 2 . etc.

QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? ©SHRM 2008 2 .

COURSE EVALUATION • Please be sure to complete and leave the course evaluation you received with your handouts. • Thank you for your attention and interest! ©SHRM 2008 2 .