The Basics of an Effective Job Description

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Your chances of successfully attracting and keeping a new employee will be much greater if you gave careful thought to the duties of the job and communicated these expectations to a prospective employee. Written job descriptions are an important aid to this communication. The following illustrates the basic components of an effective job description:

Job Title: Whatever title you select must accurately reflect the duties of the job. It should also indicate where the employee will fit into the business hierarchy (i.e. a senior or assistant position).
Position Summary: This brief narrative contains information on essential duties, specific skills or licenses needed, special equipment used in the position, and physical abilities necessary to perform the job.
Responsibilities and Tasks: Usually starting with the most important task or the one to which the employee will devote the largest share of his or her time. State the major tasks and, if necessary, the sub-tasks that are essential for the position.
Qualifications: Itemize the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics that an individual must have to perform the job duties.
Supervision: Indicate how this position is supervised or to whom the person in this position will report.
Work Environment: Give an idea of the nature of the working conditions (i.e. how much work is performed inside vs. outside, the type and condition of equipment to be used, etc.)


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