The Importance of a Job Description

Employee DirectionVery often it is not only the employee induction that are totally neglected but also the new employee’s Job Description.

More and more we find that HR Managers and other people responsible for the Job Description and the
compiling of Job Descriptions has a misconception Employment Contract are the same thing. How often have you heard “It is in your Job Description” but when you ask to see it you are referred to your Employment Contract.

The two are miles apart and most of the time the Employment Contract is a watered down version of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. The Job Description on the other hand is the result of a thorough Job Analysis that was done on the specific job function.

All jobs consist of a sequence of tasks performed to achieve a predefined end result. The Job Analysis breaks down the process into these tasks and then assigns importance to each task.

It is the task of the person doing the analysis to establish the following factors that contributes towards the final Job Description.

  • Difficulty of each task.
  • Skill level required to perform each task.
  • Position alignment within the organizational structure.
  • Knowledge required performing these tasks.
  • Importance of the task within the complete process.

The Job Analysis is therefore mostly part of a Time and Method Study or Job Observation Analysis and forms the basis of Human Resource Management and Performance measurement.
Depending on the importance level assigned these tasks becomes part of your Key Performance Areas (KPA’S). The Job Description finally becomes a summarized version of a Job Analysis.

The Job Description is a presentation of:

  • Clarification of the title.
  • Responsibilities of the person within the organization.
  • Duties towards the organization, fellow employees and customers.
  • Tasks that is required to ensure the role is effectively executed.
  • Skill level required to perform the duties and responsibilities described.
  • Limits and limitations of authority.
The most important use of the Job description is the guidance it provides the employee to perform at a productive level. The Job Description basically tells him what is expected, what he can do and what the end result should be.

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