The Importance of a Job Description

Don't expect engagement from people not knowing what to do

Very often it is not only the employee induction that is totally neglected but also the new employee’s Job Description. It is necessary to have a specific job description design structure in place.

More and more we find that HR Managers and other people responsible for the Job Description and the
compiling of Job Descriptions have 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 for yourself you are referred to your Employment Contract.

If not in my contract where is it then?

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.

To make the leadership task easier it is important that each team member knows exactly what to do. 

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

Designing a job description is not that difficult.
  • The difficulty of each task.
  • Skill level required to perform each task.
  • Position alignment within the organizational structure.
  • Knowledge required for performing these tasks.
  • Importance of the task within the complete process.

    How do I make sure the Job Description is in compliance

    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 are 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.


    Question: Do you put in an effort to have descriptive Job descriptions in place that remove any doubt of what the employee's tasks are?

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