Job description

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A job description is a list that a person might use for general tasks, or functions, and responsibilities of a position. It may often include to whom the position reports, specifications such as the qualifications or skills needed by the person in the job, or a salary range. Job descriptions are usually narrative,[1] but some may instead comprise a simple list of competencies; for instance, strategic human resource planning methodologies may be used to develop a competency architecture for an organization, from which job descriptions are built as a shortlist of competencies.

According to Torrington, A job description is usually developed by conducting a job analysis, which includes examining the tasks and sequences of tasks necessary to perform the job. The analysis considers the areas of knowledge and skills needed for the job. A job usually includes several roles. According to Hall, The job description might be broadened to form a person specification or may be known as Terms Of Reference. The person/job specification can be presented as a stand alone document though in practice, it is usually included within the job description. A job description is often used in employment (a new position that needs to be filled).

Roles and responsibilities[edit]

A job description may include relationships with other people in the organization: Supervisory level, managerial requirements, and relationships with other colleagues.


A job description need not be limited to explaining the current situation, or work that is currently expected; it may also set out goals for what might be achieved in the future.


Prescriptive job descriptions may be seen as a hindrance in certain circumstances:[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Torrington & Hall. Personnel Management: A New Approach. Prentice Hall International. p. 205. ISBN 0-13-658501-9. 
  2. ^ Ungerson, 1983