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Job Description Guidelines

Job Description Purpose:

  • Identify essential functions of the job (WorldatWork, 2006);
  • Provide the employee and management with a clear understanding of the essential set of purpose and function of the position;
  • Deternine the grade of the position;
  • Describe the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) for recruitment and to develop/communicate hiring specifications; and
  • To provide for effective training and development and serve as the basis for performance expectations. 

Procedure:

  • It is the manager's responsibility to draft and update a complete job description
  • All job descriptions should be completed on the approved university Job Description Form
    • Updates of content to the job description that do not alter the duties or responsibilities by more than 30% may be submitted via email to compensation@depaul.edu
    • Major and other minor revisions (title, department, supervisor) are submitted via PeopleSoft’s Position Data Request  (you must be signed in to Campus Connection in order for link to work)

Job Description Features:

Job Elements

Required Certifications

Summary

Physical Requirements

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Other Required Skills & Abilities

Managerial/Supervisory Responsibilities

Other Information

Financial Responsibility & Dimensions

Completed By

Education & Experience

Finalizing the Job Description

Job Elements:   

 

Begin by entering the job information where indicated in the boxed area of the form. See "To Be Completed By Manager" on the form.

Summary:    

The Summary answers these questions:

  • Why does the job exist?
  • What are the person's primary accountabilities?
  • What is the overall expected end result of the job?

The Summary is succinct and no more than three to five sentences. It should be specific to the job, not a general statement. It may be easier to write the general summary after completing the other sections of the job description.

Example:
-Perform corporate communications assignments involving advertising and public relations. Serve as liaisons with outside agencies, and may assist with internal corporate communications. Works to establish and maintain positive organizational representation and social responsibility. 

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:    

  • Identify five principal responsibilities or essential functions that are vital to the position.
  • Estimate the percentage of time spent on each responsibility, totaling 100%.
  • List in order of importance, including any duty requiring 10% or more of the position's time.
  • Expand each responsibility to include two or three concise job duty statements specific to the job.
  • Structure sentences in the format of verb/object/explanatory phrase.
    - The explanatory phrase should clarify the how, where, why and how often

Action Verb Object Result
What is done... To what or whom... ...with what outcome
Example: (continued) (continued)
1) Develops and implements policies and procedures to ensure efficient and safe operations of the unit/university
2) Manages budget preparation and control, accounting, purchasing, and business planning and management in order to ensure compliance with university policies and procedures, state and federal regulations
3) Writes, edits, and reviews public relation materials (fact sheets, articles, newsletters and speeches) to provide a positive image for the university in the media
4) Develop, construct and maintain mechanical and electrical components and apparatus to ensure appropriate equipment is in working order for teaching and research to be carried out

  • Use action verbs in the present tense.
  • Include only current duties.  Do not include duties that may be required in the future or as the job evolves.
  • Acronyms should be spelled out.
  • Do no use general modifiers that allow for misinterpretation such as "several", "occassionally", "sometimes", etc.
  • Write the duties in terms of what the position requires in terms of business need.   Do not bas the position duties on the personal capabilities of any individual.
  • Indicate the kind of decisions made in this position.
  • Indicate the kinds of decisions that are referred to the next level.  Consider to what extent the employee's work is checked by another, and how this is accomplished.

    NOTE:  The job description is not an exhaustive list of every task the incumbent performs. Job descriptions that are too detailed are difficult to keep up to date.

Managerial/Supervisory Responsibilities:    

  • Indicate the number of direct reports (and whether it is FT/PT Staff or Students) and percentage of time spent in supervisory duties. Explain the supervisory role in hiring, firing, promoting, evaluating, increasing salaries, etc. of other employees. Does the position carry “lead” responsibility? Explain how, and to what extent, the work of others is checked by the employee.
  • If this section is not applicable please indicate by marking the template "No Supervisory Duties".

Example(s):
-Resolves issues and contribute to the business unit/area development.
-Has responsibility for all staff hiring, firing, performance appraisals, and pay reviews for 6 full-time staff within the department.
 

Financial Responsibility and Dimensions:   

Indicate the job’s annualized financial accountabilities:

  • Size of budget dollars
  • Dollar value of assets under the job’s direct control/authority

Include the type of work the employee is expected to perform including:

  • Planning/authorizing department budget, grant budget, etc.
  • Calculating and verifying figures
  • Gathering and reconciling data
  • Completing requisitions or budget documents
  • Monitoring or analyzing expenditures
  • Preparing reports
  • Approving purchases

Example:
-Responsible for the planning, analysis, and reconcilement of an annual budget of approximately $10 million.

Education and Experience:   

  • Minimum level of education required or equivalent work experience
  • Quantified minimum level of specific work experience required (and what type of experience)
  • Preferred education and experience

Example(s):
-Requires a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communication, public relations or equivalent work experience.
-Six or more years of public relations experience and at least three years of leadership responsibility are required.

Required Certifications/Licenses:   

  • Required certification or licenses
  • Preferred certification or licenses

Example(s):
-CPA required. 
-Progress toward CPA is preferred.

Physical Requirements:   

  • Any physical demands that must be met by the incumbent to successfully perform the principal responsibilities of the position.

Example:
-Must be able to stand for extended periods of time.

Other Required Skills and Abilities:   

  • Skills and abilities which are necessary for the position (e.g., keyboard skills, software such as Microsoft Office, Competencies, etc.).

Example(s):
-Excellent oral and written communication skills.
-Ability to interact with stakeholders with tact and diplomacy.
-Ability to handle confidential information.
-Ability to handle multiple priorities and meet deadlines in a fast paced environment.

Other Information:   

  • Travel (percentage of time).
  • Extended weekend or evening work hours expected.
  • Any other information that is not adequately covered in other sections AND is important to understanding the job.

Example(s):
-Occasional weekend and evening hours may be requires during peak times
-Attendance at all planned functions is required
-This position requires domestic and international travel 20% of the time

Completed By:   

  • Completed by: The name of the manager/supervisor completing the job description.
  • Reviewed by: Second level managerial review.

Example:
-Completed By:  Jon Smith, Director Compensation
-Reviewed by (2nd level approver):  Jane Doe, Assoc. VP Compensation & Benefits

Finalizing the Job Description:   

After you have completed the job description, ask yourself:

  • Is it logically organized and describes all essential functions through principal duties and responsibilities?
  • Does it outline the minimum education and experience required to perform the essential functions of the position successfully?
  • Does it avoid using vague terms? Is it clear and current?
  • Is it specific in explaining what is done and why? Are good examples used to illustrate complex and abstract issues?
  • Is it concise? Are major duties addressed, rather than giving a detail list of tasks?
  • Does it contain only material describing the position? Are personal references to the incumbent avoided?
  • Does the job description provide a valuable introduction to a new employee in the position?

 

Job Description Tools:

 

Position Request Tools:

Overview of the Job Description Process
Job Description Form

 

Desk Reference for Position Data Requests