Step 2 - The Job Description

The foundation of a successful recruitment process relies on a position description which accurately enumerates the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to effectively perform the job and describes the job’s purpose and essential functions.

For existing positions - the hiring supervisor should review the present position description to ensure that it accurately reflects current accountabilities and qualifications.

For new positions – the hiring supervisor should develop a new position description as described below:

  1. General information related to the position such as title, department, supervisor, etc. For a new position Incumbent information should be left blank. FLSA Status indicates if the position is Exempt (Salary/Management) or Non-Exempt (Hourly) position as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  2. Position summary - one or two sentences to briefly describe the position's basic functions.
  3. Reporting Relationships / Direct reports – This section lists positions which directly and indirectly report to this position and departments/positions that interact with this position on a regular basis. Includes statements of authority vested in the position and extent to which expertise in specialized fields of knowledge is vested in the position. If completing this section, an organizational chart must also be provided.
  4. Principal Accountabilities – List the primary tasks and responsibilities the job performs and the end results to be achieved. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it unlawful to discriminate in employment practices and protects qualified individuals with disabilities from employment discrimination. For ADA compliance, the essential functions that an employee must be able to perform, with or without a reasonable accommodation should be enumerated in this section.
    1. Essential Functions - A job function is essential if removing the function would fundamentally change the position. The employee must be able to perform these functions, with or without reasonable accommodation.
    2. Non Essential Functions - Functions that while important to the position could be redesigned or reassigned to other employees, if necessary. All Position Descriptions should include following statement “Other duties as assigned:Participates in all aspects of program and department planning and in the establishment of department goals and objectives” as found on the template. Supervisors may include additional non-essential functions as necessary for each position.

Some questions to consider in determining if a function is essential may include:

  • Does the position exist to perform the function? If yes, the function is essential.
  • How will the University or department be impacted if the function is not performed? If failure to perform the function has adverse effects, it is likely an essential job function.
  • Can the function only be performed by a limited number of employees? If yes, then it is likely an essential job function
  • Does the function require specialized expertise or skills? If yes, then it is likely an essential job function.
  • How much time is normally spent performing the particular function? The more time spent, the more likely it is that the function is considered essential.

The format below may help create statements about essential functions:

What is the action being performed? To whom or what? For what purpose?
Use action verbs such as:
Collects, Conducts, Compiles, Creates, Designs, Drives, Operates, Produces, etc
 Object of verb  The end result
1.Creates  flow charts  for monthly presentations.
2. Produces  weekly reports  for executive meetings.

Working Conditions - a description of the environment where the position is performed. May include information related to:

  1. the physical layout of the work-site
  2. equipment that is used
  3. is work performed in alternate or off-site locations?
  4. Independent or group work?
  5. Working with public?

Environmental conditions where the essential functions are performed such as:

  • Exposure to weather
  • Hot or cold environment
  • Inside or outside
  • Noise levels
  • Lighting
  • Ventilation

Minimum Qualifications - This section describes the minimum knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that are required to perform the essential functions of the position with a reasonable expectation of success, within an acceptable time frame. In some instances, knowledge may be gained through some combination of education, training and/or previous experience and should be noted accordingly. This section will generally include 6 areas:

  1. Education
  2. Work Experience
  3. Professional Certification or Licensure
  4. Training
  5. Knowledge areas
  6. Skills

Physical Requirements Check-Off Form – used to indicate the physical abilities that are directly related to the essential functions of the job and the amount of time typically spent.

Upon completion, the final position description should be forwarded to Human Resources for review.

Job Description Template