Concept of Job Description
A job description is a functional description of the contents and contexts of the job. Job description narrates the various features and contents of a job. It is a written statement that identifies, describes, and defines job’s duties, responsibilities, working conditions etc. It is a document showing a brief summary of task requirements which explains the constitute elements of job in an organized way. It may include relationships with other people in the organization: Supervisory level, managerial requirements, and relationships with other colleagues.
Job description discloses what an incumbent is supposed to do, how the task is to be done. The data to be included in the job description statement is usually determined by the job analyst to make the document more reliable and informative. Moreover, the information is, in turn, used to write a job specification statement showing the minimum requirement of skill, knowledge, and ability to perform a specific task. It generally includes duties, purpose, responsibilities, scope, and working conditions of a job along with the job’s title, and the name or designation of the person to whom the employee reports.
Thus, a job description is the listing of job tasks, duties, and responsibilities which depicts a brief summary of the job in terms of nature and types. Finally, when used as a means to communicate expectations, job descriptions can also be used as a basis for performance management. For the employee, having a clear job description allows them to understand the responsibilities and duties that are required and expected of them.
Prescriptive job descriptions may be seen as a hindrance in certain circumstances:
- Job descriptions may not be suitable for some senior managers as they should have the freedom to take the initiative and find fruitful new directions;
- Job descriptions may be too inflexible in a rapidly changing organization, for instance in an area subject to rapid technological change;
- Other changes in job content may lead to the job description being out of date;
- The process that an organization uses to create job descriptions may not be optimal.