Purpose of job description

why are job descriptions important ? Functions / benefits of job description include 5 elements as follows:

1. Purpose of job description for human resources department

Functions / benefits of job description include elements as follows:

Recruitment and Selection:

  • As a mechanism for recruitment (determining qualifications)
  • Recruit for vacancies
  • Counsel people on career opportunities and their vocational interests
  • provide guidelines for the recruitment process;

Training and development:

  • For advising on employee training and development
  • Identify training requirements;

Performance Appraisal:

  • For establishing and updating performance standards
  • Establish performance requirements
  • Identify a performance standard of work that can be measured in terms of quality, quantity, time and cost;

Human resource planning

  • For reorganization/realignment/reductions in force planning.
  • For succession planning or organizational development (for example, what additional tasks can be applied for the growth of the organization as a whole?).

Human resource information system

  • Clearly define channels of communication;
  • Assign occupational codes, titles and/or pay levels to jobs
  • For developing internal and/or external announcements

People management

  • Obtain mutual agreement between supervisors and subordinates with regards to the functions, job content and the performance standard attached to a specific post.
  • For assigning jobs.


Job description can be used in compensation to identify or determine:

  • Job factors of compensation.
  • Work environment (e.g., hazards; attention; physical effort) etc

Compliance with labour law

  • For determining Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) status (exempt or nonexempt).
  • Check for compliance with legal requirements related to equal opportunity, equal pay, overtime eligibility, etc.

2. Purpose of job description for employee

An employee uses a position description:

  • For understanding and establishing training objectives and developmental goals / objects.
  • As a tool to understand his/her area of responsibility.
  • For understanding new assignments and/or working conditions
  • As a jump start for recommending improvement to work

3. Purpose of job description for supervisor or manager

A supervisor or manager uses position descriptions:

  • Introduce new employees to their positions
  • To clearly delineate work assignments and detect overlaps or gaps in those assignments
  • As tools to manage their organizations
  • Basis for developing performance plans
  • Assist employees to acquire a greater understanding of their assigned duties
  • Reassign and/or fix functions and responsibilities of their assigned organization
  • Evaluate work performance.
  • Assist in hiring and placing employees in positions for which they are best suited
  • Improve work-flow and technical for work accomplishment
  • Make decisions concerning reorganizations / realignments / reductions in force

Related documents:

Author: Davi Ngo, hrvinet.com

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