Examining the Components of a Good Job Description

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The purpose of a job description is to detail the tasks that will be required of the individual filling the position. As such, it is a multifunctional instrument that deserves consideration. A proper division of labor aids in the smooth running of a business. It’s a helpful tool for supervisors assessing worker output. This helps workers comprehend their responsibilities. In addition, it helps HR in recruiting and retaining top employees.

While it is ultimately up to the discretion of the hiring manager, a job description should include at the very least the following: the position’s title and FLSA status, a list of the essential duties and responsibilities, a list of the required skills, and a description of the physical requirements and working conditions. Other excellent sections to include and strongly suggest are those that discuss the employee’s level of supervision and salary, applicable disclaimers, and an acknowledgment section.

FLSA status

A job description should generally include whether or not the position is exempt from overtime pay. Still, it is not necessary to specify the type of exemption or the basis for the categorization. However, if the position is exempt, management should be aware of the specific exemption that applies, and the job description should reflect that status in terms of expected responsibilities. “Learned Professionals,” for instance, must have a graduate degree as a bare minimum to qualify for the exemption. We suggest further investigation if you are unsure which exception may apply to the position.

Description of the Position

As a nice-to-have, this part summarizes in a few sentences the most important responsibilities of the position. A typical summary paragraph describes the position and how it fits into the larger organization.

Important functions

Jobs have important functions, often known as vital obligations and responsibilities. The job description will mention ten to fifteen of these. The job would essentially cease or fail to perform adequately if any of them were eliminated. Although a qualifying employee with a handicap may need an accommodation to perform one or more of these duties, eliminating them as a reasonable accommodation is not an option.

Minimum Qualifications

The knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) required to do a job effectively should be included in a job description (KSAs). In this section, we’ll go through the personal qualities an employee must possess to do their work well. This position is impossible to fill without these skills. Skills that are a plus but not a must-have are distinct from the bare minimum that must be met. If these qualities are specified, they should be clearly separated in the job description. These characteristics are frequently cited as desirable in job postings. Supervising a team of two people for at least a year is a plus, and candidates with relevant job experience in the same or a similar industry are often given preference.

Work environment and physical needs

The job description describes the working environment, including noise, temperature, and the impact on people with disabilities. Information such as the employee’s mobility, the frequency with which they will lift, or the weight of objects they commonly carry might be useful.


A job description may specify the reporting structure of the role. This section or an essential function should detail any management or administrative duties associated with the position.


Depending on the company’s policy on the disclosure of salary information, certain job postings may include a reference to the pay or salary range for the position. When making this decision, it’s important to consider how often salary ranges change; if they change frequently, it may be better to keep them out of the job description and communicate them with workers one-on-one or in an offer letter.

Disclaimers, legalese, and notes

All job descriptions need to feature a standard disclaimer section. You can use or modify the words we provided in our sample job description. We suggest you include some wording on “at-will” employment. Mentioning that your business is an Equal Opportunity Employer, a drug-free workplace (if appropriate), and ADA compliant is a nice idea (albeit mostly symbolic). Any job description worth its salt will also make it clear that the tasks listed there are not the only ones that will be required of the person in this role and that the description may be modified to make it more accessible to people with different abilities.


Here, the employee declares his or her familiarity with the job, position within the company, and the duties and responsibilities that come with it. The ideal job description also includes the signature of the employee’s supervisor, who pledges to monitor the worker’s compliance with the position’s standards.