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Job Description (JD)

Job Description and Job Specification


Job description and job specification are the names given to the written and specially
designed summary of significant findings from job analysis. Actually these are the by-
products of job analysis process. Though both are the descriptions but they give different
information. Thus, both these documents are distinct and different in nature but both are
complementary. Both help in the proper selection, training and development program as
well as in job evaluation.

1. While job description contains the main characteristics of the job, job specification
is the outline of personnel qualification regarded as essential to .perform the job.
2. Job description describes in full about the job while job specification describes
person's ability and qualifications required to perform the job.
3. Job description is the standard of job while job specification is the reflection of the
ideal person required to do the job.

Definition of Job Description

Edwin B. Flippo: "The first and immediate product of the job analysis is the job
description. As its title indicates, this document is basically descriptive in nature and
constitutes a record of existing and pertinent job facts."

Contents of Job Description

1. Proper job title: The job title should be short, definite and suggestive of the nature
of the job. The desirable qualities of job-holder should be clear from the title so that
every job should be distinguished from one another.

2. Job summary: The findings of the job analysis should be summarized so that all
the necessary facts may be incorporated in paragraphs to make it convenient to identify
the job. Primary, secondary and job other duties to be performed on the job should clearly
be indicated separately.

3. Job location: It is where i.e., in what department the job is to be performed. It


should be given in the description.

4. Duties and responsibilities: The duties and responsibilities to be performed on the


job should be written in the job description arranged in chronological order with proper
classification as primary, secondary and other duties. Time taken in performing the job
and sub-jobs should also, be mentioned.

5. Degree of supervision: The degree of supervision, required on each job should be


mentioned in job description, while unskilled job require close supervision skilled or
supervisory or managerial jobs require less supervision or no supervision.

6. Required machines, tools and materials: The machines, tools, equipment and
materials required in the performance of each job should also be included in job
description to indicate the nature and complexity of the job and help devising the training
programmes.

7. Description of relation to other jobs: Description of relation to other jobs


intensifies the vertical relationship of promotion and horizontal relationship of work-flow
and procedures.

8. Description of working conditions: The description of working conditions, the


job hazards and physical surroundings within the working area will be helpful in job
evaluation.

9. Description of amendments: Job description should be elastic enough as to


incorporate all necessary amendments from time to time to make it up-to-date.

10. Mention of policies: The policies for the job-holder should be mentioned in the
job description.

Uses of Job Description


1. Preliminary drafts can be used as a basis for productive group discussion,
particularly if the process starts at the executive level.

2. It aids in the development of jobs specifications, which are useful in planning


recruitment, in training and in hiring people with required skills.
3. It can be used to orient new employees toward basic responsibilities and duties.
4. It is a basic document used in developing performance standards.
5. It can be used for job evaluation, a wage and salary administration technique.
6. It enables the manager to frame suitable questions to be asked during an interview.
It is particularly helpful when the application from is used as a tool for eliminating the
unfit personnel.
A job description becomes a vehicle for organizational change and improvement. It
helps top executives, to jointly discuss one another's responsibilities. Overlapping or
confusion can be pointed out; questions can be raised about the major thrust of each
position, and problems of structure can be identified.

Limitations of Job Description

1. Job descriptions do not perfectly reflect the job. They seek to differentiate it
from other jobs and set its outer limits
2. Jobs tend to be dynamic, not static, and a job description can quickly go out
of date. Therefore, jobs should be constantly revised and kept up-to-date.

The job description helps in preparing specification for each job. So it is a product of
job analysis. It is a statement of maximum acceptable human qualities necessary to
perform job satisfactorily. It is a written record of the physical, mental, social,
psychological and behavioral characteristics which a person should possess in order to
perform the job effectively.

Edwin B Flippo defines, “ A job specification is a statement of minimum acceptable


human qualities necessary to perform a job properly.
The above definition reveals the following aspect of job specification.
1. it is a statement which shows a summary of personnel requirements for a job
2. it specifies the type of person required in terms of qualification, experience,
aptitude, age etc.
3. it is also treated as a standard of personnel for the selection
In short, job specification is a profile list of personal qualification and personal traits
deemed necessary for a job. In other words, job specification is the requirements in terms
of qualification, experience, technical and human skills and other personal characteristics
to perform the work effectively. It tells what kind of person is required for a given job.
.

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Contents of a Job Specification

1. Physical characteristics: These include height, weight, sight, physical


structure, health, etc.
2. Psychological characteristics: These include decision making ability,
analytical view, mental ability, etc.
3. Personal characteristics: These include behavior, mental stability,
enthusiasm, leadership qualities, etc.
4. Personnel characteristics: This means the sense of responsibility in a person
to be appointed on the job.
5. Responsibility: A person’s sense of responsibility towards a particular job
should be clearly indicated. Example, responsibility for equipment, office records etc
5. Qualifications and experience: These include academic qualification,
experience, training, etc.

Both job description and job specification are interrelated as well as important tool in
the job study they are important by products of job analysis. Both serve as a basis for
scientific selection, promotion, training and development programs. A job description is
the standard description of the job while a job specification is the main specification. Job
description tells what it to be done and what is the nature of job; on the other hand, job
specification tells us what qualities are needed in the prospective job holder.

SAMPLE OF JOB SPECIFICATION

JS FOR AN OPERATOR
Physical reqmt. Good health, muscular energy
education Minimum 8th standard
Work experience Not essential, but a history of work performed in similar capacity is desirable.
aptitude Should have the ability to learn

Personal Should be emotionally stable and have


characteristics the ability to adapt himself to varying
working conditions and get along
with individuals