How do I write a job description

Job description - structure, content, pattern and difference to the job description

Although the personnel-specific terms “job description” and “job description” sound similar, they are two different things. Read here what makes a good job description - also called job description - so special.

You will also learn how it differs from a job description and how you can write such a description yourself.

Definition: what is a job description?

The job description contains a detailed summary of the tasks and activities of a specific job. This is a concrete summary of position-specific tasks that a job holder must fulfill in the context of his employment relationship.

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In addition to fixed processes, the job description also contains organizational information. On the basis of this, one can classify the tasks that are related to a workplace in the organizational structure. It is also possible to define skills, qualifications, goals and responsibilities around a workplace.

Although the job description is very similar to the job description, there are small but subtle differences. The precise description of the workplace ensures transparency and serves as the basis for many other processes within a company.

These include B. the following:

  • Creation / preparation of an organizational chart
  • Basis for classification in certain tariffs
  • Basis for job descriptions, especially the necessary skills

But how can job descriptions and job descriptions be distinguished from one another?

Difference between job description and job description

Even if the terms of the job description and the job description are often used synonymously, there are differences. While the job description is more hierarchical, the job description is process-oriented.

Although the job description also contains a rough list of the activities to be carried out, it is more of the target state. The job is the smallest organizational unit in a company and is classified in the organizational structure or company organization with the help of the job description. The job description also helps to define the requirements for the applicant in advance. The end result is ultimately manifested in the job posting.

Job description: What should it contain?

The much more detailed job description, on the other hand, reflects the full current status. The job description usually consists of two parts. The presentation of an activity and the evaluation of an activity. Anyone who is entrusted with preparing a job description must be familiar with all the processes that are associated with a specific job or position. Only then is it possible to assess how extensive the tasks are and which qualifications are necessary for them.

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Who writes the job description?

In many companies, job descriptions are created by the employee who currently occupies the job. This has one major advantage: the employee himself is an expert in his or her field. He can describe exactly what he does, how and for what. Make sure, however, that the employee does not feel "spied on".

Explain why a job description is important and how your counterpart can contribute to the success of the company. At no time should the employee get the feeling of being replaced.

Legislators are obliged to describe the job

Not every company has both a job and a job description. Even if this is the case, it is not always possible to clearly distinguish between them.

This is not a problem at first. Because: There is no specific obligation to create job descriptions. However, Section 2 (1) No. 5 of the Evidence Act (NachwG) obliges you to write down a “brief characterization or description of the work to be performed by the employee”. The job description can be used for this.

The job description is usually not part of the employment contract. But there are exceptions. For example, when reference is made to the description in the employment contract, for example in order to take into account Section 2 (1) No. 5 NachwG.

Good reasons for a job description

Even if many companies still work without job descriptions, there are good reasons to take the trouble to create one. Job descriptions are an important tool in various areas of human resources, including recruiting, payroll, and human resource management.

Why a job description?

Tasks and advantages of a job description:

  • Capacity planning
  • Basis for job description (requirements and competencies)
  • Basis for workplace furnishing
  • Design of work processes
  • Used for appropriate classification and assessment
  • Orientation for managers
  • Basis for target discussions
  • Control function
  • Motivation for employees
  • Detection of duplicate or not assigned tasks
  • Creation of job references (performance assessment)

By precisely specifying the activities that arise, an exact description and the subsequent evaluation, it is possible to create uniform standards. This not only applies to larger companies, but also to SMEs. Those who are not only aware of the main tasks an employee has, but also gain comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of a workplace, can plan better.

Especially in times when digital change is casting its shadow, it is becoming more and more important to know who is doing what in the company. This information is, among other things, the basis for successful change management. They are also part of many other business processes, which the following paragraph explains in detail.

Objectives of the job description

A job description is useful for you as an employer as well as for your employees. The employee knows what he has to do, what the company expects of him and whom he has to work with or who is working with him. This means that the situation is clear. This also avoids misunderstandings - an important foundation for a positive working atmosphere and more employee motivation.

A concrete description of the workplace also leaves little room to hide poor performance. It provides guidance to superiors, for example when it comes to employee appraisals. In many companies - and also in the public sector - the description is also used to classify them into wage, wage or salary classes.

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Due to the detailed job description, however, there is a risk that the job description will narrow the employees' view of their own small area. As a result, it is not uncommon for the big picture to be disregarded. In order to avoid “working according to the rules”, it makes sense to give the employees freedom.

Therefore, when creating a job description, make it clear why it is important, for example:

  • to define an area of ​​responsibility and corresponding competencies
  • to prepare job descriptions
  • to design an all-encompassing organizational chart

Transparency is required here. The team should not get the impression that it is being monitored or even controlled. You should therefore make it clear that a job description also makes work easier.

Describing a job - content and structure of a job description

Since there is no legal obligation to create job descriptions, there are also no binding standards as to how such a description should look. Also, job and job descriptions in companies are not always defined uniformly. However, you will find an overview below that reflects the structure and content of a typical job description. This information can be transferred to your own templates and templates or adopted one-to-one.

  • Job and job holder
    • Name of the position
    • Name of the job holder
    • Personnel number of the job holder
    • Job holder's date of birth
    • Working time (full time,Part timeHome office, Etc.)
    • Cost centre
  • Classification in the organizational structure
    • Department or department
    • Supervisor of the job holder (who do you report to?)
    • Subordinate of the job holder (who is subordinate to you?)
    • Deputy of the job holder (who is representing you?)
    • Substitute function of the job holder (who do you represent?)
  • Job description / range
    • Bullet-point, precise job descriptions (What is the main task? What do the secondary tasks look like?)
    • Time share of activities as a percentage of total working time
    • Degree of difficulty of the activities
    • Prioritization of tasks and activities
    • Interfaces and contact points (internal and external)
    • Powers and responsibilities
    • Targets
    • necessary competencies, skills, qualifications
  • Classification
    • Tariff group or wage / salary information
    • Bonuses, premiums, etc. if goals are achieved

Incidentally, the works council has no right to participate in the preparation of job descriptions. This is the case because it is only a matter of functional descriptions. They do not contain any binding guidelines for the selection of suitable employees. Rather, they serve the organizational classification. Nevertheless, it makes sense to proactively involve the members of the works council. This has a positive effect on the working atmosphere and opens up a further perspective on the job description.

Formulation of the job description: sample

When creating a job description, it should always be ensured that it is formulated independently of the person. Only in higher management positions can it make sense to tailor a job description to a specific person. For example, you can make optimal use of their special skills in the company.

The unique selling point of the job description is the precise description of tasks and activities. It must be formulated in such a way that both managers and job holders can understand it.

The concrete specification and the unambiguous indication of the main and secondary tasks ensure that there is no room for interpretation. In order to ensure a quick overview despite the detailed description, a bullet-point list is recommended.

Sample of a job description

  • Main activities:
    • Implementation of company wage and salary accounting for commercial and industrial employees
    • Transfer of wages and salaries to the accounts of employees by the last working day of the calendar month
    • Distribution of wages and salaries by the third working day of the following month at the latest
    • Calculation and payment of taxes and social security contributions to the tax office, health insurance companies and other beneficiaries
    • Contact person for all employee questions about payroll accounting
    • Creation of income tax certificates
    • Preparation of the annual reports for the social insurance
  • Secondary activities:
    • Processing of vacation requests
    • Management of vacation accounts
    • Creation of personnel statistics, including personnel cost statistics
    • Participation in the preparation of the annual report
  • Collaboration:
    • Management
    • Financial accounting
    • All department heads
    • Tax advisor (external)
    • Tax office (external)
    • Health insurances (external)
    • German pension insurance (external)
  • Professional and personal requirements:
    • Completed commercial apprenticeship
    • Several years experience
    • Excellent knowledge of wage tax law, social security law and labor law
    • Very good knowledge of MS Office and DATEV
    • Independent and careful way of working
    • Excellent understanding of numbers
    • Service and advice orientation
    • High level of commitment
    • Reliability and trustworthiness in dealing with sensitive personal data

Conclusion: job description has many advantages

Even if job descriptions are not legally binding, it makes sense to take the time for meaningful job descriptions. Such information creates transparency: every employee in the company knows exactly what their tasks and powers are and what is expected of them. This prevents misunderstandings, provides structure and can have a beneficial effect on employee motivation.

The role of the job description in relation to the organizational chart and company processes should also not be neglected. A job description is an important source of information - both in recruiting and in personnel management and ultimately also in all processes relating to salaries.

FAQ - What you need to know about job descriptions

What must a job description contain?

The tasks and activities of a specific job are summarized in detail under the job description. Essentially, it is about the position-specific tasks that a job holder has to fulfill in the context of his employment relationship. In addition to fixed processes, the job description also contains organizational information.

Does the job description and the job description mean the same thing?

There are major differences between the job description and the job description. While the job description is more hierarchical, the job description is process-oriented. The job description is the target status, while the much more detailed job description reflects the current status.

What is the advantage of a job description?

Precise information on the activities involved, an exact description and the subsequent evaluation enable the creation of uniform standards. This applies to larger companies as well as SMEs. Anyone who has extensive knowledge of all aspects of a workplace can plan better.

Author: editorial staff personal knowledge

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