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bloom's taxonomy of learning domains

body language - theory, signals, meanings

brainstorming - process and tips

business process modelling

career change planner tool and template

cliches, expressions and words origins

david grove's clean language methodology

diagrams and other free tools

emotional intelligence (EQ)

experiential learning - and guide to facilitating experiential activities

'fantasticat' concept - for teaching and motivating young people

the four temperaments (four humours)

funny free posters

games, tricks, puzzles and warm ups for groups

games and exercises for team building

more games and exercises for team building

group selection recruitment method

hans eysenck's personality types theory

hrd performance evaluation

interviews

interviews - group selection method

interview presentations - how to prepare and deliver

job interviews - tips, techniques, questions, answers

johari window model and free diagrams

jung's psychological types

keirsey's personality types theory (temperament sorter model)

kirkpatrick's learning evaluation model

leadership tips

love and spirituality at work

mcclelland's achievement-motivation theory

management and business quiz - 50 test questions for fun (mostly)

motivational posters

william moulton marston's DISC personality theory (Inscape, Thomas Int., etc)

myers briggs personality theory and mbti types indicator

personality theories, models and types

pest market analysis - free template

posters - free, funny, motivational, inspirational

presentations at job interviews

puzzles and games for team building and warm-ups

puzzles answers

puzzles and conundrums - complex

quizballs - free questions and answers for quizzes

recruitment process and principles - attracting high quality staff

role playing and role play games process and tips

sales activator® sales training and development games system

self-employment planner template - finding what you can succeed at

self-help and self-esteem

stress and stress management

swot analysis - free template and examples

team building games and activities - free ideas, exercises

video clips for teaching and training

workshops - format and how to run

See main subjects index for more materials, ideas and resources.

job descriptions

writing job descriptions and examples, job descriptions duties, directors responsibilities

Job descriptions are usually essential for managing people in organizations. Job descriptions are required for recruitment so that you and the applicants can understand the job role. Job descriptions are necessary for most people in work. A job description defines a person's role and accountability. Without a job description it is usually very difficult for a person to properly commit to, or be held accountable for, a role. This is especially so in large organizations.

As an employee you may have or be given the opportunity to take responsibility for your job description. This is good. It allows you to clarify expectations with your employer and your boss.

The process of writing job descriptions is actually quite easy and straight-forward. Many people tend to start off with a list of 20-30 tasks, which is okay as a start, but this needs refining to far fewer points, around 8-12 is the ideal.

Smaller organisations commonly require staff and managers to cover a wider or more mixed range of responsibilities than in larger organisations (for example, the 'office manager' role can comprise financial, HR, stock-control, scheduling and other duties). Therefore in smaller organisations, job descriptions might necessarily contain a greater number of listed responsibilities, perhaps 15-16. However, whatever the circumstances, the number of responsibilities should not exceed this, or the job description becomes unwieldy and ineffective.

Any job description containing 20-30 tasks is actually more like a part of an operational manual, which serves a different purpose. Job descriptions should refer to the operational manual, or to 'agreed procedures', rather than include the detail of the tasks in the job description. If you include task detail in a job description you will need to change it when the task detail changes, as it will often do. What would you rather change, 100 job descriptions or one operational manual?

Similarly, lengthy details of health and safety procedures should not be included in a a job description. Instead put them into a health and safety manual, and then simply refer to this in the job description. Again, when your health and safety procedure changes, would you rather change 100 job descriptions or just one health and safety manual?

A useful process for refining and writing job descriptions responsibilities into fewer points and ('responsibilities' rather than 'individual tasks'), is to group the many individual tasks into main responsibility areas, such as the list below (not all will be applicable to any single role). Bold type indicates that these responsibility areas would normally feature in most job descriptions:

Bold type indicates that these responsibility areas would normally feature in most job descriptions:

plus any responsibilities for other staff if applicable, typically:

Senior roles will include more executive aspects:

You will find that you can cluster most of the tasks on your (initially very long) list into a list of far fewer broad (but still specific) responsibilities according to the above examples of typical job description activity areas.

Obviously the level of authority affects the extent of responsibility in the job description for determining strategy, decision-making, managing other people, and for executive roles, deciding direction, policy, and delivering corporate performance.

Wherever possible refer the detail of standards and process to your 'operational manual' or 'agreed procedures' or 'agreed standards' rather than allowing the job description to become a sort of operating manual. If your boss or employer is asking for you to detail your tasks at length in a job description, encourage him/her/the organisation to put this level of detail into an operational manual - it will save a lot of time.

Writing or re-writing a job description is a good opportunity to frame the role as you'd like it as well as reflect how it is at the moment, so try to think outside of the normal way of thinking, and if this is difficult seek the input of somebody who is less close to things.

 

job descriptions are important

Job descriptions improve an organisation's ability to manage people and roles in the following ways:

(The list is not exhaustive.)

Here you'll find job descriptions structure and template, and samples of various job descriptions. Also template and sample 'person-profile', necessary when recruiting.

Be very careful to adhere to relevant employment an discrimination law when compiling job descriptions, job adverts and person-profiles. In the UK this means that you must not specify a preference according to gender, race, creed, religion, or physical ability. If you find yourself writing a job description with a bias in any of these areas you should ask yourself why, as none can be justified.

In the UK company directors have personal liability for the activities of their organizations aside from their functional responsibilities, and arguably this accountability should be included in some way in a director's job description. Clarity is vital. People and employers need to have a clear, mutual agreement about the expectations for the job, and the job description is a key instrument by which this is achieved.

That said, job descriptions are not operating manuals. I repeat, keep the descriptions of duties concise and free of detailed operating or processing instructions. If necessary refer to these is a phrase such as 'according to company procedures', or 'according to the operating manual/safety manual', etc. By referencing rather than including specific operating standards or processes, the headache of updating all the job descriptions when procedures change is avoided.

 

job description template

For senior job descriptions it is useful to break key responsibilities into sections covering Functional, Managerial, and Organisational areas.

The most difficult part is the Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities section. Large organisations have generic versions for the most common organisational roles - so don't re-invent the wheel if something suitable already exists. If you have to create a job description from scratch, use this method to produce the 8-15 responsibilities:

  1. Note down in a completely random fashion all of the aspects of the job.
  2. Think about: processes, planning, executing, monitoring, reporting, communicating, managing people/resources/activities/money/information/inputs/outputs/communications/time.
  3. Next combine and develop the random collection of ideas into a set of key responsibilities. (A junior position will not need more than 8. A senior one might need 15.)
  4. Rank them roughly in order of importance.
  5. Have someone who knows or has done the job well check your list and amend as appropriate.
  6. Double check that everything on the list is genuinely important and achievable.

Do not put targets into a job description. Targets are a moving output over which you need flexible control.

Do not put 'must achieve sales target' into a job description. This is a pure output and does not describe the job. The job description must describe the activities required to ensure that target will be met.

Do not have as one of the key responsibilities 'And anything else that the manager wants'. It's not fair, and no-one is ever committed to or accountable for such a thing.


Job description example 1:

Job Description - SNP Co Ltd

Title: Sales and Marketing Executive

Reports to: Sales and Marketing Director, Newtown.

Based at: Sparkly New Products Co Ltd, Technology House, Newtown.

Job purpose:

To plan and carry out direct marketing and sales activities, so as to maintain and develop sales of SNP's ABC machinery range to UK major accounts and specifiers, in accordance with agreed business plans.

Key responsibilities and accountabilities:

  1. Maintain and develop a computerised customer and prospect database.
  2. Plan and carry out direct marketing activities (principally direct mail) to agreed budgets, sales volumes, values, product mix and timescales.
  3. Develop ideas and create offers for direct mail and marketing to major accounts by main market sector and SNP's ABC products.
  4. Respond to and follow up sales enquiries by post, telephone, and personal visits.
  5. Maintain and develop existing and new customers through planned individual account support, and liaison with internal order-processing staff.
  6. Monitor and report on activities and provide relevant management information.
  7. Carry out market research, competitor and customer surveys.
  8. Maintain and report on equipment and software suitability for direct marketing and sales reporting purposes.
  9. Liaise and attend meetings with other company functions necessary to perform duties and aid business and organisational development.
  10. Manage the external marketing agency activities of telemarketing and research.
  11. Attend training and to develop relevant knowledge and skills.

Scale and territory indicators:

Core product range of four ABC machines price range £50 to £250. Target sectors: All major multiple-site organisations having more than 1,000 staff. Prospect database c.10,000 head offices of large organisations. Customer base of c.150 large organisations. Typical account value £20-50k pa. Total personal revenue accountability potentially £4.5m. Territory: UK.

(date and reference)


More job description typical responsibilities are listed at the foot of this page.

If you are recruiting to fill a role it is important to formulate a person-profile to help with job advert wording; psychometric profiling; shortlisting; interviewing points to assess; and final selection.

person-profile template:

An example is shown here for the role above:


sample person-profile

Person profile - Sales and Marketing Executive

Personality: Self-driven, results-oriented with a positive outlook, and a clear focus on high quality and business profit. A natural forward planner who critically assesses own performance. Mature, credible, and comfortable in dealing with senior big company executives. Reliable, tolerant, and determined. Empathic communicator, able to see things from the other person's point of view. Well presented and businesslike. Sufficiently mobile and flexible to travel up to a few days a month within the UK. Keen for new experience, responsibility and accountability. Able to get on with others and be a team-player.

Personal Situation: Must be mature and domestically secure. Able to spend one or two nights away per month without upsetting domestic situation. Able to commute reliably to office base. Able to work extended hours on occasions when required. May be striving financially but not desperate or in serious debt. Must have clean or near clean driving licence.

Specific Job Skills: Able to communicate and motivate via written media. Understands the principles of marketing and advertising cost-effectiveness, including market sector targeting, product offer development, features-benefits-solutions selling, cost per response, cost per conversion, etc. Appreciates need for consistency within company's branding and marketing mix, especially PR and the Internet. Experience of managing marketing agency activities useful.

Computer skills: Must be adept in use of MS Office 2000 or later, particularly Excel and Word, and ideally Access or similar database to basic level, Internet and email.

Literacy and Numeracy: Able to understand profit and loss calculations and basic business finance, e.g., gross margin percentages and calculations, depreciation, capital and revenue expenditure, cash-flow, overheads, etc. Must be a very competent writer of business letters, quotations and proposals.

Business and Selling Skills: Must be an excellent face-to-face and telephone communicator. Able to demonstrate success and experience managing major accounts customers and large contracts or even a business, particularly achieving genuine sales development. Ideal background would be in business support services; experience of washroom and contract cleaning industries would be particularly helpful. Experience of tenders would also be useful.

Management Ability: Though internal staff management is not initially part of the job, responsibility and opportunity could grow with the development of the business, for example the prospect of recruiting and managing support telesales staff. Some people-management skills, experience and natural ability will be useful.


 

tips on creating, introducing and agreeing job descriptions

There are several ways to approach the need for new or updated job descriptions within an organization or department, and these methods can achieve some other useful benefits too. The workshop method is particularly effective and time-saving.

Workshop (see the sections on workshops an brainstorming) - people brainstorm and draft job descriptions in pairs or threes - ideas are shared, best formats agreed and senior management is able to participate, guide and approve. This process for creating or revising job descriptions is also very good for creating a sense of ownership of responsibilities and accountabilities, and for clarifying mutual understanding and expectations.

Cascade a basic empty template down through staff, asking for each staff member to draft what they believe is there own JD, and for each person to provisionally agree/modify JD with their line boss. These drafts then come back up to centre for review, adjustment and re-issue. Also promotes useful discussion and clarification of expectations between staff members and their line-managers.

Draft provisional generic formats at centre - then cascade through staff via line managers for comment/agreement, between staff members and line managers.

General points on creating or updating job descriptions:

Where you have a number of similar job functions, try to limit the main job description types to as few as possible. Reflect job differences in levels of authority, seniority and scale etc, in the parameters section of the main job description.

Encourage line managers to hold their own workshop meetings to arrive at shared best ideas and consensus.

Your trade association(s) might be able to assist with some generic job description samples. It's also worth asking large partners/customer organisations if they can show you their equivalent job descriptions, where they have similar jobs.

 

directors responsibilities, corporate responsibility and job descriptions

Arguably there are some special aspects of a company director's role which should be reflected in job descriptions aside from normal functional duties or job tasks. This is not least because board directors are personally liable for corporate activities, and so issues of ethics, morality, legality, safety, duty of care, etc., are the responsibility of all directors, in addition to their normal functional responsibilities.

How you incorporate these aspects into directors' job descriptions (and logically into directors' appraisals too) is a matter of interpretation and policy. A catch-all phrase is an option, for example: 'Execute the responsibilities of a company director according to lawful and ethical standards, as referenced in ... (whatever director policy and standards document you might use).

And/or with growing significance, for example: 'Uphold, safeguard and promote the organisation's values and philosophy relating particularly to ethics, integrity, corporate (social) responsibility, 'Fair Trade', etc., as referenced in ... (whatever organisational values and philosophy standards document you might use).

However, in this modern age there is an increasing need for organisations to be more specific about what all this means for directors.

Most if not all of the great corporate scandals of recent times can be attributed one way or another to directors neglecting or being unaware of their responsibilities for some of less obvious but crucial areas of ethics, integrity, morality and organisational responsibility. When such responsibilities are spelled out clearly, and the assessment of directors' performance against them made properly transparent, then organisations are far less open to risks of corporate scandal, fraud, and other disasters.

In addition, employees and customers are growing increasingly aware and demanding of corporations' performance in these non-financial 'humanity and planet' areas, and the increasing visibility of corporate culture and behaviour, through the development of modern communications and phenomena such as blogging, grows each year.

There are few corporate secrets any longer - nearly everyone has access to nearly everything. Soon there'll be no corporate secrets at all. It makes sense therefore for all organisations to assess and improve their own standing in relation to corporate responsibility, before the world at large does it for them.

Directors' responsibilities, their relative importance and how they are shaped, in the 'non-functional' areas (ethics, environment, people, planet, community, etc) naturally reflect the corporate philosophy of the organisation concerned, and this is the mechanism by which change and improvement can be made. In other words, the organisation needs to have a clearly stated position (from which stems the culture and 'spirit' - the philosophy - of the corporation) that clearly explains the relative priority within organisational aims of responsibility to staff, customers, shareholders, community, environment, etc., and also the significance of morality and ethics within the organisational ethos. These critical non-functional 'humanity and planet' responsibilities stem from the philosophy at the top of the organisation, not the PR department.

Corporate Responsibility (or whatever description you care to use) is a challenging and fluid subject, surrounded by much debate, characterised by various converging perspectives, notably, the 'Triple Bottom Line' (Profit People Planet), ethics and integrity, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility - increasingly shortened simply to Corporate Responsibility), sustainability, Fair Trade, etc.

Interpreting all this and creating a workable platform for it all within an organisation is the responsibility of the CEO (or equivalent). In an institutional not-for-profit organisation the trustees or governors would ultimately carry the can for any serious failures. In a club it would be the committee members. The buck always stops somewhere, and if it's with you then check that your responsibilities and remit adequately reflect your accountability.

In conventional profit driven corporations the accountability rests with the directors, which is why directors' job descriptions need to spell out these responsibilities - to whatever extent the organisation (the CEO typically) deems appropriate.

Middle managers trying to make sense of of it all and wondering how to apply it to their strategic planning and decision-making will find it tricky to fill a vacuum in this area one exists, which is often the case.

The default 'corporate philosophy' is usually profit alone, with no genuine reference to humanitarian and planetary issues, which is ultimately a recipe for disaster. The bigger the corporation and its potential liabilities, then the greater the disaster when and if it occurs. Chemicals, healthcare, transport, automotive, pharmaceuticals, financial services, food and drink, consumer technology, and tobacco products are obvious examples of high-liability industries, each of which has produced at a number of massive corporate debacles in recent years, and these won't be the last.

Directors, (and thereby managers and all other staff) need a wider and more subtle frame of reference than profit alone, to enable and encourage them to plan, direct, manage and act in a more inclusive and philosophically acceptable way than simply being focused on profit or costs.

Shareholder return (or financial performance) is vital of course, but it must never be the sole aim.

As regards the more straightforward issues (safety, legal etc), in the UK various bodies can help in determining the traditional director's responsibilities. The Institute of Directors produce specific guidelines on responsibilities of directors (www.iod.com). Other possible sources of input from different perspectives: ACAS - Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (www.acas.co.uk), Government departments/agencies and their websites (e.g., www.gov.uk). I mention these because they provide a certain level of advice free. If you are new to the HR or personnel role, check whether your organisation (or for example your parent company) has corporate membership to IOD, CIPD, etc., or retains the services of a specialist employment advisory consultancy. You'll need help in interpreting a suitable response to these new challenges, both in persuading senior people that these are significant issues, not just a PR thing or passing trend, and also in formulating a practicable and relevant approach to it all.

As regards corporate responsibility in a truer wider sense (people, planet, ethics, etc), standards and terms of reference are still fluid - it's difficult to measure the benefit of these things, therefore they are taking a long time being accepted and adopted (like the abolition of slavery, votes for women, etc). But that doesn't mean you cannot take the lead and formulate your own standards. Organisations which seek to pioneer ethical and humanitarian standards and practices will increasingly be the suppliers and employers of choice for all right-minded people.

Organisations which fail to address these vital questions of ethics, humanity, social and environmental responsibility, etc., and which fail to reflect these accountabilities within director's (and thereby all other employees') responsibilities, are taking some big risks, whereas the organisations which embrace and adopt these 'higher-order' values will almost inevitably create for themselves a more sustainable future.


 

job description samples

Here are some typical job description responsibilities for other roles. Please note that these lists of responsibilities do not constitute full job descriptions, you need to add/refine responsibilities to reflect your own organisation's situation, and then add the other job description elements detailed above, i.e., the 'reports to', 'based at', 'job purpose' and scale indicators.

I always recommend strongly to build your own job descriptions due to the need to have something that properly fits your own requirements. Job titles are terribly vague - especially roles relating to customer service, and any role with interfaces across the organisation and/or externally - the functions and descriptions mean different things to different companies, and it's so easy to make wrong assumptions using somebody else's standards. Start by thinking about what you actually want the role to do for your organisation, not what the role might do for other companies.

 

typical job description duties examples

imports and exports administrator/manager - typical job description duties

The import/export manager or administrator job is potentially a vast one covering a wide range of responsibilities. Also, import/export manager/administrator job descriptions vary considerably according to country, local import/export laws and procedures, and the role required within the organization, in which the role can have emphasis on any or all of the following aspects: sales, purchasing and buying, finance, legal, administration. There are far too many duties here for a single job description; pick the duties from the examples below to create a job description that suits your own situation.

  1. Manage the movement of products/equipment/materials in and/or out of the country in accordance with organizational policy and procedure, and to comply with relevant local, country and international law and process.
  2. Manage the necessary documentation and online forms for the efficient, cost-effective and lawful execution of all import/export activities.
  3. Maintain and share with colleagues as appropriate, personal knowledge of all relevant import/export law and procedures; tariffs and duties; licences and restrictions.
  4. Manage financial and currency processes and transactions in accordance with policy and law, and to optimise cost-effectiveness of activities.
  5. Communicate with export and import and related authorities, and customers and suppliers, in all relevant territories and countries, as necessary to ensure efficient, positive and lawful relations, support and activities.
  6. Anticipate, research and report on future changes in import/export laws and in relevant local territory practices, and ensure such knowledge is factored into the planning of the department's own strategy, resources and procedures.
  7. Plan and implement import/export strategy and activities consistent with overall aims and requirements of the organization.
  8. Manage all staff reporting to the position so as to effectively recruit, train, evaluate, motivate, delegate and monitor their activities.
  9. Liaise with other departments in order to establish and maintain effective and relevant export/import activities and support in relation to the organization's sales, purchasing, materials management, production and overall operating functions.
  10. Adhere to local and externally relevant health and safety laws and policies.
  11. Use personal judgement and initiative to develop effective and constructive solutions to challenges and obstacles in import/export activity and procedures.
  12. Monitor, record, analyse and report on activities, trends, results and recommendations relating to import/export activities.
  13. Manage/liaise with stock control, warehousing and distribution activities influenced by or reliant upon import/export activities.
  14. Manage and maintain effective and lawful insurance provisions relating to import/export activities.
  15. Maintain personal ability in, and appropriate use of, all relevant ICT (Information & Communications Technology) and other systems within the import/export function.
  16. Prepare and submit relevant administration in a timely and accurate manner, for example: shipping schedules; letters of credit; ECGD documents; credit control mechanisms; licences; declarations; packing, routing, transport and safety documentation.
  17. Investigate, plan and implement strategically effective and relevant transport methods, which meet optimally the needs of the organization and its suppliers and customers.
  18. Plan and manage overseas sales through distributors and other relevant sales outlets.
  19. Plan and manage the effective and necessary conversion of weights, sizes, values, and quality standards interpretations between importing and exporting systems and territories.
  20. Manage language and communications translation issues and activities as necessary to enable effective relations, distribution and integration of imported/exported material, product, equipment within the supply chain of importer and exporter, (for example handling instructions, operating manuals, product training, etc).
  21. Negotiate contracts for sales/purchases and manage renew, review contracts as required to enable effective trading, operations and customer/supplier relations.

 

business development manager/executive/director - typical job description duties

The 'business development' job title can mean various things. Some organizations refer to sales and account management jobs as 'business development', in which case refer to the account manager job description below. The business development job description - and especially the extent of strategic and authority responsibility - depends on whom the role reports to, and the scale of and complexity of the 'business' (markets, products/services, territory, etc) to be developed. This is an example of typical responsibilities of a senior business development role, or business development director:

  1. Market and technology research
  2. Formulation of strategy
  3. Distribution channel analysis and development
  4. New product development planning and management
  5. Technology transfer, licensing, partnerships assessment and development
  6. Marketing and advertising and promotion planning
  7. Sales organisation planning and development
  8. Import/export development
  9. Business planning
  10. Launch and implementation
  11. If the business development job has direct-reporting staff then the above would tend to be managed via others, and the role would include people-management, recruitment, motivation, training and development staffing responsibilities
  12. Appropriate Administration, budgeting, monitoring, reporting, communication and liaison.
  13. Health and safety adherence
  14. Self-development and continuing personal development
  15. (If formal director) Execute the responsibilities of a company director according to lawful and ethical standards, as referenced in ... (whatever director policy and standards document you might use).

 

account manager/sales person- typical job description duties

The account manager or sales-person job has many variations. These are the typical responsibilities of a modern office-based or field-based salesperson. This list is probably too long for a normal job description - it includes similar variations of individual responsibilities which you can select as appropriate.

  1. Plan and prioritise personal sales activities and customer/prospect contact towards achieving agreed business aims, including costs and sales - especially managing personal time and productivity.
  2. Plan and manage personal business portfolio/territory/business according to an agreed market development strategy.
  3. Manage product/service mix, pricing and margins according to agreed aims.
  4. Maintain and develop existing and new customers through appropriate propositions and ethical sales methods, and relevant internal liaison, to optimise quality of service, business growth, and customer and satisfaction.
  5. Use customer and prospect contact activities tools and systems, and update relevant information held in these systems.
  6. Plan/carry out/support local marketing activities to agreed budgets and timescales, and integrate personal sales efforts with other organized marketing activities, e.g., product launches, promotions, advertising, exhibitions and telemarketing.
  7. Respond to and follow up sales enquiries using appropriate methods.
  8. Monitor and report on market and competitor activities and provide relevant reports and information.
  9. Record, analyse, report and administer according to systems and requirements.
  10. Communicate, liaise, and negotiate internally and externally using appropriate methods to facilitate the development of profitable business and sustainable relationships.
  11. Attend and present at external customer meetings and internal meetings with other company functions necessary to perform duties and aid business development.
  12. Attend training and to develop relevant knowledge, techniques and skills.
  13. Adhere to health and safety policy, and other requirements relating to care of equipment.

 

administrative assistant - typical job description duties

An administrative assistant job description varies according to the role and organization. Use this outline as a basis to create a job description that is relevant to your own situation.

  1. Type and word-process various documents and electronic information.
  2. Create financial and statistical tools and reports using spreadsheets.
  3. Manage, organise, and update relevant data using database applications.
  4. Communicate and provide information by relevant methods internally and externally to assist and enable organizational operations and effective service to connecting groups.
  5. Analyse and interpret financial statistics and other data and produce relevant reports.
  6. Interpret instructions and issues arising, and then implement actions according to administrative policies and procedures.
  7. Research and investigate information to enable strategic decision-making by others.
  8. Arrange and participate in meetings, conferences, and project team activities.
  9. Approve decisions, requests, expenditure and recommendations on behalf of senior people in their absence, according to agreed guidelines and policies.
  10. Adhere to stated policies and procedures relating to health and safety, and quality management.
  11. Adhere to procedures relating to the proper use and care of equipment and materials for which the role has responsibility.

 

switchboard operator/receptionist - typical job description duties

Job purpose outline (example): The primary objective of the Switchboard Operator is to answer a multi-line switchboard quickly (ideally within 3 ring cycles) and direct calls to their destination without delay. Greeting customers, answering questions, announcing calls or providing directions are secondary objectives. The key to the role is in always providing the primary objective whilst delivering the secondary objectives wherever possible but always in such a way that positively affects the customer's perception or call/visit experience. Outline duties:

  1. Answer a high volume of calls and maintain a rapid response rate according to agreed standards.
  2. Log information on calls received, where required and maintain detailed and accurate records.
  3. Maintain and update continuously, by local knowledge and by local means, a log of the availability of staff likely to receive inbound calls.
  4. File data and perform other routine clerical tasks as assigned and for other departments as needed.
  5. Order and maintain relevant office supplies for effectiveness of personal duties.
  6. Operate a variety of standard office machines, including a personal computer and a variety of computer software, phone, fax, calculator, shredding machine and photocopy machine.
  7. Communicate and liaise verbally and in writing between customers/suppliers/visitors/enquirers and relevant staff, and interpret and respond clearly and effectively to spoken requests over the phone or in person, and to verbal or written instructions.
  8. Establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, supervisors and the general public.
  9. Perform reception duties in and efficient, professional and courteous manner.
  10. Maintain regular consistent and professional attendance, punctuality, personal appearance, and adherence to relevant health & safety procedures.
  11. Pursue personal development of skills and knowledge necessary for the effective performance of the role.

(Ack T Booth)

 

health and safety manager/director - typical job description duties

Adjust and refine these core responsibilities for the health and safety function to fit your organization context and the authority of the role. These responsibilities typically reflect a director's responsibilities and so need developing into more specific duties to form a relevant health and safety manager's job description relevant to your own situation.

Establish, manage and monitor standards, processes, communications, training and systems to ensure:

  1. Existence and awareness of a suitable and relevant health and safety policy.
  2. A safe workplace without risk to health.
  3. Safe plant and machinery, and safe movement, storage and use of articles and substances.
  4. Adequate provision of first-aid and welfare facilities and support.
  5. Provision of suitable and current information and supervision concerning health and safety policies and practices.
  6. Proper and timely assessment of risks to health and safety, and implementation of measures and arrangements identified as necessary from the assessments.
  7. Provision of emergency procedures, first-aid facilities, safety signs, relevant protective clothing and equipment, and incident reporting to the relevant authorities.
  8. Liaison as necessary with other organizations and relevant authorities, and assistance and cooperation concerning audits and remedial actions.
  9. The workplace satisfies health, safety and welfare requirements for ventilation, temperature, lighting, sanitary, washing and rest facilities.
  10. Prevention and precautions against, or adequate control of, exposure to hazardous substances, and danger from flammable, explosive, electrical, noise, radiation and manual handling risks.
  11. Surveillance and reporting on health and safety practices and systems.
  12. Recruitment, selection, management and development of health and safety direct-reporting staff.
  13. (If formal director) Execute the responsibilities of a company director according to lawful and ethical standards, as referenced in ... (whatever director policy and standards document you might use).

 

shop or retail/wholesale store manager - typical job description duties

Depends on the level of commercial and managerial authority and responsibility, but could include potentially these points:

  1. Manage and motivate staff, recruit staff, train and develop staff, according to company policies and employment laws, and ensure relevant HR procedures are followed (appraisals, discipline, grievance, etc).
  2. Plan, forecast, report on sales, costs and business performance, according to company requirements.
  3. Plan and implement advertising and promotional strategy and activities.
  4. Manage cash and payment systems in accordance with company procedures and policies, at all times with staff and customer safety as the uppermost priority.
  5. Plan and implement shop merchandising, layout and customer traffic flow so as to maximise sales, customer satisfaction, appearance, image and ergonomics for customers.
  6. Manage selling and customer service activities and staff competence in these areas, so as to optimise and sustain sales performance, profitability and customer satisfaction.
  7. Manage costs and overheads, and all factors affecting the profitable performance of the shop.
  8. Liaise with external agencies and authorities as necessary (advertising, PR, recruitment, training, fire services, police, local council, health and safety inspectors, etc).
  9. Liaise with and utilise support from suppliers, merchandisers and other partners as required.
  10. Manage, maintain and report as necessary all merchandise and non-merchandise stock.
  11. Manage upkeep and condition of all equipment, fixtures and fabric of shop premises.
  12. Manage health and safety, security, and emergency systems, capabilities and staff and customer awareness, according to company policy and relevant law.
  13. Seek and continuously develop knowledge and information about competitor activity, pricing and tactics, and communicate this to relevant departments in the Company.
  14. Manage and maintain effectiveness of IT and other essential in-store systems.
  15. Attend meetings and contribute to company strategy and policy-making as required.
  16. Develop personal skills and capability through on-going training, as provided by the company or elsewhere subject to Company approval.

 

organisational development manager - typical job description duties

  1. Plan, develop and implement strategy for organisational development (covering particular areas relevant to the organisation's structure, market etc)
  2. Establish and maintain appropriate systems for measuring necessary aspects of organisational performance
  3. Monitor, measure and report on organisational development plans and achievements within agreed formats and timescales
  4. Manage and develop direct reporting staff
  5. Manage and control departmental expenditure within agreed budgets
  6. Liaise with other functional/departmental managers so as to understand all necessary aspects of organisational development, and to ensure they are fully informed of organisational development objectives, purposes and achievements
  7. Maintain awareness and knowledge of contemporary organisational development theory and methods and provide suitable interpretation to directors, managers and staff within the organisation
  8. Ensure activities meet with and integrate with organisational requirements for quality management, health and safety, legal stipulations, environmental policies and general duty of care

 

trainer/training manager - typical job description responsibilities

  1. Plan departmental/functional training budgets, forecast costs and delegate numbers as required by organisational planning and budgeting systems.
  2. Assess relevant training needs for staff individuals and organisation, in consultation with departmental heads, including assessment methods and measurement systems entailed.
  3. Stay informed as to relevant skill and qualifications levels required by staff for effective performance, and circulate requirements and relevant information to the organisation as appropriate.
  4. Produce organisational strategy and plans to meet training and development needs, and manage training delivery, measurement and follow-up as necessary.
  5. Design training courses and programmes necessary to meet training needs, or manage this activity via external provider(s).
  6. Identify, select and manage external training and accreditation bodies, agencies and providers necessary to deliver required training to appropriate standards.
  7. Organise training venues, logistics, transport, accommodation as required to achieve efficient training attendance and delivery.
  8. Plan and deliver training courses personally where necessary to augment that provided externally or internally by others.
  9. Arrange for the maintenance of all necessary equipment and materials relating to the effective delivery and measurement of training.
  10. Recruit, manage and develop direct-reporting staff (if applicable).
  11. Ensure all training activities and materials meet with relevant organisational and statutory policies, including health and safety, employment and equality laws.
  12. Monitor and report on activities, costs, performance, etc, as required.
  13. Develop self, and maintain knowledge in relevant field at all times.

 

training and development manager- typical job description duties

  1. Plan, develop and implement strategy for staff training and development, establish and maintain appropriate systems for measuring necessary aspects of staff training and development
  2. Monitor, measure and report on staff training and development plans and achievements within agreed formats and timescales
  3. Manage and develop direct reporting staff
  4. Manage and control departmental expenditure within agreed budgets
  5. Liaise with other functional/departmental managers so as to understand all necessary aspects and needs of staff training and development, and to ensure they are fully informed of staff training and development objectives, purposes and achievements
  6. Maintain awareness and knowledge of contemporary staff training and development theory and methods and provide suitable interpretation to directors, managers and staff within the organisation
  7. Ensure activities meet with and integrate with organisational requirements for quality management, health and safety, legal stipulations, environmental policies and general duty of care

 

HR (human resources) head or director - typical job description duties

  1. Plan, develop and implement strategy for HR management and development (including recruitment and selection policy/practices, discipline, grievance, counselling, pay and conditions, contracts, training and development, succession planning, morale and motivation, culture and attitudinal development, performance appraisals and quality management issues - add others if relevant)
  2. Establish and maintain appropriate systems for measuring necessary aspects of HR development
  3. Monitor, measure and report on HR issues, opportunities and development plans and achievements within agreed formats and timescales
  4. Manage and develop direct reporting staff
  5. Manage and control departmental expenditure within agreed budgets
  6. Liaise with other functional/departmental managers so as to understand all necessary aspects and needs of HR development, and to ensure they are fully informed of HR objectives, purposes and achievements
  7. Maintain awareness and knowledge of contemporary HR development theory and methods and provide suitable interpretation to directors, managers and staff within the organisation
  8. Contribute to the evaluation and development of HR strategy and performance in cooperation with the executive team
  9. Ensure activities meet with and integrate with organisational requirements for quality management, health and safety, legal stipulations, environmental policies and general duty of care.
  10. (If formal director) Execute the responsibilities of a company director according to lawful and ethical standards, as referenced in ... (whatever director policy and standards document you might use).

 

sales and marketing director - typical job description duties

The position reports to the CEO/MD/General Manager. The purpose of the role is to plan and implement sales and marketing activities in order to meet company targets for retention growth and profitability, and to contribute, as a board member, to the executive management of the company.

  1. Plan and implement marketing strategy, including advertising and PR.
  2. Plan and implement sales and customer retention and development.
  3. Plan and manage sales an marketing resources according to agreed budgets.
  4. Contribute to formulation of policy and strategy as a board member.
  5. Recruit, manage, train and motivate direct reporting staff according to company procedures, policy and employment law.
  6. Maintain administration and relevant reporting and planning systems.
  7. Manage relevant reporting of management and financial information for the sales and marketing departments.
  8. Select and manage external agencies.
  9. Manage R&D and NPD and new business development.
  10. Maintain and develop corporate image and reputation, and protect and develop the company's brands via suitable PR activities and intellectual property management.
  11. Plan and manage internal communications and awareness of corporate direction, mission, aims and activities
  12. (If formal director) Execute the responsibilities of a company director according to lawful and ethical standards, as referenced in ... (whatever director policy and standards document you might use).

 

quality manager/director - typical job description duties

  1. Develop and implement quality management strategy and plans, including resource, systems, timescales, financials, to support, contribute to, and integrate within, the organisation's annual business plan and long term strategy.
  2. Develop and maintain systems to establish standards relating to activities and products.
  3. Develop and maintain systems to measure performance against established standards.
  4. Monitor performance (in relevant areas) according to agreed standards and take necessary action to communicate/advise/assist according to performance levels.
  5. Monitor and inform/communicate/apply standards created/maintained by external bodies, and integrate within internal quality management systems.
  6. Establish and implement necessary communication strategy for the improvement and awareness of quality issues across all departments.
  7. Plan and manage departmental activities in accordance with agreed budgets and timescales.
  8. Report as necessary on changes in standards (internally and externally initiated) and on performance against standards.
  9. Liaise and co-operate with quality management and standards bodies (e.g., BSI, Government Departments, HSE, etc) Manage staff according to company standards (appraisals, discipline, training, development, etc).
  10. Manage departmental performance against agreed targets and budgets, and within policies and standards.
  11. Liaise with customers and suppliers where necessary (where impacting/affected by quality issues)
  12. Contribute to executive policy and strategy.
  13. (If formal director) Execute the responsibilities of a company director according to lawful and ethical standards, as referenced in ... (whatever director policy and standards document you might use).

 

finance director (fd) or chief financial officer (cfo) - typical job description duties

This role's responsibilities and authority level depends on what your company is and requires, and, if the role covers statutory administration and reporting, elements of the the role also depend on your country's company laws (reporting, shareholders, tax, dividends, etc).

  1. Business and financial strategy and planning, monitoring, management and reporting, including management and development of policies, systems, processes and personnel involved.
  2. Reporting and accounting as per regulatory an legal requirements including taxation, dividends, annual report and accounts.
  3. Management of strategy for and liaison with stock market, business press and business analysts community.
  4. Financial staff management, motivation, training, recruitment and selection.
  5. Contributing to strategic planning and development as a member of executive team, and probably keeping and distributing notes and records, reports to executive and management team.
  6. Other areas of potential responsibility: company insurance, import/export administration, licencing, contracts and agreements, legal areas and activities, corporate level negotiations (eg premises, plant, trading, acquisitions and divestments, disposals), major supplier/customer/partner relationships, regulatory bodies relationships and strategies, approvals and accreditations.
  7. Can also include IT responsibilities, especially if there is not an IT director.
  8. Can also include environmental responsibilities, if the environmental function/manager reports to CFO.
  9. Can also include quality assurance responsibilities, if the QA function/manager reports to CFO.
  10. Can also include health and safety responsibilities, if the H&S function/manager reports to CFO.
  11. Would also include 'Company Secretary' responsibilities if there is not a separate Co Sec (eg statutory company administration responsibilities depending on relevant legal requirements).
  12. (If formal director) Execute the responsibilities of a company director according to lawful and ethical standards, as referenced in ... (whatever director policy and standards document you might use).

 

chief operating officer or operations director - typical job description duties

  1. Plan, develop and implement strategy for operational management and development so as to meet agreed organisational performance plans within agreed budgets and timescales (covering relevant areas of operation - eg manufacturing, distribution, administration, whatever falls within remit according to organisation's structure)
  2. Establish and maintain appropriate systems for measuring necessary aspects of operational management and development
  3. Monitor, measure and report on operational issues, opportunities and development plans and achievements within agreed formats and timescales
  4. Manage and develop direct reporting staff
  5. Manage and control departmental expenditure within agreed budgets
  6. Liaise with other functional/departmental managers so as to understand all necessary aspects and needs of operational development, and to ensure they are fully informed of operational objectives, purposes and achievements
  7. Maintain awareness and knowledge of contemporary operational development theory and methods and provide suitable interpretation to directors, managers and staff within the organisation
  8. Contribute to the evaluation and development of operational strategy and performance in co-optation with the executive team
  9. Ensure activities meet with and integrate with organisational requirements for quality management, health and safety, legal stipulations, environmental policies and general duty of care.
  10. (If formal director) Execute the responsibilities of a company director according to lawful and ethical standards, as referenced in ... (whatever director policy and standards document you might use).

 

purchasing/buying manager/executive - typical job description duties

The following areas of responsibility are potentially included in purchasing/buying function. How you form these into purchasing and buying job descriptions depends on the scope of your purchasing department's responsibility; your purchasing department's interface with other departments; how your purchasing roles are to operate, and the job(s) autonomy, authority and reporting levels:

  1. Purchasing policy and planning
  2. Departmental staff recruitment, development, training and management
  3. Purchasing project prioritisation and management
  4. Managing purchasing information and systems, and purchasing services IT
  5. Managing purchasing staff managing suppliers, relationships, SLA's (service level agreements)
  6. Setting (if no QA function), monitoring and managing quality and QA systems
  7. Effective proactive liaison with other departments as necessary to forecast, plan to meet, and to supply demand to relevant quality
  8. Effective proactive liaison with other departments re operating, resourcing, services as necessary, eg IT
  9. Negotiating and administration of purchasing contracts
  10. Make or buy policy analysis and decisions
  11. Rent or buy policy evaluation and decision/recommendation
  12. Cost saving budgeting and targeting
  13. Setting and planning how to achieve supplier accreditation and service level management
  14. Administration and reporting as necessary
  15. Accounting evaluation and financial justification inc capital v revenue
  16. Outsourcing strategy/development/management
  17. Payment terms negotiation, optimisation and management
  18. Stock and materials management
  19. Warehousing, distribution, shipping management (if applicable, or effective liaison with these functions/departments)
  20. Packaging and transport regulatory awareness, compliance and information communication
  21. Health and safety compliance
  22. International trading issues/imports/legal, awareness and management
  23. (If formal director) Execute the responsibilities of a company director according to lawful and ethical standards, as referenced in ... (whatever director policy and standards document you might use).

 

chief executive officer (ceo) or managing director - typical job description duties 

  1. Identify, develop and direct the implementation of business strategy (depending on the situation some criteria may already exist or be established by the organisation's chairman, owner(s)/shareholders)
  2. Plan and direct the organisation's activities to achieve stated/agreed targets and standards for financial and trading performance, quality, culture and legislative adherence
  3. Recruit, select and develop executive team members
  4. Direct functions and performance via the executive team
  5. Maintain and develop organisational culture, values and reputation in its markets and with all staff, customers, suppliers, partners and regulatory/official bodies
  6. Report to shareholders/parent board on organisational plans and performance
  7. Execute the responsibilities of a company director according to lawful and ethical standards, as referenced in ... (whatever director policy and standards document you might use).

 

chairman/chairperson - typical job description duties

(The chairman is appointed by and reports to the board of directors.)

  1. Preside over board or executive committee
  2. Supply vision and imagination at the highest level (normally working closely with the MD or CEO)
  3. Take chair at general meetings, within which: to ensure orderly conduct; fair and appropriate opportunity for all to contribute; suitable time allocation per item; determining order of agenda; directing discussion towards consensus; clarifying and summing up actions and policies
  4. Act as the organisation's representative in its dealings with the outside world
  5. Play a leading part in determining composition of board and sub-committees, so as to achieve harmony and effectiveness
  6. Take decisions as delegated by the board and where required chair board meetings.
  7. Execute the responsibilities of a company director according to lawful and ethical standards, as referenced in ... (whatever director policy and standards document you might use).

     

 

writing job descriptions - summary guidelines

A good job description must be a brief concise document - not lots of detail of how each individual task is done, which should be in an operational manual, which can of course then be referenced by very many different job descriptions, saving lots of time, especially when operational details change, as they inevitably do.

A job description is in essence a list of 8-15 short sentences or points which cover the main responsibilities of the role, not the detailed processes.

Follow the job description structure and guidelines on this webpage - don't get side-tracked or persuaded into writing an operational manual. Detailed tasks belong in an operational manual, not a job description. If your boss or organisation thinks your job description should contain the detail of how you do your job, then encourage him/her/your organisation to produce an operational manual instead, and explain the logic and time-saving benefits that are shown on this page.

Use the job description structure on this webpage as a template into which you should put your main 8-15 responsibilities.

If you need to re-write job descriptions (or your own job description) then structure it in terms of main responsibilities - not the detail. If you wish, or if helpful to arrive at your main responsibilities, you can list the detail of your job tasks elsewhere, as this effectively represents a section in an operations manual - which shows the detail of how the job is done. You can use use the detail to indicate (to yourself) the main responsibilities, but for the job description you must summarise the detail into broad descriptions, for example:

All the detail concerned with, for instance 'invoicing', could be covered by: 'manage and report on all invoicing activities using agreed systems and processes (as defined in the operational manual).'

All the detailed process concerned with, say 'cash management', could be included in 'manage movement, security and accounting of cash in accordance with agreed processes and standards (as defined in the operating manual).'

See what I mean? Try to identify the main activities by type, not the detail.

Where appropriate refer to where the detail is held (for example the operational manual, safety manual, or say 'agreed procedures/standards') - do not attempt to include the detail in the job description.

It might help to see things in terms of the main types of activities (rather than your specific task detail), as listed at the top of the webpage and listed here again:

Bold type indicates that these responsibility areas would normally feature in most job descriptions:

plus any responsibilities for other staff if applicable, typically:

Senior roles will include more executive aspects:

You will find that you can cluster most of the tasks on your (initially very long) list into a list of far fewer broad (but still specific) responsibilities according to the above examples of typical job description activity areas.

The tendency when having to create or re-write job descriptions is to under-estimate the strategic nature of the role and responsibilities, and to be too detailed.

If writing your own job description, especially if you perform a wide range of responsibilities in a small company, then try to be bold in the way you describe what you do - use the sort of terminology that is found in senior-level job descriptions - it is likely that you could have a similar type of strategic responsibility without realising it or being recognised for it.

Doing this will help you and others to recognise, formalise and acknowledge the importance of what you do, and therefore your value to the organisation. It will also suggest several ways in which you could grow and to develop (into) the functions involved, and also indicate ways that the responsibilities activities can be developed, whether you do them or not, although you may be surprised at the high level of your own influence to drive and decide these decisions. Empowerment is often what you make it.



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