Q & A – What is the purpose of having a job description?

Q: What is the purpose of having a job description?

A: Job descriptions are used as the foundation for developing programs such as performance appraisal, performance standards, job evaluation, salary surveys, workforce planning, recruiting, orientation, and training.  Job descriptions are also useful in helping the supervisor to:

• Clarify who is responsible for what tasks.
• Open communication with the employee about the job.
• Answer the what, how, why, and when of the job responsibilities.

If an employer has prepared a written job description before advertising or interviewing applicants for a job, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) says the job description may be considered evidence of the “essential functions” of the job.