Writing Job Descriptions,Offer Letters, and Personnel Policies

Dec 22, 2011 | Employees

Starting out right with new employees requires some good planning and documentation. It’s important to put your vision on paper to avoid any misunderstandings down the road. You will be amazed at how doing a job description and offer letter really helps you to learn more about what you really want for your business.

The Job Description

This document is an essential tool for growing your business. In addition to helping you find the employee you need, job descriptions are used for training, evaluation, promotion, and accountability purposes. Be sure to put some thought into this process. You will not be sorry.

Start With A Title…

You need to have a job title for the new position. This is usually just two or three words that define who the person is. The title will be an immediate introduction of your employer to the public and will set the tone for all interactions. Avoid using “Director” unless the person is a high-level decision maker in your business.
Beneath the title, you want to include important information related to the job such as: the status (exempt vs. non-exempt) and to whom the new employee will report.

Job Overview

This is a summary of the job. Make sure that this section is not more than three to four sentences long and explains the level basic nature of this job position. There is no need to get too specific here, since you will be outlining details of the job in the following sections.

An entry level job position providing administrative support to a woman-owned technology business with three employees. Main duties include: scheduling appointments, giving information to callers, and generally relieving staff of clerical work and minor administrative and business detail.

Duties and Responsibilities

Here is where you should be specific. As a matter of fact, put down all the tasks that the new employee will be doing in this position. If someone is already acting in this role, ask him or her to keep a daily log of their tasks. Remember that the job description is the work that you need to be done now and also the work that will need to be done as your business grows. Be flexible in writing the duties and responsibilities to accommodate this growth. In the future, this section will be the reference point for the employee. It is easy to refuse to do work by saying that the task was never outlined as his or her responsibility. Be clear, concise, and complete.

At the bottom of your list, you may consider putting a catch-all: Other related duties as assigned. This will allow you some leeway in the future.

If you are creating a job description for a position that is already filled, you should complete the duties and responsibilities section with your employee. When re-writing the job description in the future, it is a good idea to solicit input from the person who is filling the position for this section.