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1November 14 Writing a Position Description. 2November 14 Who What is a Position Description? Position Descriptions outline: Major functions and duties.

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Presentation on theme: "1November 14 Writing a Position Description. 2November 14 Who What is a Position Description? Position Descriptions outline: Major functions and duties."— Presentation transcript:

1 1November 14 Writing a Position Description

2 2November 14 Who What is a Position Description? Position Descriptions outline: Major functions and duties Responsibilities Knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) Effort Working conditions When/How Often WhyHow WhereDoes What Work

3 3November 14 Why Position Descriptions? Position descriptions can be used to: Assign work and document work assignments. Help clarify and align with the organization’s mission & values. Establish performance requirements. Determine classification and benchmark to the external job market. Recruit for vacancies. Explore reasonable accommodations. Counsel employees on career opportunities and vocational interests. Train employees. Comply with legal requirements related to equal opportunity, equal pay, overtime eligibility, etc. Make decisions on job restructuring. Suggest ways to enrich the work experience. Support and inform succession planning efforts.

4 4November 14 When Do I Write or Review Position Descriptions? A Supervisor or Unit HR professional or an Employee writes, reviews, and/or revises a Position Description when: Changing/Adjusting job duties and/or responsibilities. Requiring additional and/or new qualifications. Creating a new position. During an established annual review process (Performance Evaluations/Merit Cycle). Recruiting for a replacement in an established position. During re-design/re-organization efforts. Identifying revisions based on Exploring reasonable accommodations. Development of other HR-related programs such as: Work Planning Performance Management Work Re-Design Succession Planning

5 5November 14 Ask Yourself: In the past, have you started with: what you want to pay? what salary grade you want? which FLSA status you need (exempt/non-exempt) a desire to give someone a raise? FOCUS ON THE WORK, NOT THE PERSON

6 6November 14 UM Position Description Form PART ONE – Employee (Incumbent) Information PART TWO – Department and Immediate Supervisor Information PART THREE – Proposed New Classification Information PART FOUR – Supervision Responsibilities CHECK ONE – Existing Position, New Position/Job Code Change, or Job Code Change for Employee

7 7November 14 UM Position Description Form (con’t) PART SIX – Duties, Percentage (%) of Time (Effort), & Essential Functions (for ADA Compliance) PART SEVEN – Position Qualifications (Department Specific) PART FIVE – Other Employees in Benchmark (Like) Positions

8 8November 14 Employee and Supervisory Signatures = Agreement UM Position Description Form (con’t) PART EIGHT – Additional Comments Accountabilities Relationships Working Conditions PART NINE Funding Plan Business Case

9 9November 14 Exercise – Why Position Descriptions? In summary, position descriptions document: Work design in alignment with business of the organization Information used for recruitment job postings, interview questions, reference checks, etc. Work outcomes, performance, competencies, etc. Information to measure performance - work plan, evaluation, etc. Articulate differences between levels within a classification series.

10 10November 14 Position Descriptions and the ADA Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), job functions are categorized as either essential or marginal. A job function may be considered essential if: The position exists primarily to perform that function The function is highly specialized There are a limited number of employees among whom the job function can be distributed A job function may be considered marginal if: The function(s) can be eliminated or assigned to another employee

11 11November 14 Position Descriptions and the ADA (con’t) According to the ADA, use these items to determine whether a function is essential: (To be captured on page two, part six of the position description form) Written job descriptions prepared before advertising or interviewing The amount of time an employee must spend performing the function The consequences of not requiring the function be performed The terms of a collective bargaining agreement The work experience of incumbents and/or past incumbents in the job, or in similar jobs The nature of the operation and organizational structure ADA Coordinator:

12 12November 14 PHYSICAL DEMAND CATEGORYHELPFUL VERBS StrengthMoves/transportsPutsInstalls/takes out Removes/replacesPositions/places transfers Climbing or balancingAscends/descendsWorks atopTraverses Walking/running/stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling Moves (about or to)TraversesPositions self (to) Reaching, handling, fingering and/or feeling DiagnosesInstalls/places Serves/services Removes/replacesOperatesAdjusts AttachesPositionsSets up Handles/tendsAppliesActivates, feeds or controls MeasuresUsesModifies SignalsInputsDrafts/writes Compiles/retrievesMakes/constructsCreates/fabricates CollectsInspectsPrepares Talking and/or hearingCommunicatesDetectsConverses with DiscernsConveysExpresses oneself DiscussesExchanges information SeeingDetectsDeterminesDistinguishes IdentifiesRecognizesPerceives EstimatesJudgesDiscerns InspectsComparesObserves Assesses Other demandsDetectsUsesPerceives Discerns Position Descriptions and the ADA (con’t)

13 13November 14 5 – 7 major sets of duties % effort > 10 or < 50, as a guideline Transactional ….. Larger “chunks” (%s) Complex ….. Smaller “chunks” (%s) More important, higher level listed first Update often Tips for Writing Position Descriptions

14 14November 14 the data (object) When writing duties, structure sentences in the format of verb / object / explanatory phrase. Collects (action verb) key job information (object) from various sources, e.g., work interviews and direct observation (explanatory), Analyzes (action verb) to identify job content and critical evaluation issues (explanatory), Prepares or revises (action verbs) position descriptions (object). Tips for Writing Position Descriptions

15 15November 14 When writing a position description, beware of the “inflationary effect” that can occur when describing the extent of responsibilities or scope inherent in a task. CAUTION Tips for Writing Position Descriptions

16 16November 14 No need to re-create the wheel! Referring to “good examples” can ease the time-consuming task of writing position descriptions. Sample materials used in position descriptions are readily available online at Occupational Information Network OR Bureau of Labor Statistics One temptation is to rely solely on these samples which can result in a position description not accurately describing the work. Be sure to involve both the employee and supervisor in the development process. Beware Tips for Writing Position Descriptions

17 17November 14 Achievement Action Verbs Activate Check Decide Delete Determine Encourage Enforce Execute Expedite Further Implement Initiate Maintain Motivate Organize Prevent Return Stop The terms reflect typical achievement activities whose definitions can be found on the Note Page form of this slide.

18 18November 14 Activity Action Verbs Accept Accumulate Acquire Allocate Buy Collect Compile Deliver Distribute Exchange Forward Furnish Gather Get Give Issue Keep Obtain Pick-up Procure Provide Purchase Receive Render Secure Solve Submit Supply Take Transfer Withdraw The terms reflect typical activity actions whose definitions can be found on the Note Page form of this slide.

19 19November 14 Administrative Action Verbs Adapt Administer Appoint Approve Arrange Authorize Control Coordinate Consult Delegate Direct Establish Manage Order Plan Require Review Supervise Train The terms reflect typical administrative activities whose definitions can be found on the Note Page form of this slide.

20 20November 14 Assistance Action Verbs Advise Aid Conduct Cooperate Counsel Explain Guide Instruct Participate Protect Serve Show The terms reflect typical assistance activities whose definitions can be found on the Note Page form of this slide.

21 21November 14 Communication Action Verbs Inform Inquire Interview Mail Negotiate Notify Pull Recall Recruit Report Request Sell Send Solicit The terms reflect typical communication activities whose definitions can be found on the Note Page form of this slide.

22 22November 14 Control Action Verbs Allocate Assign Audit Commit Conserve Edit Ensure Evaluate Guarantee Regulate Restrict Verify The terms reflect typical control activities whose definitions can be found on the Note Page form of this slide.

23 23November 14 Creativity Action Verbs Create Design Devise Develop Estimate Forecast Formulate Install Originate Project Schedule The terms reflect typical creative activities whose definitions can be found on the Note Page form of this slide.

24 24November 14 Evaluative Action Verbs Appraise Analyze Ascertain Check Compare Consider Criticize Evaluate Examine Identify Inspect Interpret Investigate Measure Rate Research Resolve Study Summarize Survey Test Weigh The terms reflect typical evaluation activities whose definitions can be found on the Note Page form of this slide.

25 25November 14 Online Resources Web Walk Through…

26 26November 14 For more information, please contact your unit’s HR professional. Other available resources include UHR’s… Employment Process Coordinators Staff HR Services Representatives Compensation & Classification Call (76)3-2387


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