Posted: October 27th, 2022
After reading Chapter 6:
Answer the Discussion Question that: Why is a job analysis important?
Respond to three other discussion(I’ll uploaded letter after you done the Discussion ). (Your
response must be of significance, more than just yes or no)
You will need to post your comment as respond to the 3 comments by no more than 2-3
Complete Sentences. I Looking on the depth, not the length of your comments
After reading this chapter, readers will be able to:
• Understand the importance of a properly prepared position or job description
• Conduct a position analysis
• Appreciate the contribution made by a position’s incumbent
• Describe the components of a position description
• Create a position description
Position descriptions or job descriptions are the documents upon which the day-to-day operations and
activities of the employees of an organization are based. They should support the mission, goals, and
objectives of the organization that creates them. All job descriptions in an organization should use the
same format and a common vocabulary. Well-written position descriptions include statements that
clearly delineate duties and responsibilities and fully describe compensable factors such as the level of
responsibility, the number of persons supervised, the resources controlled, and the experience and
minimum level of education needed to complete the job successfully.
Case Study: Creating a New Job Description
Julie Miller, the health officer of a large suburban health department, was planning for the future. The
board had discussed creating a new position for someone to conduct training for employees of the
health department. Registered sanitarians are the most common classification of employees in the
health department. They are not only difficult to recruit but also difficult to retain. Providing them with
additional and ongoing training should help with retention.
Matt Jefferson has been employed as a registered sanitarian for the past six years. He recently
completed a master of public health degree. He approached Julie to ask for the training position, briefly
making his case that he was the best person to become the trainer. Julie told Matt that, according to
departmental rules, a search would have to be conducted to find the best candidate for the position.
Matt replied that if the job description were written carefully, a sanitarian clearly would be the best
candidate. After thanking Matt for his thoughts, Julie began to work on the position description, which
she thought could be completed in half an hour. What comments or advice would you offer to Julie?
Lists of activities delineating a particular employee’s tasks are called job descriptions or position
descriptions. The term job description is older and evolved from the field of industrial psychology.
Position description is a newer, more inclusive designation. The two terms are interchangeable. With
changes in the flow of work, position descriptions change. Fluidity of positions is especially pronounced
in fields related to health. Managers must be aware of such changes and ensure that the descriptions of
the activities that their employees perform remain current and accurate. This is relatively easy for
supervisors to address with an annual review of the descriptions for their supervisees. Human resources
(HR) must be willing to record changes in an organization’s master files.
A job analysis must precede the preparation of a position description. The format of a position
description varies among and within organizations. However, one general format is usually found
throughout a single organization. Health departments may use separate formats for clerical, nonexempt
positions and managerial, exempt positions. Exempt refers to the status of a position relative to the Fair
Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 and its subsequent amendments, meaning exempt from the
overtime provisions of FLSA. The FLSA established the length of a working week in the United States,
which is currently set at 40 hours. It requires employers to pay affected employees at a rate of one and
one-half times their hourly wage for hours worked in excess of the maximum work week. All work
performed in excess of the maximum working week is called overtime.
According to the FLSA a position may be designated as exempt if it meets certain requirements
addressing salary, level of responsibility, and the management or supervision of others. As long as a job
meets the FLSA test as professional, administrative, or executive, it is a “salaried” position exempt from
the overtime requirements of FLSA. Such positions typically include those of managers and supervisors,
and any time these employees work in excess of 40 hours is assumed to be a part of their normal job
duties. Employees who are paid by the hour are fully covered by FLSA regulations; they are referred to
as being nonexempt.
A position description generally has three main parts: identifying information, a job summary, and a list
of the principal duties performed. The process of generating a position description begins with an
analysis of the job or position.
Positions, not individuals, are classified. Occasionally, the temptation exists to write a position
description for a specific individual, tailoring the requirements and experiences so that a preselected
person becomes the best candidate in a job search. This should be avoided. If that person leaves the
position, then the specifications will not readily change. Finding a replacement may then become
difficult. It is better for all concerned that a position description be written for a job and not for a
A job description is the most obvious and visible output of a job analysis. Comprehensive and accurate
job descriptions, developed as a result of job analysis, are used when selecting, training, evaluating, and
The basis of any employment decision is job analysis, a fundamental activity in human resource
management. Accurate information about all positions is required to direct and efficiently control the
activities and operations of any organization. Federal regulations and competition have both increased
the importance of job analysis. HR does not produce revenue, yet HR requires significant cash outlays in
an organization’s annual budget. Supervisors and managers must have current and accurate information
about all positions to operate their businesses, deliver services, and conduct programs in an efficient
and timely manner. Smaller healthcare provider organizations and health departments have often
omitted compiling complete sets of position descriptions. They rely on the professional nature of many
employees’ duties for guidance in supervising and evaluating professional employees.
Position descriptions provide more than just guidance for an employee’s day. They are integral to an
organization’s efforts to be fair and equitable to all employees. Organizations providing healthcare
services that do not have current position descriptions for all employees become vulnerable with regard
to accusations of discrimination in employment practices. One way to defend against charges of unfair
employment practices is to conduct job analyses and prepare job descriptions.
A job analysis involves extensive studying of a specific position and yields information for a position
description. The person conducting a job analysis gathers information about positions from several
sources. These include interviews with people currently in the position (also referred to as job or
position incumbents), observing their performance of the job’s duties or tasks, worksheets or
questionnaires completed by employees, and information from sources such as the Dictionary of
Position analysts will compile their findings and review the resulting job analysis with the current
position incumbent. Once agreement is reached with regard to the job description’s accuracy, the
preliminary document is given to an incumbent’s supervisor for review. Supervisors may add, delete, or
modify descriptions of duties, knowledge, skills, abilities, or other characteristics. After supervisors
approve individual position descriptions, they are forwarded to upper management for final approval. A
final position description is prepared, signed, and dated. Copies are given to both the incumbent and
supervisor. A copy is also filed for future reference.
Role of a Position Incumbent
Job incumbents have an important role in the process of generating accurate position descriptions.
Position incumbents can assist in the process of analysis by taking time to think about their jobs. They
should keep a diary of work-related activities or make notes about their job duties. These should include
all activities that occur during one complete cycle of duties. Typically, a year may be required to
complete all job duties. Unless job analysis occurs when budgets are being prepared, budget-related
tasks may be overlooked.
At the beginning of an analysis interview, incumbents should explain their concept of the job to the
analyst. The analyst should try to help the job incumbent focus on the facts. Job incumbents should
avoid overstating or understating characteristics of a position, such as duties, required knowledge, skills,
or abilities. Both analyst and job incumbent should remain focused and should minimize discussion of
extraneous issues. Analysts are concerned only with the position. Personal performances, fairness of
wages, complaints, and relationships with supervisors or coworkers are not relevant.
Senior managers determine the extent of a position’s impact on an organization and the boundaries of a
job. Position analysts do not determine consequences as part of their work. Such decisions are made by
senior managers. For example, salaries will not be reduced or a position eliminated because of the
analysis process. An analyst may recommend title changes or other position realignments, but the final
decisions are made by senior management.
Elements of a Position Description
A position description usually includes the following elements: job identification information, a job
summary, a principal duties performed section, and a job specification section.
Job Identification Information
Job identification information must include, at a minimum, the position title, the department location,
and the last date on which the content of the position description was verified. Other data, such as the
title of the supervisor, help to show how the position fits within a larger organization.
The job summary provides an overall rendering of the purpose, nature, and extent of the tasks
performed by the person in the position. In a well-constructed system, the job summary should relate to
the mission statement of the department in which the position is located and to the global mission of
Principal Duties Performed
This section presents job facts in an organized and orderly fashion. When preparing the principal duties
performed section, a job is normally broken down into approximately five to eight different tasks or
functions for the purpose of describing the position. The job tasks should be listed in order of decreasing
frequency or occurrence. This means the task that requires the most time to complete or that is the
most critical for a given position should be listed first. For each duty listed in this section, a description
of the job’s activities (i.e., what is done on the job), how the task is accomplished, and why it is
necessary should be provided. This is a convenient method of organizing a position description. It
quickly and effectively communicates a great deal of information about a position to a reader who is
unfamiliar with the job or position.
Position descriptions should be written using sentences that are complete, clear, and brief, using action
verbs and the present tense. In preparing a job summary, the purpose of the position must be clearly
stated. This statement should be as brief as possible while still accomplishing its purpose. Words should
be carefully selected to convey the maximum amount of specific meaning. General or vague terms
should be avoided unless they are absolutely essential as a substitute for a long and detailed
The principal duties performed section follows the job summary and includes major job tasks, as
previously outlined. Many organizations include a fourth section in their descriptions that covers job
The job specification section outlines the minimum specific skills, effort, and responsibilities required of
an incumbent in the job. Job specifications provide the basis and justification for values that will be
assigned to factors used in evaluating a position. Factors are elements created by a job analyst and
subsequently used when comparing different positions within a single organization. Job specification
statements must describe the extent to which a given factor is present and the degree of difficulty
encountered in the position for that factor.
When writing job specifications, individual statements should be definite, direct, and to the point. Any
unnecessary embellishments or complicated sentences should be avoided except where they materially
add to an understanding of the details contained in the statement. Any specifications that apply only to
occasional duties should be indicated accordingly so that the percentage of time or frequency with
which the specification applies will not be overestimated.
Educational requirements for a position description must be supported by the analysis of actual duties.
Higher educational requirements may legally be included if they are such that the skills or training can
be acquired only through formal education or if it is only through formal education that an individual
can acquire a particular license or certification that may be required to pursue the given occupation.
Minimum levels of schooling must be used. For example, the formerly encountered requirement for a
“high school diploma” has given way to the necessity for one to possess the ability to “read and write
and understand simple instructions.” Artificially high educational requirements have been judged to
represent a form of discrimination. They are not only illegal but unethical. Skills must be supported by
position analysis. These are factors that are linked to compensation. Other factors that must be
compensated include the level of responsibility expected of an incumbent, the number of people
supervised, the amount of funds managed, and the resources controlled.
Job specifications are then translated into position descriptions. These descriptions are for specific job
categories, for example, Secretary 2, Nurse Aide 1, Sanitarian-in-Training, or Environmental Supervisor
1. The title indicates the major duties of a position. The number after it may indicate the level of the
position in the organizational hierarchy. Higher numbers usually denote more senior or more
responsible positions. Whereas job specifications may be recorded for individual incumbents, position
descriptions are developed for general categories of jobs. Well-written position descriptions should
contain the items listed in Table 6-1. An example of a completed job description in the described format
appears in Appendix 6-A, which can be found at the end of this chapter.
Table 6-1 Position Description Components
Specific title for the job
Exempt or nonexempt
Summary of duties
Major tasks to be performed
The minimum, midpoint, and maximum for the job
Specific training needed to perform the job; specific experience, both type and amount needed to
perform the job
Specific skills expected
Both mental and physical; any heavy lifting
Consequences of an error
Hazards or other poor working conditions
Other duties as required
A position description becomes a vitally important HR management document for managers and
supervisors in that it sets out the major duties and responsibilities for persons in specific positions. In
many cases, the position description may be detailed to the level where it can be used for performance
appraisals and employee evaluations.
The preparation and verification of a position description and its specifications compose the first step in
developing a base salary compensation program. The next step in the process involves rating positions,
or job evaluation. Job evaluation is essentially a comparison of available information for each position
with rating scales that have been established to assist in determining order among many different
positions. Job evaluation establishes the relative position of each individual position with respect to all
jobs in an organization. Typically, an HR department performs the job evaluation. If it is a new or highly
controversial position, then an interdisciplinary job evaluation committee, composed of members from
various sectors of an organization, may evaluate a job.
Many people consider position descriptions to be dry and uninteresting. Regardless, however, they are
important documents for any organization. Position descriptions should be closely linked to
organizational goals and objectives. They are used when determining compensation levels. Job
descriptions must employ a regular format, style, and language, and they should be prepared with care
and reviewed periodically for accuracy and currency.
Case Study Resolution
Returning to Julie, the health officer who began to write a job description for the new training position,
a pause is in order. Job descriptions are not essays. They are based on an analysis of the new position. A
thorough position analysis usually requires more than 30 minutes to complete.
Julie apparently intended to specify a master of public health degree as the minimum level of education
for the job incumbent. While such a decision might appear to create a good opportunity for the
sanitarian, formal schooling is not the only place where expertise in training can be obtained. An
employee with several years of work experience who has had some leadership responsibilities should be
able to become a successful trainer. Artificially high educational requirements are a form of
discrimination. Julie should be reminded that job descriptions are written for positions, not individuals.
To ignore this advice is to court problems when seeking a replacement for the proposed employee.
SPOTLIGHT ON CUSTOMER SERVICE
Customer Service and Position Descriptions
Data obtained from a convenience sample of 42 position descriptions from a number of different
healthcare and public health organizations revealed that only one of the descriptions contained a
reference to customer service. Holdings of the National Library of Medicine were checked. The search
query stipulated the presence of two search terms, “customer service” and “position description.” This
approach identified 14 articles. One of the identified articles mentioned including customer service on
position descriptions (Hill & Meyer, 1998).
If every position description in an organization included “provides good customer service,” three criteria
would be realized:
1. The single goal of addressing customer needs is clearly expressed in the program’s name: customer
2. An organization requires only one customer service program.
3. Customer service is a priority activity that should be shared by all employees.
Hill, K., & Meyer, B. (1998). The worker of the future: A system outlines the competencies its employees
will need. Health Progress, 79(2), 29–32.
1. What is the principal difference between “exempt” and “nonexempt” employees?
2. What are the main provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act?
3. What is a job analysis?
4. Why is a job analysis important?
5. Briefly describe the main elements of a position or job description.
6. What, if anything, does a job incumbent contribute to a position description?
7. How is the education level required for a position established?
8. Describe several uses of a position description.
9. In addition to actual duties performed, what other information is contained in a properly prepared
position description? Why is it included?
10. Why is the statement “Job descriptions are written for positions, not people” important?
Byars, L. L., & Rue, L. W. (2003). Human Resource Management (7th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Cushway, B. (2006). The Handbook of Model Job Descriptions. London: Kogan Page.
Farr, J. M., Ludden, L. L., & Shatkin, L. (2001). Dictionary of Occupational Titles (2nd ed.). Indianapolis,
IN: JIST Works.
Mader-Clark, M. M. (2006). The Job Description Handbook. Berkeley, CA: NOLO.
Wilson, M. (2004). Volunteer Job Descriptions and Action Plans. Loveland, CO: Group Publishing.
Conway, J. M., & Peneno, G. M. (1999). Comparing structured interview question types: Construct
validity and applicant reactions. Journal of Business and Psychology, 13, 485–506.
Fooks, C. (2005). Health human resources planning in an interdisciplinary care environment: To dream
the impossible dream? Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership, 18(3), 26–29.
Hall, A. (2005). Dialing for jobs: How to make the most of a phone interview. Biomedical Instrumentation
and Technology, 39(5), 377–378.
Kristof-Brown, A., Barrick, M. R., & Franke, M. (2002). Influences and outcomes of candidate impression
management use in job interviews. Journal of Management, 28, 27–46.
Rosse, J. G., Stecher, M. D., Miller, J. L., & Levin, R. A. (1998). The impact of response distortion on pre-
employment personality testing and hiring decisions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83, 634–644.
Smaglik, P. (2005). Seeking soft skills. Nature, 438(7069), 883–885.
Van Iddekinge, C. H., Raymark, P. H., Eidson, C. E., & Attenweiler, W. (2004). What do structured
interviews really measure? The construct validity of behavior description interviews. Human
Performance, 17, 71–93.
Van Iddekinge, C. H., Raymark, P. H., & Roth, P. L. (2005). Assessing personality with a structured
employment interview: Construct-related validity and susceptibility to response inflation. Journal of
Applied Psychology, 90(3), 536–552.
Sample Position Description
Community Practice Facility Controller
Unit or Section:
(intentionally left blank)
Plans, directs, and coordinates, on an efficient and economical basis, all facility accounting operational
activities, including cost accounting, financial accounting, general accounting, information systems, and
general office services
Work encompasses involvement in a broad range of accounting activities that are essential to the
maintenance of facility operations and the dissemination of financial information to the board, senior
managers, and owners
Summary of Duties:
1. Coordinates all essential accounting operational functions in a timely and accurate manner,
developing methods geared to providing management with information vital to decision-making
2. Directs the development of methods and procedures necessary to ensure adequate financial
controls within each of the facility’s operational areas.
3. Performs analysis and appraisal of the facility’s financial status.
4. Prepares recommendations with respect to future financial plans, forecasts, and policies.
5. Works closely with the chief executive officer on confidential financial matters and expedites such
matters to conclusion.
6. Directs this operation within the accounting parameters established by facility, third-party provider,
state, federal, and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), rules and regulations.
7. Manages the organizational area in a manner that fully complements and interfaces with all other
coordinating agencies or business partners.
8. Performs other duties and responsibilities as directed by the CEO.
Number of Employees:
Direct: General supervisors in operational areas
Indirect: Other facility supervisors, administrative and clerical personnel
Training and Education:
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) required; graduation from an accredited program
Must have at least five years of experience in accounting with some supervisory responsibility
Budget of $3,500,000 per year
All required insurance for hospital
State and federal filings for tax and other financial purposes
Minimal physical effort required; no lifting
Mental effort requires ability to concentrate on numbers for long periods of time and to occasionally
work under severe deadlines
Well-lighted office; No exposure to hazards in the normal course of work
The above constitutes a general summary of duties. Additional duties may be required.
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