Job descriptions are essential

Job descriptions are essential. They are required for recruitment so that the employer and the applicants can understand the job role. They are necessary for all people in work because a job description defines a person's role and accountability. Without a job description it is not possible for a person to commit to, or be held accountable for, a role.

Job descriptions improve an organisation's ability to manage people and they should:

  • Clarify employer expectations of employees
  • Provide a basis of measuring job performance
  • Provide a clear description of job role for job candidates
  • Provide continuity of job role irrespective of manager interpretation
  • Enable pay and grading systems to be structured fairly and logically
  • Provide a reference guide in issues of employee/employer dispute
  • Provide a reference guide for discipline issues
  • Provide reference points for training and development.
  • Provide reference points for appraisals, performance reviews and counselling

Job Description should include:

  • Job Title
  • Location of job (Golf Club))
  • Person that the individual reports to (line manager title, location, and functional manager, location if matrix management structure)
  • Job purpose summary (ideally one sentence)
  • Key responsibilities and accountabilities, (or 'Duties'. 8-15 numbered points)
  • Dimensions/territory/scope/scale indicators (the areas to which responsibilities extend and the scale of responsibilities - staff, customers, territory, products, equipment, premises, etc)
  • Date and other relevant internal references

For senior employees’ job descriptions it is useful to break key responsibilities into sections covering functional, managerial, and organisational areas.

The most difficult part of a job description to produce 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 it 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 have as one of the key responsibilities 'And anything else that the manager wants'. It's not fair, and nobody is ever committed to or accountable for such a thing.

Be very careful to adhere to relevant 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.

Follow the links on the left handside to see some example job descriptions for common roles within golf clubs.