In addition best practice in acquirement, staff development and performance management now focuses upon competencies, which therefore need to feature more prominently in job design. 2. Set out below managers will find Word templates for the new style, together with advice on how to use the layout to accurately set out the service’s requirements. There is also an update to the Council’s advice on available qualifications following the Governments recent review Of the National Qualification Framework. Drafting a Job Description 3. The aim of a Job Description is to set out as clearly and concisely as possible what is expected of the post holder.
It should be unambiguous and written in a way that the post holder can understand. 4. Job Descriptions are not only used at the point of advertising to fill a post, although this is often the time of inception. Other uses of the Job Description Induction – to clearly outline what is expected of the individual and the support required; Probation – to evaluate the performance of new appointees; Development and Training – to act as the reference point for training needs analysis; Appraisal – to identify strengths and weaknesses in performance and to refocus efforts.
It is normal to start an appraisal interview by reviewing the intents of a Job Description with the post holder. Job Evaluation – to provide an objective description of the duties and responsibilities of the post. 5. The Job Description is a live management document. In today’s Local Government service jobs are constantly evolving. Managers need to update the document on a regular basis as part of the appraisal process. 6. When writing a Job Description avoid describing the current or last post holder’s preferred duties rather than the post and what you want it to achieve.
Always consider how you can update or alter the post to make it ore flexible and therefore open to a wider section of the community, e. G. By offering flexible working arrangements. 7. The County Council has a new standard format for Job Descriptions (see Appendix 1) that managers should use in all instances. If this does not meet your requirements please discuss this with your allocated HER adviser. Some occupational groups (Social Work) have generic Job Descriptions which individual managers should not change without involving senior managers and a HER adviser. . You should base Job Descriptions on a job analysis and aim to keep the document as concise and factual as possible. Consider the following areas: 9. Outcomes Identify the output or outcomes. Avoid stipulating basic tasks and processes and concentrate upon what the post-holder must produce individually or as part off team. The Job Description should make clear what the key result areas are and how managers will determine success. Resources 10. For what financial or physical resources will the post have direct responsibility?
Will the post holder have authority to spend or commit resources or will they monitor historical data and report future projections? Significant bodies of information are a corporate resource. Planning and organization 1 1 . This covers organizing, proportioning and planning time and resources, be they human, physical or financial. This may include planning and organizing one’s own work; planning work for others on day-to-day tasks or on projects; carrying out operational planning and planning for coming years. Deciding & Initiating 12. What scope will the post holder have to exercise initiative and take independent actions?
This will depend upon the level of available supervision and the limits or parameters inherent in the work systems and procedures being used. Communication 13. Focus on those with whom the post holder interacts e. G. Internal and external groups, organizations and individuals etc. What form does this communication take, e. G. In writing, electronically, orally, by presentation, etc? What is the purpose of the communication? Is it simply providing information, tying to persuade someone to a point of view, discussions which may become contentious or acrimonious such as exercising some regulatory role?
Responsibility for others 14. Who is the post holder responsible for e. G. Team members, clients, students etc? Does this involve induction, coaching, mentoring, appraisal, raining, supervision, capability and discipline? Investigation, Analysis and Research 15. May include following standard procedures to analyses data; identifying appropriate (new) methods of research; collating and analyzing a range of data from different sources. Exceptional working conditions 16. Factors that might impact on any of the above points e. G. Noise, fumes, dirt or any other difficult or challenging working conditions. 7. The corporate template ensures that sufficient detail is provided for the Job Description’s various uses and in particular for the recruitment and job evaluation procedures. TO help you make best use Of the format the following section explains the various elements and gives some examples. Remember, you should use clear and simple language to ensure that applicants or post holders quickly understand the essential nature and requirements of the post. Post title 18. This should indicate as clearly as possible the function of the job and its level within the organization.
Grade 19. The grade is determined through job evaluation so you will be notified what grade will apply. Responsible to 20. The title of the line manager Date 21 -Date the Job Description was last updated. Manager Level 22. This is the level assigned under the corporate Leadership and Management development framework to indicate the training and support package to apply. Use 1 for Senior, 2 for Middle or 3 for First line Manager. Job Purpose 23. This is a short evocative description of the post drawn from the key elements of the description itself.
It should describe where the post fits into the structure and what the general purpose of the post is. It is often better to complete this section after the duties and responsibilities have been analyses and described. 24. For staff resources identify the number and level of posts reporting erectly to the post holder. Financial resources might include revenue budgets, capital budgets or income generation. Is it simply a support and monitoring role or can the post holder directly influence or change the way resources are used and allocated?
Indicate the annual budgets involved. Is it a EOM five year contract or a ELM annual budget with order values of around EYE? Physical resources include buildings, a fleet of vehicles, archives or significant bodies of data or information. Some posts (e. G. Care services) will have responsibility for individuals or groups of clients, set-vice users or embers of the public Other than employees. The key factor is the nature and extent of the direct impact on their well being. Duties and Key Result Areas 25. This is a summary of the general duties that make up the post.
The steps required defining the main areas of responsibility or main tasks are: Identify and produce an initial list of the main activities or tasks carried out by the job holder. Analyses the initial list of tasks and group them together so that no more than about ten main activity areas remain, if the number extends much beyond this the Job Description will become over complex and it will be fisticuff to be specific about accountabilities or tasks. 26. Define each activity as a statement of what the post holder is expected to achieve I. E. An output. This should be done in one sentence that should: Start with a verb in the active voice e. . Plans, prepares, produces, provides, maintains. It is worth considering the use of verbs as these may have an effect on grading decisions e. G. Manage or supervise, be responsible for or progress in agreement with. Describe the object of the verb (what is done) as succinctly as possible e. G. Tests new systems, posts cash to the nominal ledger. State briefly the purpose of the activity in terms of outputs or standards to be achieved e. G. Tests new systems to ensure that they meet the agreed systems specifications, posts cash to the nominal ledger in order to provide up to date and accurate financial information.
Statements that emphasize outputs in terms of results expected provide essential data for use in agreeing objective performance measures. 27. Examples Prepare supply and demand information to meet business requirements. Plan and implement employee development programmed to meet identified needs. Maintain accurate, confidential and efficient filing and record systems. Advise on HER strategies, policies and practices that support the County Council’s business objectives while fulfilling its obligations to employees. Final statement 28.
Each Job Description contains the following final statement: “The duties and responsibilities highlighted in this Job Description are indicative and may vary over time. Post holders are expected to undertake other duties and responsibilities relevant to the nature, level and scope of the post and the grade has been established on this basis. ” Transport Requirements 29. Else this section to explain the transport requirements Of the post. For example, the work involves the need to visit schools or work sites throughout the north of the County on a regular and routine basis.
Working Patterns 30. Describe the normal work arrangements including any requirement to work shifts, stand by or call out roots. Flexi hours, a requirement for lone working or the need to work late should also be mentioned. Working Conditions 31 -Is the post sedentary and office-based or does it involve working outdoors in all weathers? Indicate the exposure to disagreeable, unpleasant or hazardous conditions arising from either the environment or people. Briefly describe the frequency, duration and nature of conditions such as weather, noise, vibration, smell, human or animal waste etc.
Creating a Person Specification 32. While the Job Description describes the work, the Person Specification describes the person needed to carry out those duties effectively. It is essential that the requirements set out in the Person Specification are; Specific – they relate directly to the Job Description. Justifiable – they are demonstrably needed to do the work. Measurable – we can objectively assess the candidates against the criteria. 33. The information provided should enable prospective applicants to ‘self- select’ and decide whether to apply for the vacancy.
It should make clear to existing post holders what skills, competencies and behavior they will have to employ to achieve the required standards. 34. It is important to distinguish between those requirements that are essential and those that are desirable. Essential criteria are the minimum requirements needed to perform the job to a satisfactory standard. Managers should not set the standards unnecessarily high, since applicants failing to meet any of the essential requirements should not be considered or the job. 35. Each element of the Person Specification is independent of all the others.
For example it is not permissible to shortlist on the basis of a degree or substantial experience when considering essential criteria. Either the qualification is an essential requirement in its own right or it is not. If substantial experience is an acceptable alternative then the qualification is only desirable. 36. Desirable criteria are advantages such as additional breadth of relevant experience, wider range of skills, higher or extra qualifications etc. Which managers can use for further selection when a number of applicants meet he essential criteria.
The Person Specification is therefore the primary document in the selection process. Managers must therefore always bear in mind that when drafting a Person Specification they are setting selection criteria that they will use to assess the suitability of candidates or the performance of a post holder. It is crucial that the criteria are objective since criteria that are entirely subjective are usually the result of personal preference and therefore open to challenge on equality grounds. Developing specific, justifiable and measurable criteria is most likely to produce objective criteria.
Meeting essential criteria might get you on the short list, whereas meeting desirable criteria might get you the job. ” 37. Care is needed to avoid becoming too specific or too detailed. Too much detail might unreasonably exclude people who could effectively undertake the post. Is it really necessary to have experience in the same service or even local government? For the same reasons setting too many criteria can unfairly exclude otherwise capable candidates. Person Specifications with too many criteria also result in labor intensive selection, as every candidate must be assessed against every criterion.
The key is to find succinct, evocative criteria that wholly capture the nature of the job without over complicating the selection process. 38. The corporate template for the Person Specification (see Appendix 2) provides a structure to the necessary criteria for selection, equality and grading purposes. Failure to use the template will inevitably lead to inconsistencies in applying the Council’s procedures and increase the risk Of claims of unfairness. It may also adversely affect the decisions taken in the job evaluation process. 39. Further advice on using the format and its various elements is given low.
Knowledge & Qualifications 40. Knowledge is an essential, yet often understated requirement for posts. It is linked to qualifications since the required knowledge is often acquired through some form of training or professional study which might also lead to a qualification. Most jobs will require a level Of knowledge which will vary from being able to follow straight forward oral or written instructions, knowledge of tools or machinery, knowledge of specific types of procedures, innumeracy, literacy, through to theoretical, practical and procedural knowledge across a range of specialist areas. -Qualifications are commonly overstated. They fall into three broad categories; educational, vocational and professional. General education qualifications such as GEESE and A levels are often used as an indication of literacy and innumeracy. Case law clearly indicates that employers must demonstrate that any requirement is justified on factors related to the work and are reasonable in the circumstances. Could you justify to an Employment Tribunal why someone with only three Gases could not carry out the duties Of the post while someone with five could? 2. National Vocational Qualifications (NV) are awarded for practical work or competence” rather than by written examination. The assessment is based on a portfolio of work completed in a realistic working environment. They are meant to show whether the individual can perform work-related tasks and are increasingly used by employers as benchmarks. Regulatory bodies such as OFFSET & CICS require staff in a number of occupations to attain a minimum NV standard. It is good practice to stipulate the appropriate NV standard for the required qualification.
More information is available in the Guide to Qualifications attached to this document and available on the HER web page. 43. Professional qualifications provide a foundation of theoretical, specialist and technical knowledge underpinned by practice in the skills, techniques and principles relative to the work. For some occupations this will ultimately result in having a degree, for example becoming a solicitor, an architect or an engineer. However, not all professional qualifications have graduate status.
It should not therefore automatically follow that a degree is an essential requirement for all professional posts. 44. Whenever possible it is also advisable to indicate that queue bivalent qualifications are acceptable, for example, from overseas. See Appendix 3) Experience 45. At is no longer permissible for a Person Specification to include any time- related requirements. Specifying lengthy periods of experience will potentially exclude more females than males, whereas stipulating a degree plus ten years experience equates to no one less than 30 years of age. 46.
When specifying experience managers need to be precise about what experience the candidate must have and relate it to the Job Description. Having recent and relevant experience is usually more important than the length. Quality is more important than quantity. Candidates could have ten ears of poor or limited experience. 47. Specify the type and level of the experience. A senior post will require considerable post qualification professional experience, while an assistant could probably do the post with just prior office experience. Become more accurate in specifying your requirements.
Rather than ‘staff management experience’ you might consider ‘effectively managing the performance of individuals through appraisal’, ‘taking appropriate action to resolve staff performance issues ‘or ‘successfully achieving team objectives through the management Of other people’s performance’. 48. Also remember that experience is gained not just through work. Skills and competencies 49. Skills are the ability to do something well, an expertise or dexterity. A competency is an underlying characteristic of a person which results in effective and superior performance.
Competencies are applied skills; a mixture of knowledge, ability and attitude. An employee may have the required skill but does not use it in an effective manner. For example, they may not use that skill in a flexible way, they may not communicate what or why they did something to colleagues, they may use the wrong skill on the ring task, or they weren’t able to use the skill at all because theft unreliable and turned up for work late. 50. Identify the skills needed by analyzing the duties and responsibilities listed in the Job Description.
Priorities them in order that will determine success in meeting service and corporate objectives. Remain objective and realistic when deciding which are essential and which desirable. Skills that can be acquired during the induction period or by attending a short-course are hardly essential. 51 -In today’s public services where the required skill sets are rapidly changing ND evolving, competencies have become much more prominent in recruitment and selection decisions since they can predict the ability to adapt, acquire new skills and work flexibly.
As good indicators of attitude and behavior in the workplace they are also good predictors of performance. 52. A number of competency frameworks have been established within the Council which managers may wish to refer to when writing Person Specifications. The Career Grade Code Of practice identified core competencies for professional career graded posts in 2003. This was followed by core competencies for the first tier of professionally qualified Taft with the introduction of Career Progression Schemes.
More recently the Leadership and Management Development Programmer established competencies for first, middle and senior managers throughout the Council’s services. Person Specifications should reflect existing core competencies where these have been developed. The competency frameworks currently used were developed for training, development and performance management purposes and are often too detailed to use for recruitment and selection purposes unedited. Managers should therefore select key competencies that are clearly grounded in the duties and responsibilities set UT in the Job Description of the post in question. 3 Managers may also wish to note that a recent HER project established a number of key competencies for business support roles such as clerical and adman staff. Based upon an assessment of existing staff by first line managers the competencies thought to provide the best indication of good performance were; Establishes good relationships with customers and colleagues Reliably follows instruction and procedures Sets high standards and delivers results Adapts and responds positively to change Demonstrates integrity and upholds values and principles 4. Managers also need to consider how they can measure skills and competencies.
Traditionally most evidence is gleaned from the application form, the interview and references. Behavioral (or competency) questions should identify what opportunities the candidate has had to apply the key competencies and gain as much specific evidence as possible. A number of other tools are available including ability tests, personality question nearer, interest/motivation inventories, role play, presentations and group exercises. Please note that the Council has a policy of using personality questionnaires or middle management posts that include a significant staff management component.
Physical, Mental and Emotional Demands 55. Managers must not include requirements which cannot be justified in terms of the job since this may constitute indirect discrimination. However, it is important that the Person Specification describes these aspects to the work for job evaluation purposes and to ensure that prospective candidates and post holders fully understand the nature of the work. When considering whether to apply for a vacancy how can candidates request reasonable adjustments if they don’t know what the job entails? 6.
When assessing physical demands take into account all forms of bodily effort such as walking, lifting, carrying, pulling and pushing. Also bear in mind working in an awkward position such as bending, crouching, stretching or working in a constrained position. The latter might include posts which involve a large element of continuous driving or typing. 57. Gender mental demands managers should consider the degree and frequency of concentration, alertness, attention and dealing with frequent interruptions and conflicting demands.