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Building a Recruitment and Retention Plan

Job Description Components

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation LicenseA Provider’s Guide on How to Use Core Competencies in Behavioral Health, Section E: Module 3.. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, Job Description[1]. Additional information on how to write a job description based on competencies can be found in the related resource,

Although the components of a job description can vary, the following sections are typical:
  • Job summary. This section may also be called the “Job Objective” or “Purpose Statement” and consists of a short paragraph of no more than three to four sentences which concisely informs the reader of the nature, level, and objective of the position. It also states the characteristics of the job.
  • Job duties. This section may also be called “Tasks Performed”, and may be as lengthy as necessary to fully describe each essential duty or responsibility that comprises the employee's functions, generally starting with principle duties.
  • Roles and responsibilities. A role is the set of responsibilities or “soft skills” required to achieve expected results associated with a job. A job usually includes several roles. This section can include supervisory level roles, managerial requirements, and any working relationships.
  • Job specifications or qualifications. This section may include required education, experience, knowledge, and skill sets, as well as any criteria related to physical limitations. It usually provides the minimum requirements that are needed for the specific job, or position.
  • Key role interactions. This section defines the people and/or departments with which the employee will be required to interact within the course of employment. Though this is not necessarily an exhaustive list, it certainly provides both the interviewer and the applicant a basis of understanding when discussing the position and potential responsibilities.
  • Professional skills. This section describes in enough detail the key abilities and experiences required to allow a new hire to function and perform the duties of the job from day one.
How to Write an Effective Position Description, by Laura Gassner Otting, President of Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group, provides more information on the components of a job description.

Click here to download this as a Word document.

[1] Job description. (2009, March 17). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:44, April 8, 2009, from

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