Job Descriptions

Accurate and current job descriptions are the necessary “kernel” of every position at Bowdoin College. Human Resources and supervisors use them to: advertise, accurately represent and explain the job to applicants; help determine interviewing questions and an applicant’s potential to perform the job adequately; identify training requirements of the position; outline performance standards used to periodically evaluate job performance; and make departmental and divisional organizational decisions.

Our job description format is comprehensive in order to provide information for all of the functions listed above. Effective job descriptions really start with the manager (or the hiring manager) who knows the most about the job, skills required to perform the job, and how the employee’s performance in the job will be measured. Employees, when asked to compose a list of essential functions, will sometimes document every single task they perform.

These task lists may be helpful, but in reality, several individual tasks may be grouped together and summarized as one essential function. Managers have the ability to step back and give a more accurate representation of major responsibilities. Effective job descriptions will help an employee to work smarter and will serve as a benchmark of what is expected of them as they progress and develop, not just when they start in the position.

If you have any questions about creating/reviewing/updating job descriptions, please do not hesitate to contact Human Resources (x 3837) for assistance.