The Purpose of a Job Description




Green Baize Door has helped many clients prepare Job Descriptions which fit the needs of their homes and estates. In fact, over the last decade, we have written in excess of 150 different Job Descriptions (who would have really thought that private households would engage such a huge and diverse number of roles!?) 

A good Job Description will focus on the requirements of the job, rather than on the department or the individual who holds the job (See Role Charter).

Job descriptions are used to document in detail what each job is about, its purpose and what duties are typically performed by a job holder. They are also used to identify suitable applicants, guide new and existing employees and measure actual performance against desired performance. 

At Green Baize Door, we recommend that every employer ensures there is a job descriptions for each job title found in their home.

A well-designed job description includes a number of specific aspects to describe the job in detail. 

Typical headings found in a well-written job description include:

  1. The actual job title
  2. Purpose of the job: why does the job exist/what is its aim. For example, a housekeeper’s job is not to simply clean a room but to create a clean, hygienic, warm and welcoming environment
  3. Location(s) of the job
  4. Typically expected working hours
  5. The job’s location in the team's structure
  6. Reporting lines relevant to the job
  7. Working conditions, for example, environmental factors such as indoor or outdoor, use of machinery that requires specialist knowledge and/or skill
  8. 'Behavioural competencies' applicable to the job (see below)
  9. 'Person Specifications', detail the technical knowledge and skills required for the exemplary performance of this job (see below)
  10. List of typical activities performed. Those activities that fill the majority of working time in this job, that make up the core activities performed by the job holder. Along with a list of example jobs performed regularly and from time to time, in addition to the core activities.
  11. A Job Description written for a senior or managerial role, may also include mention of Accountabilities, example
    • How is performance in this job measured:
      • People indicators
      • Product indicators
      • Financial indicators
  12. Lastly, it is customary to include a paragraph stating the need to assist in activities and work outside of the core of the job.

Behavioural Competences

Behavioural Competencies list and describe the employee attributes desired by the employer. When these traits are identified, they will capture the desired culture of the organisation. It is for this reason that they should be included in a number of documents including job descriptions.

They can also be used to identify suitable applicants, to guide existing employee behaviour, to reward positive attitudes and actions and to provide performance feedback.

Behavioural competencies focus on the personal traits of the individual rather than on technical abilities. Behavioural competencies are an important aspect of recruiting and managing employees because unlike technical skills which can generally be taught, behavioural traits tend to be more entrenched and harder to change.

Large organisations list the specific behaviours that make up each competency and vary these according to levels in the organisation, seniority, and levels of accountability. Smaller organisations opt for less complexity to describe the competencies they require.

Green baize Door recommends, what ever its size, that every household design a set of competencies which capture and reflect the desired culture of the household, as well as the traits of employees suited to the organisation. 

Examples of competencies include:

  • Confidentiality and discretion
  • Accountability and responsibility
  • Communication and interaction
  • Creativity and innovation

We recommend that each competency is limited to a brief descriptor, to indicate what is meant by the competency.

Person Specifications 

Green Baize Door recommends creating a Person Specification document for each job, to assist in filtering applicants for a vacancy, and to shortlist potential candidates for interview.

Person specifications list the educational, physical, technical and literacy requirements needed for a specific job. They are also used to separate potentially suitable applicants from those who do not meet the job’s minimum requirements. Person specifications are used by those who review the suitability of job applicants before meeting the applicant for an interview.

Typically, person specifications include:

  • Job title
  • Educational requirements
  • Professional qualifications including any required licences
  • Language(s) proficiency
  • Written and numerical proficiency
  • Physical requirements of the job



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