Understanding the demands of a job entails going into the specifics of its responsibilities, or the work that makes you accountable to your superiors.  Job responsibilities often go together with duties and these two essentially answer the same thing – what the company expects from you with the salary you get paid with. While a job duty simply answers what you do, a job responsibility answers what you are in charge of that only you can do or the things you do which will hold you accountable to your superiors.

Here are some things to consider when creating you’re the job responsibilities for a job description.

  • Job responsibilities are not a simple laundry listing of things you expect done.  As the immediate superior of the job you are describing, bear in mind that each job responsibility should be verifiable and observable since it can be the basis in gauging if the employee is doing what is expected of him or her.
  • A responsibility should easily lend itself to being observable and, thus, measurable.  It should not be too general to make measurement difficult, but it should not be too specific that would clutter the job responsibility with too many details.
  • Job descriptions of knowledge workers or jobs that require analytical thinking should have responsibilities that are less prescriptive or self-limiting.  On the other hand, rank and file jobs where most of the work is routine or rule based leaving little room for decision-making should have precise job responsibilities.