Aviation Job Descriptions
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The Avjobs Employer System has thousands of job descriptions
- ready to download and customize Each description
has a consistent format, and includes "Essential Job
Job descriptions are essential.
Job descriptions are required for recruitment so that
you and the applicants can understand the role. Job descriptions
are necessary for all people that work. A job description
defines a person's role and accountability. Without a job
description it is not possible for a person to properly
commit to, or be held accountable for, a role.
The process of writing job descriptions is actually quite
easy and straight-forward. Many people tend to start off
with a list of 20-30 tasks, which is okay as a start, but
this needs refining to far fewer points, around 8-12 is
Smaller organizations commonly require staff and managers
to cover a wider or more mixed range of responsibilities
than in larger organizations (for example, the 'office manager'
role can comprise financial, HR, stock-control, scheduling
and other duties). Therefore in smaller organizations, job
descriptions might necessarily contain a greater number
of listed responsibilities, perhaps 15-16. However, whatever
the circumstances, the number of responsibilities should
not exceed this, or the job description becomes unwieldy
Any job description containing 20-30 tasks is actually
more like a part of an operational manual, which serves
a different purpose. Job descriptions should refer
to the operational manual, or to 'agreed procedures', rather
than include the detail of the tasks in the job description.
If you include task detail in a job description you will
need to change it when the task detail changes, as it will
often do. What would you rather change, 100 job descriptions
or one operational manual?
Similarly, lengthy details of health and safety procedures
should not be included in a job description. Instead put
them into a health and safety manual, and then simply refer
to this in the job description. Again, when your health
and safety procedure changes, would you rather change 100
job descriptions or just one health and safety manual?
A useful process for refining and writing job descriptions
responsibilities into fewer points and ('responsibilities'
rather than 'individual tasks'), is to group the many individual
tasks into main responsibility areas, such as the list below
(not all will be applicable to any single role). Bold type
indicates that these responsibility areas would normally
feature in most job descriptions:
Bold type indicates that these responsibility areas would
normally feature in most job descriptions:
- communicating (in relation to whom, what, how
- and this is applicable to all below)
- planning and organizing (of what..)
- managing information or general administration
support (of what..)
- monitoring and reporting (of what..)
- evaluating and decision-making (of what..)
- financial budgeting and control (of what..)
- producing things (what..)
- maintaining/repairing things (what..)
- quality control (for production roles normally a
separate responsibility; otherwise this is generally
incorporated within other relevant responsibilities)
- health and safety (normally the same point for
all job descriptions of a given staff grade)
- using equipment and systems (what..)
- creating and developing things (what..)
- self-development (normally the same point for
all job descriptions of a given staff grade)
plus any responsibilities for other staff if applicable,
- recruiting (of direct-reporting staff)
- assessing (direct-reporting staff)
- training (direct-reporting staff)
- managing (direct-reporting staff)
Senior roles will include more executive aspects:
- developing policy
- duty of care and corporate responsibility
- formulation of direction and strategy
You will find that you can cluster most of the tasks
on your (initially very long) list into a list of far fewer
broad (but still specific) responsibilities according to
the above examples of typical job description activity areas.
Obviously the level of authority affects the extent of
responsibility in the job description for determining strategy,
decision-making, managing other people, and for executive
roles, deciding direction, policy, and delivering corporate
Wherever possible refer the detail of standards and process
to your 'operational manual' or 'agreed procedures' or 'agreed
standards' rather than allowing the job description to become
a sort of operating manual. If your boss or employer is
asking for you to detail your tasks at length in a job description,
encourage him/her/the organization to put this level of
detail into an operational manual - it will save a lot of
Writing or re-writing a job description is a good opportunity
to frame the role as you'd like it as well as reflect how
it is at the moment, so try to think outside of the normal
way of thinking, and if this is difficult seek the input
of somebody who is less close to things.
Job Descriptions are Important
Job descriptions improve an organizations ability to
manage people and roles in the following ways:
- clarifies employer expectations for employee
- provides basis of measuring job performance
- provides clear description of role for job candidates
- provides a structure and discipline for company
to understand and structure all jobs and ensure necessary
activities, duties and responsibilities are covered
by one job or another
- provides continuity of role parameters irrespective
of manager interpretation
- enables pay and grading systems to be structured
fairly and logically
- prevents arbitrary interpretation of role content
and limit by employee and employer and manager
- essential reference tool in issues of employee/employer
- essential reference tool for discipline issues
- provides important reference points for training
and development areas
- provides neutral and objective (as opposed to subjective
or arbitrary) reference points for appraisals, performance
reviews and counseling
- enables formulation of skill set and behavior set
requirements per role
- enables organization to structure and manage roles in a uniform way, thus increasing
efficiency and effectiveness of recruitment, training and development, organizational
structure, work flow and activities, customer service, etc.
- enables factual view (as opposed to instinctual)
to be taken by employees and managers in career progression
and succession planning
(The list is not exhaustive.)
In the Avjobs Employer System you'll find job descriptions
structure and template, and samples of various job descriptions.
Also template and sample 'person-profile', necessary when
Be very careful to adhere to relevant employment an discrimination
law when compiling job descriptions, job adverts and person-profiles.
This means that you must not specify a preference according
to gender, race, creed, religion, or physical ability. If
you find yourself writing a job description with a bias
in any of these areas you should ask yourself why, as none
can be justified.
Company directors have personal liability for the activities
of their organizations aside from their functional responsibilities,
and arguably this accountability should be included in some
way in a director's job description. Clarity is vital. People
and employers need to have a clear, mutual agreement about
the expectations for the job, and the job description is
a key instrument by which this is achieved.
That said, job descriptions are not operating manuals.
I repeat, keep the descriptions of duties concise and free
of detailed operating or processing instructions. If necessary
refer to these is a phrase such as 'according to company
procedures', or 'according to the operating manual/safety
manual', etc. By referencing rather than including specific
operating standards or processes, the headache of updating
all the job descriptions when procedures change is avoided.
Job Description Template:
- Job Title
- Based at (Business Unit, Section - if applicable)
- Position reports to (Line Manager title, location,
and Functional Manager, location if matrix management
- Job Purpose Summary (ideally one sentence)
- Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities, (or 'Duties'.
8-15 numbered points)
- Dimensions/Territory/Scope/Scale indicators (the
areas to which responsibilities extend and the scale
of responsibilities - staff, customers, territory, products,
equipment, premises, etc.)
- Date and other relevant internal references
For senior job descriptions it is useful to break key
responsibilities into sections covering Functional, Managerial,
and Organizational areas.
The most difficult part is the Key Responsibilities and
Accountabilities section. Large organizations have generic
versions for the most common organizational roles - so don't
re-invent the wheel if something suitable already exists.
If you have to create a job description from scratch, use
this method to produce the 8-15 responsibilities:
- Note down in a completely random fashion all of
the aspects of the job.
- Think about: processes, planning, executing, monitoring,
reporting, communicating, managing people/resources/activities/money/information/inputs/outputs/communications/time.
- Next combine and develop the random collection of
ideas into a set of key responsibilities. (A junior
position will not need more than 8. A senior one might
- Rank them roughly in order of importance.
- Have someone who knows or has done the job well
check your list and amend as appropriate.
- Double check that everything on the list is genuinely
important and achievable.
Do not put targets into a job description. Targets are
a moving output over which you need flexible control.
Do not put 'must achieve target/goals' into a job description.
This is a pure output and does not describe the job. The
job description must describe the activities required to
ensure that target will be met.
Do not have as one of the key responsibilities 'And anything
else that the manager wants'. It's not fair, and no-one
is ever committed to or accountable for such a thing.