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Library Administrative Manual

5.4 Library Guidelines For Preparing Position Descriptions

I. General

Position descriptions describe jobs, not job holders. A position description must accompany each Position Vacancy form forwarded to the Human Resources Office for recruitment purposes. The initial preparation of a position description is ordinarily done by the Unit Head subject to the approval of the appropriate _________________ and the University Librarian or his/her designee. Position descriptions for continuing employees are to be reviewed by the Unit Head with the employee a minimum of once a year. When there are substantial changes in assignments, a reviewed position description must be prepared and forwarded to Human Resources.

II. Purpose Of Position Descriptions

  1. To provide both the employee and the supervisor with a clear understanding of what the employee must do to meet the demands of the job.
  2. To clarify job relationships within a unit. When position descriptions within a unit or division are compared, gaps or overlaps in responsibilities should become apparent immediately.
  3. To facilitate recruiting, training, performance evaluations and proper position classification.

III. Essential Elements

  1. Cover Sheet

    Section One: General Information
    Section Two: Primary Action Being Requested
    Section Three: Signatures

    Position information should be completed and all signatures obtained.

  2. Section Four: Position Description
    1. Position Summary: Briefly state the purpose or objective of the position
    2. Essential job functions: State the major responsibilities, indicate New (N) or Existing (E) and the estimated percent of time devoted to each - include descriptive statements of typical or representative tasks associated with the major responsibilities/functions.
    3. Skill requirements: Identify (1) specialized, technical, or practical knowledge required such as computer hardware and software systems, library, accounting, scientific, language etc., (2) critical thinking skills, and (3) interaction capabilities.
    4. Nature and scope of decisions: Identify the kinds of commitments made, judgment required and supervision received; i.e. direct or indirect-also indicated if position acts as lead or supervises others-explain.
    5. Contacts on and off campus: List individuals regularly contacted and the purpose of the interaction. Use position titles rather than names of individuals.
  3. Section Five: Additional Information
    1. Minimum qualifications required to perform all essential functions: Indicate work experience including type of work and number of years required; education, if applicable, including desired degree and field of study, and specify certificate or license requirements.
    2. Environmental and/or physical requirements: Outline specific physical, environmental or unique conditions associated with the position.
    3. Project Coordination/Lead Responsibilities: If applicable, describe the project, the functions and classifications of individuals supervised and the duration of the assignment.
    4. For a revised position description, describe how and why this job has or is to change. What is different about the job in terms of skill levels, responsibility, complexity, accountability and authority.

    NOTE: Item letters refer to Human Relations Form HR 320A: Position description issued by the San Francisco State University Human Resources Office.

    Revised: 1998

IV. Definitions Of Supervisory Terms

  1. Supervision

    Determining or interpreting work procedures for a group of workers, assigning specific duties to them, maintaining harmonious relations among them, and promoting efficiency.

    A variety of responsibilities is involved in this function. While any of the following activities may indicate this function, usually a combination of them will be present in jobs appropriately rated as supervisory.

    • Determines or interprets work procedures.
    • Assigns duties to workers.
    • Trains workers.
    • Evaluates worker's performances against standards.
    • Maintains harmonious relations among workers.
    • Promotes efficiency among workers.
    • Assists workers in solving work problems.
    • Initiates and/or recommends personnel actions such as firing, hiring, promoting, transferring and disciplining.
    • Enforces organization regulations.
    • Maintains or directs maintenance of records related to production and personnel.
  2. Degrees of Supervision
    1. Immediate Supervision

      Supervision received after the person has been trained and is working satisfactorily. Does not involve close watch over specific details, but general phases of the work are controlled by constant reference to the supervisor for advise and decision.
      Applicable to: CA I, CA II, Campus Guard

    2. General Supervision

      Employee assumes his/her share of responsibility. He/she is supposed to know the mechanics of the job and uses that knowledge without advice or prodding. The detailed method of performing a given task is left entirely to the worker so long as he/she operates within established general practice.
      Applicable to: CA III, LA I, Storekeeper

    3. General Direction

      A definite objective is set and the worker is left to go ahead in conformity with established policies and procedures. It is expected that there will be need for frequent conferences as to both the general phases of the work and the specific details.
      Applicable to: LA I, LA III, LA III, AOA I, AOA II

      Approved: Library Cabinet Date: 2/22/83

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