Creating a Job Description



The main purpose of the job description is to provide the employee with an outline of their overall responsibilities




  1. Define a job description.
  2. Identify the elements of a job description.
  3. Develop action steps for using a job description.


The job description provides legal support in the event that an employee’s performance does not meet the expected minimum level, and is discharged. Performance evaluations should be based on the elements of the job description. The job description outlines what the person in this position will be doing and will help the employees to understand what is expected of them.


An additional benefit to providing job descriptions is that good employees expect them. Promising candidates will be encouraged that the employer has taken the time to put their expectations in writing, and that the duties are well defined. Job descriptions should be provided during the interview stage of the selection process, to provide the candidate with a good overview of what will be expected of them.


The elements of the job description should not change significantly when a different employee is hired to do the job. Write the job description for the position, not the employee.


Elements of Job Descriptions


  • Job Title – The job title should match the responsibilities of the position and give the employee a sense of what will be expected of them.
  • Location of the position – This can be the physical location, as well as the department, division, etc.
  • Goals of the position – By providing the employee with the goals of the position in the job description, we emphasize the specific expectations for production level, in the part of the operation that they are responsible for
  • Supervisor of the employee and their level of authority – This provides employees with the limits and the scope of their authority, and the particular individual that they are accountable to.
  • Essential requirements of the position – Education level, specific skills, physical abilities, experience level, etc. that are essential to perform the duties of the position.
  • Specific responsibilities – A list of the day-to-day and other regular duties associated with the position.
  • Additional periodic responsibilities – A brief list of some duties that this individual might be expected to do under extenuating circumstances.
  • Statement covering additional extenuating circumstances
  • Specific operating procedures – In most operations, there are “Standard Operating Procedures” developed for each area of production. The job description should list the specific Operating Procedures” they will be expected to adhere to.
  • Signature lines – These lines are provided to show that the employee had read and understands the elements of the job description.


If the job description is being posted in a location to advertise the position, these elements should be added to that posting:

  • Estimated compensation – The salary range provided for this position.
  • Benefits available – Any perks that are provided for the employee.
  • Who to contact if interested in the position
  • Features of the working conditions – Requirements of the job that may be unusual to an applicant not familiar with your operation. (i.e. irregular schedules, unusual environmental conditions, hours of work required, etc.)
  • Brief narrative description of the position – This allows candidates to see what will be expected of them. In an ad or job posting, this can replace a detailed list of the specific day-to-day duties.


Additional information and cautions:


  • Attach a copy of the performance evaluation form to the job description during hiring interviews. This shows the employee, in advance, how they will be evaluated.
  • Be certain that every responsibility is covered on someone’s job description. This assures all the staff that every duty is covered and can help to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Limit occurrences where the same job appears on more than one job description.
  • Be certain that jobs are divided fairly.
  • In an average sized operation (2 to 25 employees), everyone should have knowledge of all the job descriptions. By providing this, we can show each employee the level of responsibility, authority, and performance of each position.
  • Review job descriptions, as an employee group, every year – or more often if necessary.


Action Steps:


  1. For new positions that have not previously been held, develop the document yourself.
  2.  For an existing position that is currently filled, have the current employee list the responsibilities, which they perceive to be their job.
  3. Review the employee’s information with them and jointly determine the specific duties to be in cluded in the job description.
  4. Collect all the job descriptions from all employees and be certain that: All duties are covered Few duties overlap to more than one job description, All job descriptions are equitable.
  5. Write all the job descriptions in the same format and provide them to the staff for their review, then finalize the wording.


Example Job Description – Swine Breeding Herd Manager


Title: Breeding Herd Manager


Goal: Breed at least 75 sows every 2 weeks, with a resulting farrowing rate of 85% with a live born average of 10.2 pigs per litter.


Physical Requirements: Must be able to lift at least 50# on a regular basis.


  1. It is the main responsibility of this position to provide overall management of the sow herd and herd boars in consultation with the Production Manager and the Owners.
  2. Meet production goals.
  3. Manage any employees in your area in accordance with guidelines established by the management.
  4. Follow all operating procedures and policies established by the management.
  5. Maintain biosecurity.
  6. Supervise and coordinate of all breeding, feeding, and heat detection.
  7. Monitor health and condition of entire sow and boar herd while in breeding/gestation facilities.
  8. Coordinate vaccination programs and schedules for sow and boar herd.
  9. Perform all data collection and record-keeping duties as defined by management.
  10. Work closely with Farrowing Manager in the areas of sow identification, sow performance, farrowing/weaning schedules, and production records.
  11. Monitor pit levels and provide Production Manager with adequate notice to prevent pits from becoming too full.
  12. Maintain the facilities you are responsible for. Perform regular maintenance procedures when necessary, and before minor problems become major ones.
  13. Maintain good rodent control.
  14. Maintain Standard Operating Procedures for the unit.
  15. Keep facilities neat and presentable.
  16. Work closely with the Production Manager to assure that the gilt pool is maintained at the proper level, taking into account seasonal fluctuations.


The Production Manager reserves the right to make any necessary changes to this job description and to request that the Breeding Manager perform additional duties as the need arises. These additional requests will be reasonable and respectful of the Breeding Manager’s time and abilities.


Signed (employee)  __________________       Date ____________________

Signed (supervisor) _________________        Date____________________


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