by Kate Russell

Job description, competencies and goals

Job description

The process begins with an analysis of the job, normally expressed as a job description.

The job description specifies the specific job functions and tasks, and would normally include the following elements.

  • Job title
  • Department
  • Person the jobholder reports to
  • Summary and purpose of main job role
  • Location of job
  • Hours of work

The manager must ensure that the employee has a copy of his job description.

Example of a job description.


You may also consider the competencies equired to do the job. For example, a manager might require the following competencies:

  • The ability to influence at a senior level
  • The ability to plan and organise work and set priorities
  • The ability to solve problems using a rational approach
  • The ability to work using own initiative
  • The ability to work co-operatively with others from a variety of functions and backgrounds.


In order to be effective, the objectives set at a performance appraisal should relate in part at least to your organisation’s key strategic goals. Once the job description has been completed, it should be linked, where appropriate, with the strategic departmental and organisational goals. These strategic goals need to be interpreted for practical application at departmental and individual level. Employees need to know what the organisation is trying to achieve and the implications for their work.


Corporate sales targets for the year may be £200 million. This will be cascaded departmentally and then individually so that sales staff have their own specific targets. Targets may be further refined, and be expressed as monthly, geographical, new customer development or specific product sales targets.