Job Responsibilities Worksheet
The purpose of the Job Responsibilities Worksheet (JRW) is to document the current responsibilities of a position. It focuses on a specific position, provides details regarding the primary job duties, position scope, and supervisory and fiscal responsibilities (if applicable).
The information provided in the JRW correlates to a staff job profile and level, therefore, it is important that the JRW accurately represent the way the position is currently functioning.
- Job Responsibilities Worksheet (PDF version)
- To ensure you don't lose any data entered into the JRW, do a "save as" on you computer first, then fillout the JRW and resave.
- Action Words
- JRW Application (former annual process)
All sections of the JRW must be completed. Incomplete or missing information may lead to an inaccurate reflection of the nature of the position; and in the case of a job review request, may delay the process.
There are three main sections of the JRW. Click on the headings below to learn more about each section (printing this page will allow you to view this page in its entirety):
1. Position Summary
In 2-4 sentences, provide a high level overview of the primary purpose of the position. Keep in mind you’ll be able to elaborate in more detail about the duties, scope, responsibilities later in the JRW. Sometimes this is easier to draft after you've finished the rest of the JRW.
Examples of well-written position summaries:
- “The purpose of this position is to serve as an admission counselor for Penn State World Campus. This includes interacting with prospective students via email, phone, webinars, and face-to-face, planning and coordinating recruitment events and communication campaigns, and coordinating the World Campus Alumni Ambassador Program.”
- “This position is responsible for the leadership, strategic direction, project management, and operations for the recently established Online Professional Education unit within Penn State Outreach and Online Education (Outreach). In addition to these strategic and operational roles, a significant portion of this resource must be devoted to developing and fostering high level relationships with University leaders within Outreach, the administration, and Colleges, including: Deans, Assoc. Deans, department heads, and faculty in order to understand potential opportunities within academic units and connect them to the most appropriate resource to help them address their needs.”
2. Primary Duties
List between three (3) and ten (10) primary duties of this position and estimate the percentage of time spent on each duty over a given period of time. When indicating the percentage of time spent on each duty, consider what is performed over a given period of time. Describe the position as it is being performed today and not as it might be in the future or as you think it should be (except in cases where a JRW is being completed for a vacant or new position). Statements should be written so that someone unfamiliar with the position can understand what the position does.
Order the duties based on percentage of time, from most to least. The percentages must total 100%. Each duty should not be smaller than 10% or greater than 50%. The chart below provides assistance in determining percentage of time.
|% of Time||Day (8 hrs)||Week (40 hrs)||Month (173 hrs)||Quarter (520 hrs)||Year (2080 hrs)|
Strive to be accurate and concise. Be specific to the work being performed on a day-to-day basis. Use words which convey a good understanding of the work being performed rather than vague generalities.
Use the following pattern to write a primary responsibility statement: Action Word + Subject + Activities. For example: Reviews and validates (Action Words) transactions (Subject) by ensuring completeness and accuracy of the account balances (Activities).
3. Scope, Supervision, Fiscal Responsibility, and Problem Solving
- University-wide: Scope spans the entire University (e.g., Colleges, Commonwealth Campuses, and Administrative units)
- College, Commonwealth Campus, unit-wide: Scope is specific to one or more College, Commonwealth Campus, or Administrative unit but not the entire University (e.g., College of Medicine, Smeal College of Business, Penn State Behrend, or Intercollegiate Athletics)
- Department: Scope spans the entirety of a department within a College, Commonwealth Campus, or Administrative unit (e.g., Psychology, Residential Dining, Comparative Medicine, or Center of Performing Arts)
- Function, process, or job-specific: Scope is limited to the area of responsibility (e.g., Lab Coordinator, Education Program Specialist, or Facilities Representative)
- Provide additional details if applicable
- If the position has authority to make decisions related to hiring, compensation, performance evaluation, etc. for full-time employees, select “Direct Supervisor for Full-Time Employees.”
- If the position is not a direct supervisor of full-time employees but assists with scheduling, prioritizing tasks, etc. for a team, select “Indirect Supervisor for Full-Time Employees.”
- If the position has authority to make decisions related to hiring, scheduling, etc. for wage payroll, student, and/or temporary workers or volunteers, select “Direct Supervisor for Only Wage Payroll, Student, and/or Temporary Workers or Volunteers.”
- If the position has no supervisory responsibilities, select “None.”
If the position has supervisory responsibilities, indicate the number and level(s) of direct staff that the position supervises. If the position supervises both individual contributors and other supervisors, select both options.
- Describe the position’s level of involvement, if any, with budgets (e.g., planning/forecasting, approving).
- Indicate if the position also has budget responsibilities for grants.
- Indicate if the position has final signature authority (i.e., ability to sign contracts on behalf of PSU per policy FN11) and if so, the scope (e.g., University-wide, Department-wide).
- Indicate the dollar amount of fiscal responsibility if you selected any of the above.
- Provide additional comments as applicable.
- Routine: Problems encountered are routine, somewhat repetitive, and generally solved by following clear directions and procedures.
- Moderate: Problems are varied, requiring analysis or interpretation of the situation. Problems are solved using specialized knowledge and skills, and general precedents and practices.
- Complex: Problems are highly varied, complex and often non-recurring; require novel and creative approaches to resolution. New concepts and approaches may have to be developed.
Consider problems and issues faced on a day-to-day basis. Do these problems differ in nature? Can they be solved with clear directions or do they require training, critical thinking, and/or creativity?
Things to keep in mind when completing the JRW:
- Consider the normal day-to-day responsibilities
- Use a factual and impersonal style when writing the JRW
- Write clear, concise, and complete sentences
- Begin each task with a present tense action verb
- Focus on key responsibilities critical to the position
- Base the content on the responsibilities and duties of the position
- Include expectations of a fully proficient incumbent meeting all position requirements
- When indicating the percentage of time spent on each duty, consider what is performed over a given period of time
- The percentages must total 100% and should not be smaller than 5% or greater than 50%
- Use explanatory phrases telling why, how, where, or how often to add meaning and clarity
- Cut and paste information from job profiles, matrices or any other reference tools
- Use narrative, first person form, or specific individual names
- Use unnecessary words that add “fluff” to the duty
- Base the content on what the person doing the position can or can’t do
- Include one time, short-term assignments or an exhaustive list of all, minor, or occasional tasks
- Write the JRW based on the desired classification outcome
- Write the JRW as a procedure manual on how to do the position
- Utilize template JRWs when positions have notable differences
If you have questions about completing and submitting your JRW, please contact your HR Consultant or [email protected].