Step 4: Understand duties in position description
Review the position description
You will need to thoroughly review the position description (PD) to understand the work performed.
- If the position recently changed, review the current and previous PDs to determine differences.
- Changes may indicate reorganization or program changes affecting responsibilities of the position.
- If new duties were taken from another position, review both positions.
Consider the following to better understand the nature of the employee's work
- See “Assigned Work Activities” section in PD.
- Position allocation is based on the majority of work (51%).
- Focus on major versus minor duties.
- Major duties are the primary reason the position exists and typically occupy most of the employee’s time.
- Minor duties occupy a small portion of the time, are not the primary purpose for which the position was established, and may include one-time only or temporary duties.
- Level of responsibility
- What is the extent of independent options, authority, and decision making?
- Does the employee follow policy, procedures, and/or guidelines?
- Does the employee make recommendations and influence or alter outcomes?
- Does the employee make decisions that set precedents?
- Level of supervision or direction given
- See “Lead Work/Supervisory Responsibilities” section in PD.
- See Glossary of Terms
- Review organization charts; clarify differences if PD conflicts.
- Level of supervision received
- See “Working Relationships” section in PD.
- See Glossary of Terms.
- Indication of level of responsibility.
- Includes extent of latitude the employee has in determining work methods and priorities.
- Interpersonal work relationships
- What positions does the employee have contact with? Over what issues? What is the purpose or outcome of the contact?
- Does the employee represent the organization with outside entities?
Additional tips and considerations
- Review other PDs in the employee’s work unit, including the supervisor’s, to help determine how the position fits, level of responsibility, and to ensure consistency between positions.
- If you are conducting a position review based on an employee’s request, similar considerations/questions may be used for the Position Review Request form. This is an employee form and contains similar components as the PD. In addition, the Position Review Request - Supervisor Portion clarifies the information submitted by the employee.
Position allocation guidance steps
- Ensure current and accurate position description
- Determine relevant class specifications
- Understand allocating criteria
- [Current page] Understand duties in position description
- Conduct desk audit
- Determine appropriate allocation
- Write your decision