HR articles

Roles and Responsibilities Template

How do you craft an eye-catching, engaging and effective job description without a roles and responsibilities template? The answer is that it’s pretty tough, particularly with the current war for talent continuing to rage across industries. However, if you follow a proven format you’ll not only attract the right talent, you’ll increase the longevity of your hires.

We’ve created a helpful roles and responsibilities template Word doc that you can use when defining an employee and team roles and responsibilities in the organization.

1. What are responsibilities?

Job responsibilities broadly outline the duties that come with a particular role. They define what is expected from someone in their job role, which is typically captured in terms of how the employee contributes to the objectives and goals of the organization.

2. What is a role description?

A role description, commonly called a job description, outlines the essential aspects of a particular position within an organization. It should cover a lot of critical information, including:
  • The job title
  • A summary or objective explaining the primary purpose of the role
  • A detailed list of duties and responsibilities
  • The qualifications and skills required.
In addition, a job description will often specify the reporting structure, illustrating who the person in this role will report to and if applicable, who will report to them, as well as working conditions and compensation and benefits. Role descriptions are instrumental in the recruitment process to attract suitable candidates and serve as a basis for performance evaluation and career development within the organization.

3. What are job tasks?

Job tasks are specific activities or actions that an employee must perform as part of their job. They are prescriptive, clearly defined and directly impact the completion of a specific project or achieving an objective. Think of them as the basic building blocks of a job.

Job task examples

  • Software engineer: Write code, debug software, conduct code reviews.
  • Graphic designer: Read client briefs, create designs, choose fonts and colors, edit images.

Tasks vs. roles and responsibilities

There is an overlap between job tasks, responsibilities, and roles, but they are also distinctly different. Job tasks are the specific activities an employee must perform. Responsibilities are the duties and obligations attached to a job role, which include various tasks. Roles describe the general function or position an employee holds.

4. What are duties?

Job duties are the specific obligations an employee is expected to fulfill as part of their role. They are often more formal and are sometimes even legally required. Duties are usually less detailed than tasks but more specific than responsibilities.

Job duty examples

  • Nurse: Administer medication as prescribed by a doctor, monitor patient vital signs, and maintain patient records.
  • Teacher: Deliver lessons, assign and grade homework, and participate in parent-teacher conferences.
  • Security guard: Patrol premises, monitor surveillance cameras, and report suspicious activities.

Job duties vs. responsibilities

If job tasks are the detailed activities an employee needs to perform to meet their responsibilities, job duties are several tasks grouped together and aligned to the obligations an employee owes their employer. They are more formal than tasks, but not as broad as responsibilities. These terms are hierarchical and often nested within each other. For example, a role will have responsibilities, which in turn encompass duties, which further break down into tasks.
Think of the hierarchy of building blocks like this:
  • Job tasks
  • Job duties
  • Job responsibilities
  • Job roles

5. What are job skills?

Job skills refer to the abilities and competencies an individual possesses to effectively perform specific tasks or duties. These skills can be acquired through education, training, or experience. Job skills can be categorized into hard skills, which are specific and measurable abilities, and soft skills, which are less tangible and related to one’s character or personality.

Examples of hard job skills

  • Programming: Proficiency in languages like Python, Java, or C++.
  • Data Analysis: Ability to analyze data using tools like Excel, SQL, or R.
  • Graphic Design: Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite for designing graphics and layouts.

Examples of soft job skills

  • Communication: Ability to convey information effectively.
  • Problem-solving: Ability to analyze problems and find solutions.
  • Time management: Ability to manage time effectively and meet deadlines.

When to use the roles and responsibilities template

A roles and responsibilities template is a tool used to clearly define and communicate the specific duties, expectations, and obligations associated with a particular position or role within an organization. It helps ensure that both the employee and the employer clearly understand what is expected in terms of performance and contribution.
The template generally includes:
  • A role title
  • The department or team within which the role resides
  • The person or position to whom the role reports
  • A brief summary outlining the primary purpose of the role,
  • Key responsibilities broken down into a detailed list of the main duties and tasks that the person in this role is expected to perform
  • The metrics or criteria used to measure the performance of the person in this role, and;
  • The required or desired skills, qualifications, and competencies for this role.
There are a number of reasons why as an HR professional you would use a roles and responsibilities template:
  1. For a new position: When a new position is created within an organization, a roles and responsibilities template helps define why the role has been created and what is expected from the person who will occupy this position. This will attract the correct talent and ensure a good person/job role fit.
  2. During organizational restructuring: Roles may evolve or change during organizational changes or restructuring. A roles and responsibilities template can help redefine and communicate new expectations, particularly for people struggling with change.
  3. For employee onboarding: A clearly defined roles and responsibilities template can be used to communicate what is expected of new employees in their new roles quickly and effectively. It also forms the basis for a well-designed 30-60-90 day plan, and provides structure and direction around company culture, processes, and expectations.
  4. In performance management: The ability to reference a clearly defined job role and responsibilities during performance reviews helps managers and HR professionals evaluate if an employee is fulfilling the expectations and responsibilities of their role.
  5. In succession planning: A roles and responsibilities template can define what is expected in higher-level roles to prepare employees for future leadership positions.
  6. For performance improvement: With a performance improvement plan (PIP) template, you have a tool to create an individualized, action-orientated, step-by-step plan to improve the performance of employees who are either not meeting their manager or supervisor’s expectations or would benefit from a more structured action plan. However, a job role is a critical starting point to be able to measure your plan’s success.
👉🏻 Roles and responsibilities template

How to write a job description

As we’ve highlighted throughout this guide, writing an effective job description is crucial in attracting the right talent. The best way to write a compelling job description is to follow a job description format that is clear, concise and ensures all the necessary information about the role and responsibilities is included.
  • Step 1: Start by writing a specific job title that accurately reflects the nature of the job. This helps potential candidates quickly understand the role. Don’t be fancy or make up titles, it just confuses candidates.
  • Step 2: Write a brief summary of the role, including its importance in the organization. This sets the context for the details that follow. It’s also a perfect opportunity to share the tone and personality of your business and brand.
  • Step 3: Clearly list the duties and responsibilities in the role description in the job application. Ensure that you mention day-to-day tasks and long-term responsibilities. Break them down into bullet points for easier reading.
  • Step 4: Detail the qualifications and skills necessary for the job. Separate them into ‘must-have’ and ‘nice-to-have’ to provide flexibility for potentially valuable candidates who might not fit every criterion.
  • Step 5: Provide information about the company culture and the work environment. This will help candidates to assess if they align with the company’s values.
  • Step 6: Explain who the person will report to and if they will have any managerial responsibilities.
  • Step 7: Include terms such as full-time, part-time, or contractor, and mention if there is a possibility for remote work.

To avoid high turnover, create job roles and responsibilities that paint a vivid picture of exactly what the role entails and who will succeed in it.

In the course 👉🏻Developing a job profile you will learn how to use a universal tool for such processes as grading, building a competency model, creating job descriptions, creating a recruitment application, describing processes, regulating work, building a KPI system and many others