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Position Description FAQs

Q: When should I submit a signed position description (PD)?

A: A draft PD should be submitted when a position is vacant and you want to start the hiring process. This allows HR to work with you to make any necessary/suggested changes prior to starting the recruitment process.

A draft PD should also be submitted when there is an incumbent in a position and you are changing the position duties. Submitting a draft allows HR to work with you on any necessary changes and avoids the possibility of having to get new signatures.

For further clarification, please contact your HR Partner.

Q: The sample PD uses the phrase "Essential Functions." What does that mean?

A: "Essential Functions" is a term made popular by the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is used to identify those functions which an incumbent must be able to perform with or without an accommodation. Use this four-point test to determine if a function is essential:

  1. Is the job or task fundamental to the position and the primary reason for which the job was established? These tasks cannot normally be transferred to another position without disruption in the flow or process of work.
  2. Is the job or task so critical that it cannot be eliminated from the description of the job without significantly changing the position's role and contribution to the organization?
  3. Is the job or task, regardless of the frequency of performance, one which cannot be assumed by another employee, whether of the same or different position, either due to undue hardship to the employer or unavailability of alternate incumbent, yet still must be accomplished?
  4. Is the job or task one which, if eliminated, would so significantly impact the description of the position that it would require a change in classification and/or salary range?

For further clarification, please contact your HR Partner.

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