Position Description Guidelines

Please note, items with * appear in the job posting on the UO Careers page.

Printable version available: Position Description Guidelines (PDF)

Department Summary*

The department summary transfers on to the job requisition and ultimately your position announcement if you are recruiting for this position.  HR recommends including the following items as applicable.  The department summary can be drafted for your department and used on all position descriptions.

  1. Program name
  2. Program purpose
  3. Who is affected (student, faculty, staff, external audience)
  4. Size of department
  5. Scope/relationship to UO/department mission or connection to division/school

Position Summary*

It is important to have a comprehensive position summary clearly explaining the position.  The “Job Duties” fields do not transfer to the requisition or the final posting announcement, so this summary is the candidate facing explanation of the full job.  The intent is not to list all duties verbatim, but to capture the essence of the job in a narrative fashion.

HR recommends that you include the following information in the position summary.

  1. Purpose of position 
    • “The purpose of this position is….”
  2. Essential functions of position
    • Overview or summary of essential responsibilities
    • Not intended to be a cut/paste of full duties
  3. Interactions/Work Contacts (if applicable/essential)
    • Who does this position regularly come in contact with outside of coworkers?
    • Scope of contacts: internal, external, local, national, international
  4. Job-related decision making
    • Types of decisions made (personnel, financial, day-to-day operations, strategic, etc.)
    • Budget Authority (if applicable)
    • Impact of decisions (department, division, university, etc.)
    • Level of independence in decision-making
    • Guidelines/policies used
  5. Supervision
    • Who does this position report to?
    • Who reports to this position?

Minimum Qualifications*

Also known as MQs or Min Quals:

  • Include the minimum degree or amount of experience and the minimum level of skills, abilities, licensures, certifications, and other job-related requirements that must be met for a candidate to be qualified for the position.  Review the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be sure they are job-related.
  • Minimum requirements are binary, a candidate either meets the requirement or not, based on an objective review.  The University cannot hire a candidate who does not meet all of the minimum qualifications – there are no exceptions.
  • Typically there are 1-3 minimum qualifications that can be measured.

Classified MQs

Minimum Qualifications are taken directly from the OUS Classification Specifications for the position. No additions or edits can be made to these.

Special Qualifications:

  • If other special qualifications such as licenses or certifications are required, those should be listed within the Minimum Qualifications, under a heading of “Special Qualifications”.
  • Examples of Special Qualifications are: Food Handler’s card, Limited Energy Electrician’s license, or any special certifications or licensure required to do the activities of the job.  These are not desired additional minimum qualifications but true requirements of the position.

Faculty MQs

Minimum Qualifications must correlate to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, United Academics, AAUP/aft, AFL-CIO, Article 15. Academic Classification and Rank.
Link: http://uauoregon.org/cba/

Officers of Administration (OA) MQs

Minimum qualifications must correlate with the essential functions of the position, be measurable, and be directly job related.  MQs should not be so restrictive that they exclude candidates who might reasonably have the ability to do the job or present artificial barriers to employment.  MQs need to be practical in the sense that they are obtainable in the general labor market.

Professional Competencies*

Professional competencies are the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) and the “soft” skills (i.e., characteristics, values and work ethics) needed in a successful candidate at the point of hire. If specific KSAs can be obtained on the job via training, they should not be included (for example, familiarity with Banner, knowledge of UO Policies, etc.).  Professional competencies should be obtainable and not present artificial barriers to employment.  Professional competencies often are transferrable skills or traits.

Preferred Qualifications*

These are the additional measurable and job-related levels of experience, education, and/or specific skills that the ideal employee would have.  These are not required, but thoughtful preferred qualifications can help to narrow a competitive applicant pool.


Full supervision

This includes hiring, training and developing, administering corrective action, addressing grievances, reviewing performance and completing annual evaluations, scheduling, defining expectations, and termination via appropriate process.

Less than full supervision (Lead work or oversight)

This includes organizing, setting priorities, communicating appropriate work standards, scheduling and reviewing work, and providing feedback to managers on employee performance

The “Employees Supervised” field should reflect the FTE that the position has full supervision over.  This field does not reflect lead work.

Job Duties

Provide a breakdown of responsibilities into the major functional areas for the position, with percentages of time for each function.  Essential functions inform your minimum qualifications and describe the major responsibilities of the position.  Typically there are 4-6 major functions, with more detailed information included in the function description.  Job duties do not appear in the position announcement.

Tips on developing job duties:

  • For each major function, estimate the percentage of time for that function over the course of the year
  • Include appropriate disclaimers such as “Other duties as assigned”
  • DON’T list every possible task that a person in the role would do, or include information that will change each performance period

Essential vs Incidental

Factors to consider in determining whether or not a function is essential:

  • Does the job exist to perform this function?
  • How much time is spent performing this function?
  • What are the physical and mental elements of this function?
  • Can other co‐workers do this function if necessary?
  • Would taking the function from the job significantly change the job?
  • Would there be significant consequences if the function were not performed

Incidental functions are important to the position; however, could be redesigned or reassigned to other employees, if necessary.