Job Descriptions/PAPEs

Developing Position Descriptions

A position description is required for each Staff position that exists at the university. It is created by the department when a new position is established and is updated and submitted to whenever an existing position has changed significantly.  The position description serves as the official record of duties and responsibilities assigned to a position.

A position description is essential to determine the appropriate classification, set clear job expectations, assist supervisors and employees with setting goals and objectives, and manage employees’ job performance effectively. It also provides necessary information for recruitment and selection, and is helpful in developing orientation/training programs and ensuring consistency and equity among positions.

A common misconception is that the class specification and position description are the same. Position descriptions, along with class specifications, are both used to assign positions to the appropriate classification. The class specification is used as a guide to determine the appropriate classification based on the nature, level, and concentration of the duties and responsibilities appearing on the position description. While it is unnecessary for every characteristic duty listed on the class specification to occur in any single job, it is acceptable that not every job duty be listed as a characteristic duty on the class specification.

In accordance with State Universities Civil Service System requirements for developing the position description, Illinois Human Resources (SHR) has implemented general guidelines and instructions for the required position description format for use by supervisors and/or administrative staff that are responsible for writing position descriptions. Copies of current position descriptions signed by both the incumbent and immediate supervisor will be kept on file in employing units and in the Illinois Human Resources office (University Policy and Rules 3.01).

Submit a Position Description to IHR:

  • To complete a request to fill a new or vacant position
  • Upon filling a position and obtaining both the incumbent and immediate supervisor signatures
  • To update information for an existing position (e.g. new duties, incumbent/section name change)
  • To complete the process to laterally transfer an employee to another position within a section, department or unit.
  • To complete a request for a reclassification (position audit)
  • To comply with the Civil Service System's requirement to review and update the position description every three (3) years.

Position Descriptions are:

  • Prepared by the supervisor and/or incumbent
  • Developed using the required Position Description Format
  • Signed and dated by the incumbent and immediate supervisor*
  • Provided to the incumbent
  • Reviewed yearly during the incumbent’s annual performance evaluation

* Email updated and signed position descriptions to (Do not submit via HR Front End.)