Job descriptions or roles profiles. Whatever you call them, they can be painful to write. As a critical component of job evaluation and reward benchmarking, it was important to help Royal London’s managers write good role profiles.
This guide explains the benefits managers could expect from writing high quality role profiles and sets out how to do it. Following the release of this document, role profile content improved significantly enabling right-first-time benchmarking, saving time and improving efficiency.
Writing Role Profiles - Manager Guidance
This guide will help you write role profiles for the people who report to you. Following the guidelines will:
ensure fairness and consistency
help us meet our regulatory responsibilities
enable each role to be accurately benchmarked
ensure every role is assigned the right salary range and benefit package
As the owner of these roles, you will need to keep them up to date and get them signed off by the People Team each time they’re changed.
Six Golden Rules
Keep these golden rules in mind to write high quality role profiles:
Role not person – remember to describe the role, not the person doing the job
Facts – describe the role in objective and accurate terms
Timescale – describe the job needed now and in the foreseeable future
Language – use simple terms, not jargon or buzzwords which may be misunderstood
Equal opportunities – don’t include anything that could put people off or exclude them based on age, sex, race or disability
Length – aim for no more than two or three pages. Focus on the main aspects of the job, not every detail, and avoid duplication.
Completing the Template
Please make sure that the title accurately reflects what you expect a person to do in the role. This is particularly important in functions where jobs may be replicated and generic titles may be used.
The People Team will let you know the benefit band after we have evaluated and matched the role, so please don’t try to complete this in advance.
Function and Team
State clearly in this section the function the role sits in and the team. For example Group IT, Service Delivery or Finance, Management Reporting.
Purpose of the Role
Write an accurate and concise statement summarising the overall purpose of the role. Consider:
Why does the job exist?
What wouldn’t get done if it didn’t exist?
How does it contribute to the organisation’s objectives?
The statement should be brief, not normally more than two or three sentences. You may find it easier to complete this section last.
To establish the key responsibilities of a role, break it down into five or six key bullet points. Each should be no more than a few words or a single sentence: the measures section should give more detail about what is to be achieved.
When roles are benchmarked, seven aspects of each role are analysed to establish the level of responsibility and complexity of a role. This means that role profiles should cover each of the following the elements to ensure a fair and thorough evaluation of the role.
Functional Knowledge - knowledge of work taking place within the business unit or beyond and technical expertise (this can be included in the ‘Functional or Technical Knowledge and Skills’ section of the role profile template).
Business Expertise - knowledge and expertise about the business rather than technical expertise.
Leadership - the requirement for providing leadership and guidance to others, including mentoring, coaching and training.
Problem Solving - the level of mental skill required to perform a role.
Nature of Impact - how the job impacts the business by measuring the overall responsibility associated with the role.
Area of Impact - the area of the business (and beyond) where the impact of the role will be felt.
Interpersonal Skills - the level and type of people skills required.
For those people who are classed as 'approved persons' or 'significant others', a generic statement for the individual’s responsibility risk, business planning, treating customers fairly and regulation will be included as part of the role profile template.
Approved persons and significant others tend to be senior managers. However, if you are unsure whether you or an individual on your team fall into this category, please check with your line manager.
Approved Persons - Key Areas of Responsibility
[Regulatory requirement table]
Functional or Technical Knowledge and Skills
Describe the level of expertise, understanding and knowledge of the particular function and subject area the role requires. Think about the level of proficiency a person needs to successfully fulfil the full purpose of the role.
Please avoid 'X years experience' as it could be age discriminatory. Instead, be specific about the knowledge or experience actually needed to do the role. Instead of saying 'five years experience in project management', you could say:
Experience of handling:
more than 3 concurrent projects each of more than 6 months duration
more than 3 concurrent projects each with budget greater than £250k
more than 3 concurrent projects with resourcing levels of more than 20 people
People, Budget and Project Scope
Give brief information about the number and type of people managed. For example:
Manages a team of 6 qualified actuaries
Manages a department of 400 people ranging from administration to qualified professionals
Include in this section the typical departmental or project budget managed.
Role Profile Reference Number
When you create a new role, the Reward Team will give it a role profile reference number. A member of the People Team will add this number to the footer of the role profile and the number will then be allocated on the HR system to each person with that profile.
We will use this data to ensure we have an accurate record of the role(s) each person has been, or is, carrying out. It will also help us to accurately allocate information, like the market range or benefit grade, to the people on that role profile.
Role Profile Review
Role profiles should be reviewed every year in line with an individual’s annual appraisal. If it does not represent the current responsibilities, the role holder and line manager should agree any updates and send it to the People Team.