This is the time of year when educational leaders look ahead to the next school year to determine whose contracts need to be renewed or non-renewed, which personnel need to be reassigned and which positions need to be cut altogether. Often there are needs that need to be met in a school and, for whatever reason, there is no faculty or staff person currently in place to meet those needs. In such a situation, a position may need to be created so someone can be hired to meet those needs.
When creating a position, several steps need to be taken to help ensure the success of the person selected to fill the position. First, a position should be created only if there is a need that needs to be met and if that need cannot be met efficiently by another member of the team. The void created by the lack of the position should be well-documented.
Second, a thorough and detailed job description must be created and the job description must outline several things. The job description should include the job title and should outline a general explanation of the position, basic job functions as well as detailed job functions; it also should delineate clearly where in the chain of command the new position falls. The basic and detailed job functions should match up with the documented, un-met needs of the school or organization.
Perhaps the most important part of creating a new position and a quality job description for that position is this: Create a job description based on needs that must be met and not based on the skill set of a person that needs a job or needs to be reassigned. In other words, a school or organization may very well get itself into trouble by creating a job description to match a person rather than creating a job description for a position that will make the organization better and more efficient. If you're asking the question Can we create a position and job description to match his or her skill set? then you may be setting yourself and the organization up for disappointment.