A job description is an internal document that clearly states the essential job requirements, job duties, responsibilities, and skills required to perform a specific role. A more detailed job description will cover how success is measured in the role so it can be used during performance evaluations. They are also known as a job specification, JD, and position description (job PD).
Whether to use job descriptions usually depends upon a number of factors, including employer preferences and resources. Employers should look at relevant rules and regulations, the size and type of organization and industry, hiring practices, and current employees.
The process of developing job descriptions often sheds light on the nature of a job as well as suggests that there are alternative methods of performing essential job tasks. Job analysis may help encourage management and staff to work together in identifying and streamlining the essential and marginal job functions.
A job specification could be considered a more precise job description that details the exact educational degrees, experience, skills, and requirements for a role. In most cases, these terms are used interchangeably and nearly always describe the same document.