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Position Information

Position Description

A position description is a document that accurately describes the major responsibilities and minimum requirements of a role. While it should contain sufficient information to appropriately describe the role, it should not exhaustively list each task or include every detail work to be performed. This way it can remain useful even when minor changes occur. Additionally, a position description should focus on the role itself, not on the individual who might fill the role.

RISD position descriptions serve a variety of purposes, including, but not limited to:

  • supporting the recruitment process.
  • creating a clear and mutual understanding of role and responsibilities.
  • clarifying performance expectations and goals.
  • highlighting development and training opportunities.
  • ensuring compliance with legislation such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
  • maintaining a competitive and equitable compensation program.
  • communicating RISD’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and articulating the position’s impact toward that commitment.

Creating a New Position Description

While the hiring manager is ultimately responsible for creating the new job description, ensuring it accurately reflects the current need, and obtaining the necessary approvals, they should use the attached position description questionnaire and consult with Human Resources Compensation regarding questions and next steps. Upon receipt of a completed position description questionnaire, Human Resources Compensation will:

  • Determine if the position is “exempt” (salaried) or “non-exempt” (hourly) in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Conduct research of “like” positions in the external market peer group to understand competitive pay range
  • Compare the role to others internally at RISD to determine internal equity
  • Assign a salary grade

Modifying a Position Description

The hiring manager also holds responsibility for modifying an existing position description. This simple process begins with reviewing the last approved description on file and submitting necessary, approved changes to Human Resources Compensation.

Normally when position description modifications change more than 20% of a job’s major responsibilities and result in new minimum requirements, Human Resources Compensation will reevaluate the newly articulated position and consider if and how changes will impact:

  • FLSA status, “exempt” (salaried) or “non-exempt” (hourly).
  • external market peer group competitive pay range.
  • internal equity.
  • salary grade.