Get Instant Access
to This Blueprint

Cio icon

Write Better IT Job Descriptions

Never start from a blank page again when you need to write a job description.

Job descriptions are often updated as needed or get forgotten altogether. In fact, most organizations only update job descriptions when there is a significant change in the job or when it is reevaluated. Keep your job descriptions up to date to be more proactive with resource needs.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

Every organization has job descriptions – but how accurately do they reflect the work being done and the future needs of the organization? Don’t use a set-and-forget mindset with job descriptions. They provide ongoing value when they are the foundation of your people management processes and aid in delivering business results.

Impact and Result

  • Job descriptions are often done off the side of IT’s desk and they aren’t treated as live documents; they get written and shelved because:
    • It’s difficult to prioritize work on job descriptions and to source vetted information.
    • Researching job descriptions is time consuming.
    • Keeping up with frequent changes is difficult.
  • However, maintaining good job descriptions brings immediate benefits to the employee, manager, and business.

Write Better IT Job Descriptions Research & Tools

1. Write Better IT Job Descriptions Deck – Job descriptions are a key input for people management and business results. Periodically review them to keep them up to date.

This storyboard walks you through considerations to write better job descriptions for IT and how to use the Info-Tech job description library and tools to save time and get better results.

2. Job Description Template and Tools – Use this group of template and tools to write better IT job descriptions.

This template and tools will help you write better IT job descriptions, quicker. They will help you periodically review and update your IT job descriptions so they remain relevant and represent the actual work being done.

Write Better IT Job Descriptions

Don't waste time searching online for the perfect job description. Find what you need in the Info-Tech Job Description Library. Skip the research and immediately start reviewing and customizing.

Executive Summary

As new technologies and ways of working emerge, the role of IT changes. So should your job descriptions. Job descriptions are often done off the side of IT's desk. Use Info-Tech's Job Description Library to source professionally written and researched job descriptions.
Job descriptions are often updated as needed or get forgotten altogether. In fact, 79% of organizations only update job descriptions when there is a significant change in the job or when it is reevaluated.1 Keep your job descriptions up to date to be more proactive with resource needs when:
  • New roles are created or will need to be created
  • Some historic roles will become extinct
Job descriptions are essential, yet updating them is tedious.
Job descriptions aren't treated as live documents; they get written and shelved.
  • It's difficult to prioritize work on job descriptions and to source vetted information.
  • Researching job descriptions is time consuming.
  • Keeping up with frequent changes is difficult.
However, maintaining good job descriptions brings immediate benefits to the employee, manager, and business.
Skip the most time-consuming phase of job description maintenance: research. Use Info-Tech's Job Description Library for vetted, up-to-date job requirements and never start with a blank slate again.
  • The world of IT work has changed – so should your job descriptions.
  • A job description doesn't replace a job ad; it informs one. Don't let an outdated job description delay the recruitment process.
1 WorldatWork, 2020

Info-Tech Insight
Every organization has job descriptions – but how accurately do they reflect the work being done or more importantly the future needs of the organization? Don't use a set-and-forget mindset with job descriptions. They provide ongoing value when they are the foundation of your people management processes and aid in delivering business results.

IT is changing. So should your job descriptions

Constantly update and assess your job descriptions

  • Neglecting job descriptions has negative effects on the employee, the manager, and the business that outweigh the effort to maintain and update them.
  • IT is often reactive to job changes and job descriptions are put together hastily, rarely updated, and used infrequently – maybe only during recruitment and onboarding.
  • There's a tendency to base the requirements of a job description on the previous incumbent instead of taking a big picture approach and thinking about what the role really entails and how it impacts the business. This results in idealizing the role instead of describing the skills needed to be successful.
  • A job description is not a shopping list. Focusing on too many small details will decrease clarity and increase the risk of the job description becoming outdated faster.

79% of organizations update job descriptions only when there is a significant change in the job or when a job is re-evaluated.

Source: WorldatWork, 2020

Info-Tech Insight
Out-of-date, inaccurate, or unclear job descriptions lead to confusion and employee disengagement, preventing you from achieving your objectives. The high level of detail traditionally inputted into a job description and the static nature of IT job descriptions conflict with today's dynamic environment. Don't abandon your job descriptions, they are a living document to be updated and adjusted as the work changes, not as the person in the position changes.

Maintaining job descriptions doesn't have to hurt

Often, job descriptions are viewed as a chore due to these barriers:

  • Considered an undesirable necessity, a lack of perceived value limits the motivation to effectively maintain job descriptions.
  • Waiting too long to update job descriptions or until a mass overhaul is needed will compound the work that must be done.
  • Narrowing down what's needed vs. what's nice to have, is more difficult with the amount and variety of information available. It's time-consuming and overwhelming to wade through all that.
  • According to HRSG, 65% of professionals surveyed said it takes more than two hours for every job description they work on with a significant portion of that time spent researching and trying to find the right responsibilities and competencies (2020).

A survey by HRSG found that just 13% of respondents have a regular cadence to review and update job descriptions.
Source: HRSG, 2020

57% of respondents to the HRSG survey indicated they only update job descriptions when there is a vacancy.
Source: HRSG, 2020

Employees that understand job expectations are more likely to be engaged

When employees understand job expectations, they are more likely to be engaged and more likely to be committed to the organization. In the highly competitive labor market that IT faces, this is a huge benefit. Updated, clear, and accurate job descriptions assist employees in having clear job expectations.

Charts showing Engagement vs job expectations

Source: McLean & Company Engagement Survey data, 2020-2023; N =3,062 employee responses from 63 organizations

What is a job description?

A job description is an internal document with a specific audience.

A job description doesn't replace a job ad, it informs one. Don't be lulled into using a job description as a posting when there's a time crunch to fill a position. A job posting is an advertisement, and their purpose is to attract attention and talent. For more on writing an effective job ad, refer to Info-Tech's Improve Your IT Recruitment Process research.

A job description is an internal document that includes sections such as job summary, main responsibilities, qualifications, and competencies. It communicates job expectations to employees and key job data to HR programs.

Go to Info-Tech's Job Description Library

Job descriptions are a key input for people management and business results

Job descriptions have a critical impact on managing people and ultimately on achieving business results.

Flow of People management processes

Info-Tech Insight
Job descriptions have a critical impact on managing people and ultimately on achieving business results. Their value is in their utilization. Make sure your job descriptions are up to date and clear, so they are used by employees, managers, and the organization.

Info-Tech's approach

Info-Tech's approach

The Info-Tech difference:
  1. Our job descriptions have been thoroughly researched and developed in collaboration with industry leading professionals and experts in IT.
  2. Our job descriptions are fully editable and customizable if you need to adapt them to your organization's standard.
  3. Our resources examine and encourage you to use job descriptions as part of people management from a modern perspective.
  4. Use our checklist to ensure you've followed best diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices and included what you need to ensure a smooth compensation review.

Job description resources

Job Description Template
Use this standardized approach to create job descriptions that are focused on necessary components.

Job Description Review Checklist
Use this checklist while reviewing job descriptions to ensure they are effective.

IT Job Description Writing Guide
If you need to update, rewrite, or write a new job description use this guide for tips and tricks to keep top of mind.

Key resource:

Job Description Library

Save time and resources searching for the perfect job description. Our webpage is a thorough and professionally developed library of job descriptions for you to use.

Case Study

CIO bridges the gap between IT and business to serve tenant needs.



Challenge Solution Results
Facing enormous internal and external demands, including a new organizational structure, the CIO needed to develop a strategically aligned team to keep up with the evolution of IT and the organization.

In particular, the CIO needed to create a Director position. They had a clear idea of the position's requirements but encountered difficulty executing and articulating this into a job description.

The CIO turned to Info-Tech for support to refine their idea of the Director position into a clearly articulated set of responsibilities. With the CIO's vision and the experience of the Info-Tech team, they developed a clear Director job description.

As a developing and evolving team, considering the task from a job description perspective was critical to defining the need.

Working with Info-Tech, the CIO was able to articulate what she was trying to achieve with the role and identify any ripple effects in other roles that would need addressing.

Leveraging the extensive knowledge and resources of the Info-Tech team, the CIO saved time researching the role and their initial idea was validated.

The CIO can tackle IT initiatives quickly and effectively with expert support for aligning IT with the business to achieve organizational goals.

Review and Customize

How to review a job description

Periodically review job descriptions to keep them up to date

Understand what you're trying to accomplish with the review and update of the job description. Look at understanding the goal of the role. Put the job description aside and understand what you're trying to accomplish.

Do a side-by-side comparison with representative job descriptions. Review at arm's length and revisit for a final review (or many if necessary).

Edit and update as needed. Be conscious of words used and unintentional bias (refer to Info-Tech's Job Description Review Checklist and the next slide for more information).

Consider impacts of the organization and department requirements. Does adding one thing mean it must be removed from another job description? Are there any ripple effects?

"If the job description is not reflecting what the employee actually does, it is doing a disservice to the employee and the organization."
– Dave Wallace,
Executive Counselor, Info-Tech Research Group

Identify the best-fit job description from Info-Tech's Job Description Library

Info-Tech's Job Description Library

Go to Info-Tech's Job Description Library

Job Description review checklist

Follow these best practices to make sure your requirements are solid:

1 You reviewed the job description in the context of other jobs in the department – particularly those directly above and below to prevent overlapping duties.
2 All the responsibilities and requirements included are essential to the job. Secondary responsibilities that are infrequently performed and inessential to the job have not been included.
3 The education and/or degree requirements are necessary for the success of the role. Any certificate and accreditations indicated align with the number of years of experience needed. New skills or qualifications have been included and outdated or no longer relevant skills/qualifications have been removed.
4 The language and format used is clear, concise, easy to understand, is not biased, and doesn't exclude people with diverse backgrounds. The job description is inclusive, has a gender-neutral job title, and avoids overuse of superlatives, jargon, and acronyms.
5 The cognitive capacity of the role is not overloaded. You have limited the responsibilities of the role to those that one can take on. You've ensured the role isn't being overburdened and would require spreading focus too thin.
6 HR has reviewed the job description to ensure it is compliant with relevant laws and regulations (e.g. labor laws, employment laws, human rights, etc.).

For more suggestions use our Job Description Review Checklist.

Job Description Review Checklist

Review your job descriptions for accuracy and inclusivity

Use a critical eye to watch for common additions to job descriptions that create risk for your organization and unnecessarily exclude individuals.

  • Eliminate non-critical requirements or outdated responsibilities (e.g. driver's license requirements or physical ability requirements for manual dexterity for a hybrid office-based role).
  • Replace inflated degree requirements or document alternative skill acquisition paths (e.g. eliminate preferences for specific institutions or requiring advanced degrees for non-specialized roles without experience equivalents).
  • Identify opportunities to eliminate reliance on industry experience in non-diverse industries (e.g. male-dominated industries such as technology) for organizations attempting to increase workforce diversity.

Source: McLean & Company, 2023

A unanimous decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2006 awarded 52 females approximately $3.3 million for being rejected by Armour Sausage Plant because of a required "strength test." The employment test was deemed discriminatory as prior to the test nearly half of plant workers were women. More than 95% of males passed the test, but fewer than 40% of female applicants did. The test was found to be more difficult than the job and the company failed to prove that it reduced injuries, which was the stated purpose of the test.

Source: EEOC, 2006

Didn't find what you need in the library?

Use Info-Tech's IT Job Description Writing Guide in conjunction with the Info-Tech Job Description Template.

  • Use a standardized approach to create and maintain job descriptions to ensure they are focused on necessary components and are used effectively.
  • The manager who directly oversees the position should collaborate with HR throughout the job description process.
  • The guide gives you tips and tricks to keep top of mind as you fill in the job description template, guidance on how to complete each section, a verb library, and level differentiators to assist in the writing process.
  • Don't dive straight into writing. Gather information from appropriate sources via various methods to collect the job data you need to determine the specifications of the job and its description.

IT Job Description Writing Guide

Job Description Template

Writing a job description starts with gathering data

Sources of job data Methods of collecting job data
Internal sources:
  • Employee
  • Supervisor
  • Internal stakeholders
  • HR business partner

External sources:

  • Info-Tech's Job Description Library
  • The occupational classification system for the applicable country
  • SFIA global skills and competency framework
  • O*NET Database
  • Interviews
  • Job analysis questionnaire
  • Observations
  • Records
Job Data

Ask yourself these questions to inform your job description:

  1. Why does the job exist?
  2. What gaps would there be if this job didn't exist?
  3. How does this job differ from those above and below it?
  4. How does this job contribute to the department's strategic priorities?

Internal progression in job descriptions helps employees understand the path to growth

Mapping your job descriptions to your competency frameworks increases their value and clarifies progression opportunities for employees.

For more information refer to our IT Competency Library

IT Competency Library

1 Progression doesn't have to be solely focused on managerial opportunities. Some people, especially in tech, don't want to be managers but still want growth. Refer to the IT Leadership Career Planning Research Center for more insights on this.
2 Job leveling and titling should be based on organization-wide criteria. Check with your HR department to verify whether your organization has determined job leveling criteria.
3 Growth shouldn't be based on a job title, it's about what a job is meant to be doing and the behavior expected. Levels assigned to jobs must reflect the breadth and complexity of role responsibilities based on set job leveling criteria.
4 Once the job leveling criteria is set, you can use it to differentiate roles based on increasing complexity of role responsibility. The more levels you have, the harder it becomes to differentiate between levels. Most organizations have five to seven.1
5 Career paths tend to follow a natural progression in similar roles. However, this doesn't exist in many parts of organizations.
6 Career frameworks are just one tool in your talent management and career development toolbox. Career ladders shouldn't be used in isolation but in conjunction with other tactics.

1 McLean & Company, 2022.

Job leveling criteria is organization specific

Identifying relevant job leveling criteria for the organization is foundational to the architecture of jobs.

Avoid creating too many criteria factors. Choose five to seven that represent the breadth and differentiation of responsibilities across the organization. Sample criteria include:

  • Number and variety of functions a role leads
  • Degree of financial responsibility (i.e. budget authority)
  • Decision-making authority
  • Degree of influence or impact (e.g. at the team, department, functional, or organizational level)
  • Key relationships and interdependencies (e.g. who the role is required to consult with when making major decisions)
  • Role in strategic planning (e.g. strategic leader vs. contributor)
  • Performance metrics (e.g. is performance for the role assessed at the individual, team, department, or functional level)
  • Reporting relationships

Adapted from: McLean & Company, 2022.

For each criteria, the organization needs to determine what that criteria looks like at each job level.

A simple levels structure would include three levels (entry, mid, and senior). The more levels there are, the more complex and difficult maintenance and alignment with HR programs becomes.

Alignment of the functional competencies and the job levels that you can then map to your job descriptions builds a clear growth path for employees.

Sample job level criteria:

Job Level Criteria Level 3 (Senior) Level 2 (Mid) Level 1 (Entry)
Degree of financial responsibility Responsible for department/function budget Responsible for project/team budget N/A
Decision-making authority Full decision-making authority for function. Strict to moderate restrictions No decision-making authority
Degree of internal influence or impact Extreme influence Direct to wide-ranging influence Extremely limited to limited influence
Role in strategic planning Responsible for business planning and selecting strategic priorities Responsible for implementing strategic priorities Responsible for leading small-scale strategic projects or supporting strategic projects
Performance metrics Accountable for function/department performance Accountable for project/team performance Accountable for individual performance

Establish baseline metrics

Baseline metrics will be improved through:

  1. Increased clarity and accuracy of job expectations for employees and managers.
  2. Improved DEI considerations and awareness in job descriptions.
  3. More employee engagement.
  4. Measurable business results and customer satisfaction improvements because employees are more engaged and clearly understand expectations.
Metric Calculation
Promotion rate: Employees promoted as a percentage of headcount. Promotions / Headcount
Female percentage: Percentage of employees who are female. Female employees / Headcount
Diversity percentage: Percentage of employees who identify in a diversity category. (Employees who self-identify as a member of a diverse group) / Headcount
Employee engagement: The percentage of employees who are engaged within an organization. # of employees who are engaged / Total number of employees
Change in customer satisfaction scores: Compares customer satisfaction survey scores to a previous period. ((Y2 customer satisfaction scores – Y1 customer satisfaction scores) / Y1 customer satisfaction scores) * 100
Regrettable turnover: The loss of an employee that the organization wishes it could have kept as a percentage of total turnover. Number of employees who left that the organization wishes had remained / Number of individuals who leave the organization
Write Better IT Job Descriptions preview picture

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Talk to an Analyst

Our analyst calls are focused on helping our members use the research we produce, and our experts will guide you to successful project completion.

Book an Analyst Call on This Topic

You can start as early as tomorrow morning. Our analysts will explain the process during your first call.

Get Advice From a Subject Matter Expert

Each call will focus on explaining the material and helping you to plan your project, interpret and analyze the results of each project step, and set the direction for your next project step.

Unlock Sample Research


Heather Leier-Murray


  • 12 anonymous contributors
Visit our IT Cost Optimization Center
Over 100 analysts waiting to take your call right now: 1-519-432-3550 x2019