Business owners, HR Managers, and the recruitment team all extract benefits from having a job description and job specification on file. Job descriptions and job specifications are essential for the hiring process and advertising your job opening. They also assist in team management, identifying training needs, and appraising employee performance.
However, if you don’t have job descriptions that include a job specification for a particular job, you will need to create one. In this article, we explore:
- What a job specification is
- The advantages and disadvantages of job specifications
- Job specification features
What A Job Specification Is?
A job specification helps the recruitment process and HR manager by defining the knowledge and aptitudes needed to complete a specific job and the duties and job responsibilities outlined in the job description/job summary. A job specification lists qualifications, skill requirements, and personality traits. The job spec follows the job title and job description in a job advert.
Recruiters can use the job spec to assess the suitability of a potential employee, and candidates can determine if they meet the application requirements. Managers can use them to evaluate employees, problem solve performance, and identify training needs.
The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Job Specifications
There are many advantages to using a job specification when seeking to hire the right candidate and a few disadvantages.
JOB SPECIFICATION BENEFITS
The benefits of a job specification include:
- Clearly state essential skills – A job description tells candidates the purpose of job duties, and a job specification tells candidates the specific skills, relevant experience, and specific qualifications required to perform the job and meet business requirements.
- Saves time when screening candidates – A job spec helps save time when job applications are received from several candidates. Hiring managers can quickly determine the ideal candidate by matching their profile to the predetermined employee specifications.
- Provide a performance benchmark – Job specs help managers and Human Resources evaluate performance and provide necessary training.
JOB SPECIFICATION DISADVANTAGES
The potential disadvantages of writing job specs include:
- Disqualify suitable candidates – If the job specification is too strict, it can stop people making a job search from applying. For example, entry-level jobs probably do not require leadership skills or a Master’s degree.
- Time-consuming if needed for many jobs – Collecting the specific details and writing a job specification for multiple roles can be time-consuming. We recommend beginning with a job description template for a particular job to save time.
Job Specification Features
The exact job specification for a specific job might vary, however, common job specification features include:
Any required educational qualification usually follows the job title and job description. Education requirements might include GCSEs, A-levels, diplomas, and degrees. Subjects are often mentioned to ensure candidates have the knowledge required to perform a specific task, duty, or responsibility.
Companies can request varying levels of experience in a particular job, industry, or related field. For example, senior management positions might require individuals with five years of leadership experience.
Personality traits describe the characteristics the best prospects should possess. They may focus on what is required to fit the company culture or talk to clients and partners. Sometimes referred to as emotional intelligence or emotional characteristics, examples include an ability to remain calm when handling complex issues or an ability to maintain confidentiality and remain emotionally strong when working in physical or mental health roles.
Skills can include technical skills required to work in the position. For example, job analysis might identify a requirement for proficiency using MS Office programs. An entry-level job should have fewer required skills, as these are typically learned and developed on the job.
Some roles have physical demands, such as stamina in warehousing where the employee is on their feet all day or required to lift heavy items. Cabin crew need to be able to swim and meet minimum reach standards.
CERTIFICATIONS AND SPECIAL CONDITIONS
Special conditions describe other requirements to meet the responsibilities of the position. For example, a sales representative might need a driving licence or be prepared to travel and stay away from home.
Job Specification FAQs
Here we answer your job specification questions.
A job specification is a list of required skills, qualifications, experience, and traits. A job spec is crucial and helps to ensure applications are from qualified candidates.
The purpose of job descriptions is to define the duties and responsibilities of the role. A job specification states the abilities and knowledge an employee needs to complete those duties and responsibilities.
We discuss everything that should be included in a job spec in our article What To Include In A Job Specification.
All of our job description templates include a job specification example.