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What To Include In A Job Specification

What To Include In A Job Specification

If you work in HR or are a small business with hands on the recruitment process, you will likely find yourself writing a job specification. Job specifications are extremely helpful during the recruitment process and make it much more straightforward to identify the ideal candidate for your open role; setting the application requirements.

In this article, we explore:

  • What is a job specification?
  • How to write a job specification
  • What to include in job specifications

What Is A Job Specification?

A job spec is a list of requirements and qualifications required by candidates to apply for your position and complete its responsibilities and duties. The job spec usually sits below the job title and job description and informs candidates of the necessary skills, experience, personality traits, and education. Job specifications are typically determined by analysing the job.

It is essential for hiring managers to create an effective job specification and include it in the job posting. Emitting job specs can result in applications from candidates that do not have the required skills and required qualifications, adding time into the hiring process and making it harder to screen applicants and call the right candidate in for an interview. In the worst case scenario, hiring managers may end recruiting a person who won’t be successful in the position.

How To Write A Job Specification

How A Business Can Be Successful Writing A Job Specification

A concise and clear job specification should accompany a good job description. The job spec is usually added as bullet points to help candidates recognise what the company is looking for in an employee.

To write a job specification, you can leverage a job description template to:

1. LIST THE JOB’S REQUIRED EDUCATION

A job specification should include qualifications needed for the role, such as a college or high school diploma, bachelor’s degree, or necessary skills. To ensure you don’t unnecessarily reduce your talent pool, it can be helpful to list specific skills and qualifications as must-haves and nice-to-haves.

2. STIPULATE EXTRA CONDITIONS

Job specifications can describe any special job requirements, such as physical stamina for jobs where employees are on their feet for long periods, wearing protective equipment for jobs with risks, travel, or remote working.

3. UPDATE A JOB SPEC

The requirements of a position change over time, so it makes sense to update your job descriptions and specifications to be prepared for whenever your organisation needs to advertise a job, hire employees, or expand its team.

Once you have prepared your job specification, proofread and spellcheck it to ensure it is error-free, organised, and makes sense to potential candidates.

What To Include In Job Specifications

What A Business Should Include In A Job Specification

Here is a complete list what to include in a job spec.

EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS

Minimum education and qualifications might, for example, include a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing or information technology or required training in a specialisation, such as completing a customer services diploma. When employers prefer to hire by experience-gained knowledge, the business can leave out this section.

REQUIRED LICENSES OR ACCREDITATIONS

Some jobs require the person to have a license, accreditation, or other credentials. For example, teachers must have achieved a Qualified Teacher Status, and delivery drivers might require a specific driving license type.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

Required experience is the minimum number of years of experience employers believe a person needs to perform the role. Experience might be defined as in similar positions, the exact role being advertised, or a position one step down in seniority.

SKILL REQUIREMENTS

Required skills help to build a person specification that candidates can use to assess their suitability. Skills include maths, English, and increasingly, software skills.

PERSONALITY TRAITS

Personal traits are an example of what it takes to perform the main duties and responsibilities outlined in the business’ job description. For example, a company may want candidates who can work in a team (team-working) or maintain concentration (focus or attention to detail).

SPECIAL CONDITIONS OR DEMANDS

Special conditions of a job might include working from a remote location, heavy lifting, or passing a medical exam or background check.

Job Specification FAQs

Here we answer your job specification questions.

WHAT IS A JOB SPECIFICATION?

A job specification is added to a job description to explain the requirements for applying for the job and completing job tasks.

WHAT IS A JOB SPECIFICATION EXAMPLE?

Job specification examples are included in our job description templates and can be personalised by a business when writing a job description to post as a job advert.

WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL RISKS OF JOB SPECIFICATIONS?

Job specifications will help an organisation hire the best candidates. However, if you set unrealistic eligibility criteria or use internal terminology, the benefits can be lost as few candidates have all of the requested skills and qualifications. A company should determine what is a must-have or nice-to-have to maximise the benefits of adding a job spec to a job’s description, when hiring talent.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A JOB SPECIFICATION AND JOB DESCRIPTION/JOB DESCRIPTIONS?

Employers and employees often use the terms job description and job specification interchangeably. However, strictly speaking, job descriptions are overviews of jobs, including job titles, key responsibilities, job duties, and information about companies and their culture. A job spec details the eligibility requirements, including personal traits, technical skills, legal requirements, and required education.

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