It is crucial to create a precise and effective job specification that accompanies your job description if you want to attract and assess top-tier candidates. Taking the time to develop a job specification can save your organization time during the hiring process when screening applicants. Effective job specifications guarantee that candidates are suitable, while inadequate ones may draw resumes from unsuitable applicants, potentially requiring you to start the recruitment process anew.
We provide a complimentary job description template, job description library, job advert template, and a guide to crafting a job specification that includes:
- Definition of job specification
- Tips for crafting a good job specification
- Step-by-step instructions for creating a job spec
- Objectives and benefits of job specifications
Definition of Job Specification
What is a job specification? A job specification is a comprehensive list that outlines the critical skills, knowledge, required education, required experience, other credentials, and personality traits necessary for candidates to fulfill the main duties and key responsibilities of a job position. In contrast, job descriptions highlight the primary duties, nice to haves, and responsibilities of a job, while job specifications focus on the must haves, essential skills and personal characteristics required to execute them.
To create a job advertisement ready for posting, the job title, company overview, job description, and job specification are combined.
Tips for Crafting a Good Job Specification
The creation of job specs is crucial in the recruitment process, as it serves as the basis for candidate selection. Thus, it is vital to develop them with utmost care and avoid internal jargon to ensure that the most suitable candidate is hired.
For your job specification to be effective and do your heavy lifting, it should have four key components:
This section of the job posting outlines the necessary qualifications required and educational requirements for the position. It includes eligibility requirements and academic requirements for potential applicants, such as a high school diploma and bachelor's degree.
To attract the right talent in a potential employee, businesses need to determine what constitutes being overqualified or under-qualified. For instance, if you're hiring for an entry-level position, asking for new employees with a bachelor's degree may not be necessary. Failure to mention essential qualifications or requesting unneeded ones will result in fewer suitable candidates applying for the role (and the corresponding salary).
The section on skill requirements in a job specification outlines the necessary technical skills and soft skills, including proficiency in software (software skills) and abilities in team management, leadership, numeracy, and communication. To measure a candidate's skills, a company may ask for certificates, awards, or recognition, or assess them through questioning during the interview stage of the recruitment process.
Experience is a useful criterion to include in a job specification when employers are hiring for a role in a specific industry or a similar position. If prior experience is not necessary, mentioning on-the-job training can encourage potential candidates seeking to improve their knowledge and advance their career to apply.
The personal traits section of a job specification describes the desirable characteristics that an ideal candidate should have. Personality traits are significant because they provide insight into how a person may act or perform in a given situation. A candidate's emotional intelligence and tendencies can indicate whether they are a cultural fit for the team and organization and can communicate and interact effectively with customers, suppliers, and business partners.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating a Job Spec
To write a job specification, follow these steps:
- Analyze what the job description includes to determine if the role requires specific education, required licenses, and qualifications
- Evaluate the job title and description to determine the level of seniority and specialization, which can help determine the required years of experience the job entails
- Compile a list of necessary skills to complete essential functions, by reviewing the job description and consulting with a line manager or current employee on similar positions
- Identify the desired soft skills and personality traits by reviewing your company's summary, mission, and values in conjunction with the job description
- Ensure that the job specification does not contain discriminatory language or references to race, gender, sexual orientation, age, or religion
Objectives and Benefits of Job Specifications
If you are unsure whether creating job specifications to accompany your job descriptions is worth the effort, consider the objectives and purposes outlined below.
Job Specification Objectives
- Clearly outline the necessary skills and education required to perform the tasks associated with a role
- Provide a framework for identifying the best talent for the job
- Create a framework for screening candidates based on specific criteria
- Help managers and HR evaluate employee performance based on predetermined standards
Job Specifications Purposes
- Assist job seekers with their job search by providing detailed information about the required qualifications and skills needed to be eligible to apply for a role within the organization
- Aid recruiters in the candidate selection process by providing specific criteria to assess candidates against
- Establish a record of the skills necessary to successfully complete the job
- Define situational and behavioural expectations for the role to ensure that the candidate and the organization are aligned in their expectations
Job Description and Job Specification Template FAQs
Next, we tackle your questions on creating job specifications, a good job description, and job specification examples.
A job specification is a document that outlines the qualifications, skills, experience, and personal attributes required to perform a specific job. A job specification example could be:
Job Title: Marketing Manager
- Bachelor's degree in Marketing or a related field
- 5+ years of experience in marketing or advertising
- Proven experience developing and implementing marketing strategies
- Strong communication, organizational, and leadership skills
- In-depth knowledge of marketing principles and practices
- Proficiency in market research and analysis
- Ability to manage budgets and resources effectively
- Familiarity with digital marketing platforms and tools
- Creative and innovative thinking
- Results-oriented mindset
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Attention to detail and accuracy
The contents of a job specification typically include the job title, qualifications, skills, and personal attributes required to perform the job successfully. Other contents may include:
- Job purpose and summary
- Duties and responsibilities
- Reporting structure
- Work location and hours
- Salary range and benefits
- Education and experience requirements
- Physical demands and working conditions
- Any additional requirements or preferences
Writing a good job specification is crucial because it:
- Helps attract the right candidates: A well-written job specification can attract qualified candidates who possess the necessary skills and experience to perform the job successfully.
- Streamlines the hiring process: A clear job specification can help recruiters and hiring managers screen resumes and identify the best candidates more efficiently.
- Ensures fairness and objectivity: A good job specification can ensure that all candidates are evaluated based on the same qualifications, skills, and attributes, eliminating bias in the hiring process.
- Reduces turnover and improves performance: When employees are hired based on a job specification that accurately reflects the requirements of the job, they are more likely to succeed in the role and stay with the organization long-term.