What Is a Job Specification?

Published: April 25th 2023

Having a job description and job specification on file can provide significant advantages to a business owner, Hiring Manager, or recruitment team. These essential documents play a vital role in the hiring process, job advertising, team management, identifying training needs, and assessing employee performance.

Nevertheless, if a job description and job specification are not available for a particular position, it becomes necessary to create them. In this article, we will delve into:

  • What are job specifications?
  • Job specification advantages and disadvantages
  • Job specification examples

What are Job Specifications?

Defining the knowledge, aptitudes, duties, and responsibilities of a particular job, a job specification is a critical tool that aids the hiring process and Human Resources professionals. An effective job specification outlines the required qualifications, skill sets, and personality traits and typically follows the job title and job description in a job advertisement, to create a complete job posting.

The job specification provides valuable information for recruiters to assess a candidate's suitability for the position, while a job seeker can determine whether they meet the requirements before applying for a job opening. Additionally, managers can use job specifications to evaluate employee performance, address performance issues, and identify training needs of employees.

Job Specification Advantages and Disadvantages

When searching for the right candidate, using a job specification with your job descriptions can offer several advantages, but there are also a few potential drawbacks to consider.


Job specifications offer several benefits, including:

  • Clearly defining essential skills: A job description outlines the job duties and what a job entails, while a job specification specifies the required skills, qualifications, and relevant experience required to perform the job and meet business needs.
  • Streamlining candidate screening: A job specification enables hiring managers to quickly identify the best candidate from a pool of job applications by matching their qualifications to the predetermined employee specifications.
  • Providing a performance benchmark: Job specifications help the HR manager and HR professionals evaluate employee performance and determine training needs.


Possible drawbacks of using job specifications are:

  • Excluding suitable candidates: If the job specification is too rigid, it may discourage qualified candidates from applying. For instance, leadership skills or a master's degree may not be necessary for an entry-level job.
  • Time-consuming for multiple jobs: Creating a job specification for numerous roles can be time-consuming for an HR department and may require collecting specific details. Using a job description template for an exact role can save time.

Job Specification Example

While the exact job specification for a particular job may vary, some common features often included are:


The required educational qualifications typically follow the job title and job description, such as a high school diploma or a bachelor’s degree. Mentioning subjects ensures candidates possess the necessary knowledge to perform specific tasks, duties, or responsibilities.


Describing the necessary characteristics, such as emotional intelligence or emotional characteristics, that the ideal candidate should possess is vital. Personality traits may focus on fitting the company culture or interacting with clients and partners. Examples include the ability to remain calm when handling complex issues, maintain confidentiality, or remain emotionally resilient while working in physical or mental health roles.


Companies may request varying levels of experience in a specific job, industry, or related field. For instance, senior management positions may require individuals with at least five years of leadership experience.


Skills required to work in the position can include technical skills. For instance, a job analysis may identify the need for proficiency in using MS Office programs or similar tools. Entry-level jobs usually require fewer skills as they are often learned and developed on the job.


Other requirements to fulfill the position's responsibilities are described as special conditions. For example, eligibility requirements of a sales representative might be a driving license or willingness to travel and stay away from home.


Some roles entail physical demands, such as stamina required in warehousing where the employee is on their feet for long periods or expected to lift heavy items. Cabin crew need to be able to swim and meet minimum reach standards.

Job Spec FAQs

Here we answer the job spec questions of Hiring Managers and job seekers. You can find out more about jobs specs by reading how to write a job specification.

  • Job specification refers to a document that outlines the specific skills, education, experience, and other required education that a person must possess to perform a particular job effectively. A job spec details the necessary requirements for a job position and acts as a benchmark to assess the suitability of potential candidates during the recruitment process.

  • A job specification is a document that outlines the specific job qualifications, experience, skills, and other requirements that an individual must have to perform a particular job. For example, a job specification for a marketing manager position may require a bachelor's degree in marketing or a related field, five years of experience in marketing or sales, strong communication and analytical skills, and knowledge of digital marketing techniques.

  • A job specification quiz-let is a set of flashcards or study materials related to a job specification. Quizlet is an online platform that allows users to create and share study materials, including flashcards, tests, and games, to help students and professionals learn and remember information.

  • Two examples of job specifications include:

    • A software developer job specification that requires a bachelor's degree in computer science, proficiency in programming languages like Java and Python, and experience with software development tools like Git and JIRA.
    • A registered nurse job specification that requires a nursing degree, valid nursing license, strong communication and interpersonal skills, and the ability to work under pressure and handle emergency situations.


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