What to Include in a Job Specification

Published: May 10th 2023

In case you are involved in recruitment processes, either as an HR professional or a small business owner with a hands-on approach, writing a job specification can be a common task. These specifications prove to be highly beneficial in the recruitment process, as they streamline the identification of the most suitable candidate for your vacant position by outlining the application requirements for job seekers.

This article delves into:

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

What is a Job Spec?

What is a job specification? A job specification outlines the necessary qualifications, skills, experience, and personality traits that candidates must possess to respond to a job ad, apply for a position, and fulfill its job responsibilities and duties. Typically located below the job title and job description, a job specification informs candidates of the education and other specific requirements.

Creating an effective job specification is crucial for Hiring Managers to accompany a comprehensive job description and include it in the job posting. Failure to include clear job specs can result in applications from unqualified candidates, which increases the hiring process's time and difficulty in screening and selecting the right candidate. In the worst-case scenario, it may lead to the recruitment of an unsuitable candidate for the job role. Job specifications that attract the best talent are typically determined by analyzing the job responsibilities and through consultation with the line manager or management.

How to Write a Job Specification

A well-written job specification is an essential accompaniment to a good job description, providing a clear and concise summary of the skills, qualifications, and requirements needed from an ideal candidate. Typically presented as bullet points below an engaging job description, the job specification enables qualified candidates to understand precisely what the company is looking for in an employee.

To create a job specification, you can begin by using a job description template from our job description library and follow these steps:

1. List the Required Educational Qualifications

Job specifications should specify the necessary qualifications for the role, such as a high school diploma, college degree, bachelor’s degree, or specific skills. To avoid unnecessarily reducing the pool of potential candidates, it is helpful to differentiate between must-have and nice-to-have qualifications and required skills.

2. Describe any Special Conditions

Job specifications can outline any specific job requirements, such as physical stamina for jobs requiring long periods of standing, other physical demands, protective gear for jobs with potential risks, travel, or remote work.

3. Update the Job Spec

Since job requirements evolve over time, it is essential to update job descriptions and specifications to stay current and prepared for job advertising, recruitment, and team expansion.

After preparing the job specification, proofread it to ensure that it is organized, error-free, and coherent to job seekers and the best candidates. A well-prepared job spec will result in more effective job descriptions that attract the best job seekers, ultimately extending their and your employment lifecycle.

What to Include in a Good Job Specification

Below is a comprehensive list of what to include in a job specification:

Educational Requirements and Qualifications

This section outlines the minimum education and qualifications required for the role. For example, a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing or information technology or specialized training and technical skills, such as completing a customer services diploma. Employers who prefer experience-based knowledge can leave out this section. Read more on job description qualifications and skills.

Required Licenses or Accreditations

Some jobs require specific licenses, accreditations, or other credentials. For instance, teachers must have completed a teacher certification program, and delivery drivers might require a specific driving license type.

Experience Required

This section specifies the minimum number of years of experience an employer believes a person needs to perform the role effectively. Experience can be defined as similar positions, the exact role being advertised, or a position one step down in seniority. Entry level jobs may require no work experience or experience acquired through volunteer work or involvement in clubs or other organizations.

Skill Requirements

This section of the job spec outlines the essential skills needed to perform the job effectively. It helps candidates assess their suitability for the role. Soft skills such as math, English, and increasingly, software skills are vital requirements.

Personality Traits

The personality traits section of the person specification specifies the personal traits necessary to perform the main duties and responsibilities outlined in the job description. For instance, a company may seek candidates who can work in a team, remain calm, or maintain focus and attention to detail.

Special Conditions or Demands

This section outlines any special job requirements, such as remote work, heavy lifting, or passing a medical exam or background check.

Job Descriptions and Job Specification Examples

If you are creating job specifications then effective job description resources and a job specification template are vital. We recommend reading how to write a job specification and investigating our job description template guide, covering hiring process topics such as job duties, key responsibilities, job tasks, required education, technical skills, job titles, and required experience for job roles and potential applicants.

Job Description Job Specification FAQs

Here we answer your questions on writing an effective job specification for your job descriptions.

  • Writing a job specification sample involves outlining the necessary qualifications, essential skills, experience, and responsibilities required for a particular job role. To create a job specification, you should start by identifying the job title, followed by a brief summary of the job's purpose and the essential qualifications and experience required for the role. You can then outline the job's responsibilities, required skills, and any other relevant information such as work schedule, compensation, and benefits. It's essential to ensure that the job specification is clear, concise, and relevant to attract the right candidates for the job.

  • The first item included in a job specification should be the job’s title. This allows the job seeker to quickly understand the role they are applying for and enables the recruiter to attract suitable candidates for the position. After the title of the job, the job specification should provide a brief summary of the job's purpose and objectives, outlining the responsibilities and tasks involved.

  • A job profile is a detailed summary of a particular job role, including the job title, job summary, responsibilities, required qualifications, necessary skills, nice to haves, and experience required for senior, mid, or entry level positions. A job profile provides a comprehensive understanding of the job role to help recruiters and candidates undergoing a job search to determine if they are a good fit for the position. It also helps in the recruitment process by providing an objective framework to assess candidates and compare their qualifications and experience against the job requirements.


Enter your email address below to subscribe to our blog.

© Hiring People. All rights reserved.