What is a Job Specification?

A job specification includes all the traits, skills, qualifications, experience and other requirements that a candidate needs to have to perform a specific job. Though they are not legal requirements, they should be clearly and accurately stated to bring more clarity to the job role.

Need for a Job Specification

Job specification is an integral part of job analysis that guides both the employer and the employee on the entire process of recruitment and selection. Job specifications are needed to find the right talent, evaluate performance, analyse training needs, and measure the worth of a particular job. It helps analyse eligible candidates for a vacancy. It also helps the recruiting team of an organisation understand the qualifications, qualities, and characteristics of the present candidates and give them relevant details and information about any job responsibilities.

Things to Keep in Mind Before Writing a Job Specification

While writing a job specification, it is necessary to be precise about job responsibilities, including delivery deadlines and success measurement. It should also have space for flexibility if the role requires a minor modification and change in the future. This prevents the chaos related to taking up job responsibilities. It is also essential to refrain from discrimination whether caste, class, creed, or gender.

Components of a Job Specification

Several components are kept in mind while giving a job specification for a particular role. These are:

  • Educational Qualifications

This helps in understanding how qualified is the candidate to suit a particular role. It includes the candidate’s basic school education, a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or any other necessary qualifications. 

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  • Job Experience

Job experience is one of the parameters required for completing a job specification. It may include work experience for a particular role and from a particular industry and for a particular duration of time. 

  • Knowledge and Skills

It is an essential component of a job specification as most roles look for knowledge and skill-based profiles. The higher the position, the better the skills and expertise are required. So, skills like leadership, communication management, team management, etc., can be mentioned. 

  • Personality traits

How an employee or candidate behaves in a particular situation is also an essential part of a job specification.

Example of a Job Specification

Here is a sample job specification prepared for a Human Resource Director. 

  • Education: 
  • Must have a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources, Business, or related field.
  • Masters Degree in Business or Human Resources Management or a related field preferred. 
  • Work Experience: 
  • 7-10 years of experience in human resources or a similar industry. 
  • Experience in supervising and managing a team
  • Skills and Knowledge:
  • Demonstrated robust and effective communication in writing, business presentations, and interpersonal communication.
  • Highly developed demonstrated teamwork skills.
  • Demonstrated a high degree of confidentiality in interpersonal interaction.
  • Exhibited an unusual degree of common sense in working with co-workers and the executive team.
  • Experience directing the efforts of a team of diverse human resources professionals.
  • Demonstrated a strong commitment to and interest in employee relations and communication.
  • Personality Traits & Characteristics: 
  • Strong communication skills
  • Organised and empathetic
  • Problem solver
  • A comfortable leader

Difference between a Job Description and a Job Specification

A job description is basic job-related data required to advertise a particular job role to attract a pool of candidates. It includes an overview of the information such as the duties and responsibilities, title, job location, job summary, nature and objectives of the job, etc. On the other hand, a job specification is the specific or detailed statement of the educational qualifications, personality traits, skills and knowledge, job experience, responsibilities involved in the job, etc. It also includes general and mental health, aptitude, leadership skills, flexibility, values, creativity, etc.

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