How Job Specification Helps with Recruiting

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A job specification describes the knowledge, skills, education, experience, and abilities you believe are essential to performing a particular job.

The job specification is developed from the job analysis.

The Importance of the Job Analysis

The job analysis is a process used to collect information about the duties, responsibilities, necessary skills, outcomes, and work environment of a particular job. The job analysis is useful in providing an overview of the fundamental requirements of any position. You need as much data as possible to put together a job description, which is the frequent result of the job analysis.

If you miss critical information, you could end up not paying an employee correctly or hiring someone who lacks an essential skill needed for performing the job.

Ideally, also developed from a detailed job description, the job specification describes the person you want to hire for a particular job.

3 Essential Components of a Job Specification

The key elements of job a specification include the following:

Experience. This defines the number of years of experience one needs to be well-suited for the job you are seeking to fill. This can be an exact number (e.g., at least 20 years experience) or it can be a range (e.g., 15 to 20 years of experience). This is also the area where you specifically note whether the position requires progressively more complex and responsible experience, as well as supervisory or managerial experience. Experience may also extremely specific. For example, if the position to be filled is a pharmaceutical marketing executive, the job specification may note that one needs 20 years familiarity marketing specific brand or generic pharmaceutical products. 

Education. This category varies greatly. For example, the job may require a two-year or four-year academic degree, or a graduate degree or post-graduate degree. You may also need to note that certain training was required, or certifications are required for the position. If there are no educational requirements for the job, that should be stated as well.

Required skills, knowledge, and characteristics. This category examines the skills, knowledge, and personal characteristics of individuals who have successfully performed the job in the past. Or, you may choose to use the job analysis data to determine the attributes you need from your “ideal” candidate. Your recruiting planning meeting, or email participants, can also help determine these requirements for the job specification. Either way, this is an area where you need to be extremely detailed to attract the skill-appropriate candidates.

Other Ways Job Specification Aids the HR Process

A job specification is useful for recruiting because it helps you write your job postings and your website recruiting material. The job specification is also useful for disseminating job posting information across all the popular social media platforms—such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also use the information to screening resumes and comes in handy when interviewing.

It also allows employees to accurately gauge what is needed on a daily basis in order to succeed in the job. And, if you tend to be inundated with hundreds of resumes, a job specification is a useful approach and tool to narrow the field down to those candidates that truly make sense. 

If you've never developed a job specification, then it will help if for you to take a look at a sample job specification.