The difference between Job Descriptions and Job Specifications

Job Description

This document holds the core job data that is used to recruit for a job role. These basics include such information as the job title, the job location and who the successful applicant will report into.

Three key reasons you need a Job Description:

Reason one

Having a Job Description will show you who reports to who, allowing you to understand the structure of your organisation.

Up-to-date Job Descriptions will make any organisational restructures you conduct significantly easier to manage.

Reason two

When recruiting, your Job Description will provide you with a clear understanding of what type of candidate is required and whether you have recruited successfully.

This allows you to plan a successful recruitment campaign that is cost effective and job post appropriate.

Reason three

By clarifying what the successful candidate will need to do it will allow you to know how they are performing when they join your organisation.

It is this information that will tell you whether or not you have successfully recruited.

Job Specification

The Job Specification is a detailed statement of qualifications, level of experience, technical skills, communication skills, physical ability and qualities required to successfully perform the job responsibilities. It is usually combined with the Job Description into one document.

Three key reasons you need a Job Specification:

Reason one

Combined with the Job Description, the Job Specification allows candidates to determine whether they are suitable for a particular job post or not.

This saves unsuitable candidates the time of applying and it will save you time at the shortlisting and assessment stages.

Reason two

The Job Specification will help you rule the candidates in or out of the recruitment process.

Knowing what core skills and experience will be required will help you to fairly determine who is the right person for the job post.

Reason three

By reviewing a range of Job Specifications from across the organisation you will be able to determine what common skills and experience are required.

This knowledge can be used to guide learning and development for your organisation, identify skill gaps and plan better recruitment campaigns in the future.

FREE eBookTips and tricks that get you more for less, when recruiting.