A job specification defines the knowledge, skills and abilities that are required to perform a job in an organization. Job specification covers aspects like education, work-experience, managerial experience etc which can help accomplish the goals related to the job. Job specification helps in the recruitment & selection process, evaluating the performance of employees and in their appraisal & promotion.
Job specification, along with job description, is actually derived from job analysis. Collectively, job specification and job description help in giving a overview of the job in terms of its title, position, roles, responsibilities, education, experience, workplace etc.
Importance of Job Specification
The importance and purpose of job specification is a thoroughly understand the specific details of a job. Jobs can be of different types and can require a different skill sets to get the maximum output from a particular. Job specification gives important details related to the job like education & skills, prior work experience, managerial experience, personality traits etc which would help an employee accomplish the objectives of a job. For a recruiter, job specification lays down the guidelines basis of which the company can recruit and select the best possible candidate who would be best suited for the job. Apart from actually finding the right candidate or employee, job specification can be used for screening of resumes & shortlist only those candidates who are the closest fit to the job. Hence, a job specification gives specific details about a job and what kind of skill sets are required to complete the job.
Components of Job Specification
There are many parameters which are considered while giving the job specification for a certain profile.
1. Educational Qualification: This parameter gives an insight on how qualified a certain individual is. It covers their basic school education, graduation, masters degree, other certifications etc
2. Experience: Job specification clearly highlights the experience required in a particular domain for completing a specific job. It includes work experience which can be from a specific industry, position, duration or in a particular domain. Managerial experience in handling and managing a team can also be a job specification criteria required for a particular position
3. Skills & Knowledge: This is an important parameter in job specification especially with knowledge and skill based profiles. The higher the position in a company, the more niche the skills become and more is the knowledge required to perform the job.
4. Personality traits and characteristics: The way in which a person behaves in a particular situation, handles complex problems, generic behaviour etc are all covered in the characteristics of a job description. It also covers the emotional intelligence of a person i.e how strong or weak a person is emotionally
Job Specification Example
Here is a sample job specification, which is prepared for a marketing manager in a telecom company.
Must be an engineer and MBA in marketing for a reputed MBA institute
Must have prior work experience in marketing & sales (preferably telecom or FMCG)
Skills & Knowledge
1. Must be a good communicator and must be able to lead a team.
2. Prior experience in handling ATL-BTL activities and managing promotional events.
3. Must be able to handle social media like Facebook, Twitter and help build online brand
4. Experience in managing PR and media
5. Strong analytical skills and problem solving skills
6. Must understand business, come up with innovative products and launch them
Personality Traits & Characteristics
1. Must be presentable and a good orator
2. Should be calm in complex situations and show leadership skills in managing multiple teams
3. Should be emotionally strong and should give timely deliverables
The above table is a sample of job specification. More specific details can also be put to give a better understanding about the job.
Advantages of Job Specification
There are several benefits of having a comprehensive job specification. Some advantages are listed below:
1. Job specification highlights all the specific details required to perform the job at its best
2. It gives the HR managers a threshold and a framework on the basis on which they can identify the best prospects
3. Helps in screening of resumes and saves time when there are multiple applications by choosing those who are closest to the job specification
4. HR managers can used job specification as a benchmark to evaluate employees and give them required trainings
5. It also helps companies during performance appraisal and promotions
Disadvantages of Job Specification
There are certain limitations of job specification. Some of the disadvantages are mentioned below:
1. It is a time consuming process as it has to be very thorough and complete
2. Job description is time bound and changes with changing technology and changing knowledge & skill requirements
3. It can only give a framework of emotional characteristics and personality traits but cannot specify the experience or forecast complex issues is any