First things first: write a job specification
Published: November 22nd, 2011 in the Job Vacancy Advertising.
Writing a job specification is the single most important thing you can do to ensure success at recruitment — not matter what channel or method you use.
Without a job specification you risk hiring the wrong person for the wrong job and costing yourself and your company a lot of heartache and money.
Why writing a job specification is so important
You don’t choose a new laptop for your business without deciding what you will use it for, what your budget is and what software you are going to need. Why should it be any different for your people?
Sadly, too many companies make the task of recruiting more difficult for themselves by having an unclear idea of the vacancy they actually want to fill. A job title or a vague idea of what the person should do is not enough. You really have to do your homework and decide what your company truly need in this new hire.
What is a job specification?
Going through the process of writing a job specification is the only way you are truly going to understand the job you are hiring for. A typical job specification has two elements: the Job Specification and the Person Specification.
The Job Specification is where you capture the key elements of the job you re trying to fill. The key elements comprise the job title, the purpose of the job, the duties and responsibilities, the reporting lines, the salary, benefits, working hours, probationary period and starting date amongst other things. All of these elements go to make up the complete job and defines exactly what they person must do on a day to day basis — at least your best shot at capturing it.
Once you have created your job specification, you can then begin to look at the Person Specification. The Person Specification aims to capture the key elements of the kind of person you are looking for. In this case, the key elements comprise the knowledge, skills, qualification and experience that you consider to be necessary to do the job.
By creating a proper job specification you will help to identify the job you have and the person you need to do it. This will help you recruit better and retain better. There are few things more disruptive to a business than bad recruitment and poor retention of staff.
Next steps? Check out these other guides and articles:
- First things first: write a job specification
- How to advertise a job vacancy
- How to respond to candidates
- How to Screen Candidates on Job Boards
- How to write a job specification
- Managing Applications: how should candidates apply?