Writing a Job Specification

Getting the right person for the job can be very time consuming, if done properly, you can save time and minimise the risk of turnover.  There are two parts to writing a job specification – the Job Description and the Person Specification.  You will need to think in terms of what is essential and what is desirable, in order to get the right type of person you are looking for.

It is important to spend time defining what a job role within your company will involve.  This is important when writing a job advert, for the interview process and for appraisals.  Job applicants can decide if this is the kind of job they are looking for and will be able to use this information to show you how they would fit into the team at interview, saving you a lot of time.

It should not take you too long to write one and you might want to exchange some ideas with other people who have done the job.  You can also look for help from Professional Associations or the internet. Once you have listed all your ideas, you might want to narrow it down a bit.  You can go into more detail in a manual or in your policies and procedures booklet.

Things you will need to list in a Job Description:

  1. Job Title
  2. Location – the address of the practice or if they will need to work at branches, list those too
  3. Who they report to
  4. The job purpose/aim – maybe a sentence or two
  5. Main duties and responsibilities – no more than 15 bullet points
  6. You might want to add a salary range

Make sure that what is demanded of the job is achievable.  You might have a section on what a typical day might involve.

Things you will need to list in the Person Specification:

  1. Education, qualifications & training
  2. Level of experience
  3. Job skills & knowledge – refer back to your job duties and responsibilities and think of these skills in terms of technical, organisational, managerial, communicative skills…
  4. Personal attributes – i.e. creative, pro-active, takes initiative, friendly, results-oriented, organised, reliable….
  5. Other skills – computer, language or numeracy?  Are personal circumstances important to you?  Are their interests important to you?

As you create the person specification, make sure you are not listing any attributes that may be seen as discrimination such as age, sex, race, disability, religion or sexual orientation.

You can find more help on the internet or through the Business Link.

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