What is Job Specification? Job Spec Meaning Definition & its importance in HRM

Job specification or Job spec is a vital part of an overview of a particular Job. It provides information about what kind of candidate is suitable for a particular job. Let us understand more about Job Specification meaning and its definition in HRM is as given below:

Job Spec

Job Specification Meaning 

Job specification means Job Spec in modern days, describe the skills, knowledge, and abilities required to perform a particular job is all articulated in the job specification. “Job spec” is an abbreviated form of job specification; it consists of information about requirements such as experience, education, and attributes that will help the employee to reach the set goals of the job.

Job Specification Definition

Job specification is defined as a statement about the qualification and characteristics of an employee required to perform the job task in a satisfactory manner. It is derived from job analysis and acts as an important tool for the recruitment and selection of employees.  

Job Specification Definition by Eminent Authors:

Find below the job spec or job specification definition is given by some renowned and eminent authors:

Decenzo and Robbins

“The job specification states the minimum acceptable human qualifications the incumbent must possess to perform the job successfully”.

Edwin B Flippo

“A job specification is a statement of minimum acceptable human qualities necessary to perform a job properly”.

Centro

“Job specification is defined as the characteristics of the individual who should be hired to perform a specific task or job”.

Dale Yoder

“The job specification, as such a summary properly described is thus, a specialized job description, emphasising personnel requirement and designed especially to facilitate selection and placement”.

Gary Desslar

“Job specification as, A list of job’s human requirements that is the requisite education, skills, personality and so on”.

Bohlander and Snell

“Job specification is a statement of the needed Knowledge, Skills, Abilities (KSAs) of the person who is to perform the job”.

Bateman and Snell

“Job specification describes the employee characteristics needed to perform the job”.

How to write a job specification or Job Spec?

Job specification is a blueprint for the recruitment and selection process. Thus, job specification has to be drafted very carefully. The HR manager working on job specifications should have the vision to collect information about the ideal candidate for the job. There are four components of job specification: Educational qualification, experience, skills and knowledge, characteristics, and personality traits.

Four Components of Job Spec

Despite the fact that job descriptions vary, there are a few characteristics that you can expect to see in many of them, including four major components of any job spec which are described below:

Job Spec Components

  1. Educational qualification: This part covers the desired education of the candidate. Specific terms, such as graduate, and post-graduate can be used here. The stream of education should be mentioned, along with the necessary grades which are required. Many companies also provide notes in terms of overqualification like- MBA is not required or graduates should not apply in the job specification.  
  2. Experience: Job specification should clearly highlight the required experience in a precise domain to perform the job. It includes details such as experience required in which industry, number of years of experience, position, and domain. For a higher job profile, managerial or team handling experience is often required by the organization.
  3. Skills & Knowledge:  This section explains the skills such as communication skills, leadership quality, team management, and many more which are necessary for the given job role. The term knowledge includes market knowledge, domain knowledge, and computer language knowledge based on the profile.
  4. Personality traits and characteristics: Here situational-based traits and characteristics are covered. The way the person should handle the complex situation in the organization, and the generic behavior of the candidate are covered in this section. Emotional intelligence has also been given importance in this section of the job specification.

Steps to Write the Job Specification or Job Spec

Once you are aware of the four components of the job specification it becomes easy to write the draft for a particular job.

  • Step-1: Check the job role and decide the educational qualification required to perform the duty. One should check the nature of the job, its importance, and the background which will be helpful to work on the job.
  • Step-II: The job title and position provides a brief idea about the duration of experience required to perform the job. Once the experience of domain work is certain, one should look for other experience such as managerial, client handling, as a service provider, and grievances handling which are required for long-term performance of the job.
  • Step-III: Along with the qualification and experience there are certain skills that are essential to perform the assigned job duties. The skills and knowledge which are mentioned as mandatory in the job specification are often verified during the selection process by the HR department.
  • Step-IV: Situational intelligence, emotional stability, personality traits, and attributes should be mentioned in the job specification. It also includes general and mental health, aptitude, judgment, memory, adaptability, values flexibility, and ethics.
  • Step-V: Once all the four components are well defined in the job specification, it is necessary to verify the job specification with the help of people working in the domain. Generally, the reporting manager of the profile approves the drafted job spec.
  • Step-VI: Once the job specification is approved it is circulated among the HR department to add it to the official documents.

Note: During the preparation of the job specification it is important to avoid discriminatory terms. One should not cover the personal aspects of the candidate such as race, sexual orientation, or civil partnership as a criterion in the job specification.

Importance of Job Specification     

A job specification is important due to following reasons:

  • Job spec helps provide more insight into what talents a candidate will utilize in a role rather than the tasks that they will perform.
  • These are written by hiring managers to encourage the most qualified people to apply for a job.
  • The role of HR Recruiters and other human resources professionals becomes easier at the time of hiring because they keep referring to the job specification to learn what qualities, education, and abilities the hiring manager is looking which ultimately helps to manage the hiring process.
  • A well-written job specification can assist a company in locating and hiring the best candidate.

Purpose & objectives of job specification or Job Spec?

The job analysis is a process that provides the end result of the job specification. Detailed research on the job role gives an outcome of the exact type of candidate required for the job.

Purpose of Job Specification

  • To help the candidates to analyze whether they are eligible to apply for a vacancy or not
  • To help the recruiting team in the selection process of the candidate
  • To document information about the job role and the skills required to complete the job
  • To document the goals set for the job and the situational behavior expected from the employee working on the job.

It is extremely essential to create the right fit between the job and the talent. The job specification is key to achieving this right fit. The job specification is useful to both applicant and the organization.

Objectives of Job Specification

  • To highlight the specific details essential to perform the task at its best
  • To provide a framework for HR manager to identify the best prospects
  • To help the recruitment team in screening the resumes of the applicant
  • To verify the performance of the employee during appraisal and promotion

Job specification or Job Spec Example

Here is a sample job specification for a Marketing Manager in Service Industry. The sample provided here is only for understanding purposes, different companies can make changes in the job specification based on the need of the organization. The sample job specification is just an outline for the job specification which needs practical verification before implementing in the corporate world.

Example of Job Spec - Job Specification for Marketing Manager 

Education

MBA in Marketing from Reputed B School, Gradation Stream preferably BBA, BCom, and B.E

Work Experience

2- 3 years of experience in Marketing in Service Industry

Skills and Knowledge

  • Good Communication skill
  • Team handling experience is a must
  • Should be aware of the online marketing tools and techniques
  • Management of PR events and media event
  • Problem-solving attitude and highly committed to work
  • Must be creative and have out of the box thinking personality

Personality traits and characteristics

  • Candidate should be confident, pleasant personality and have friendly nature
  • Should be emotionally strong and has positive thinking
  • Should be able to handle the work pressure and team
  • Should be comfortable dealing with clients in high profile situations