What is Job Specification? Job Spec Meaning and Definition in HRM

Job specification is a vital part of overview of the job. It provides information about what kind of candidate is suitable for the given job. The meaning and definition of job specification in HRM is as given below:

Job Specification - HR helpboard

Job Specification Definition

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

Job Specification Meaning 

Job Spec is the skills, knowledge and abilities required to perform a particular job is articulated in job specification. It consists of information about requirements such as experience, education and attributes which will help the employee to reach the set goals of the job.

How to write a job specification or Job Spec?

Job specification is blue print for the recruitment and selection process. Thus, job specification has to be drafted very carefully. The HR manager working on job specification should have vision to collect the 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

  • Educational qualification: This part covers the desired education of the candidate. Specific terms, such as graduate, 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 over qualification like- MBA are not required or graduates should not apply in the job specification.  
  • 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 the higher job profile managerial or team handling experience is often required by the organization.
  • 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, computer language knowledge based on the profile.
  • Personality traits and characteristics: Here a situational based traits and characteristics are covered. The way the person should handle the complex situation in the organization, generic behavior of the candidate is covered in this section. The emotional intelligence has also given importance in this section of 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 I- Check the job role and decide the educational qualification required to perform the duty. One should check the nature of job, its importance and the background which will be helpful to work on the job.
  • Step II- The job title and position provides 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, grievances handling which are required for long term performance of the job.
  • Step III- Along with the qualification and experience there are certain skills which 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- The 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 the domain. Generally the reporting manager of the profile approves the drafted job specification.
  • Step VI- Once the job specification is approved it is circulated among the HR department to add it in the official documents.

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

Purpose & objectives of job specification or Job Spec?

The job analysis is a process which provides the end result of job specification. A detailed research on the job role give 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 a right fit between the job and the talent. The job specification is key to achieve 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 to HR manager to identity 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 Marketing Manager in Service Industry. The sample provided here is only for understanding purpose, 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 need practical verification before implementing the corporate world.

Example of Job Spec


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 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 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 situation