So by now, if you have read my ‘To react or to respond’ article, you should have carried out your full job analysis and now have a clear focus as to what your needs are for the vacancy at hand. With this in mind, you will be able to move on to writing your Job Description (JD) & Person Specification (PS) documents…….please don’t yawn, these are the key to your long term recruitment success!

What is a job description?

It describes the demands of the job, its duties, responsibilities, authority and why it exits.

What should a job description include?

Job title, department
Purpose, responsible to & for
Duties, conditions, qualifications & experience
Salary and benefits, prospects, other

What is a person specification?

It defines a job in human terms. It identifies the kind of person needed to fulfil the job by outlining the characteristics found in the ideal candidate.

What should a person specification include?

Skills, aptitudes , knowledge
Experience, competencies
Essential and desirable aspects

What other tips are there for these documents?

Ensure these are accurate and current working documents and that they provide detailed yet precise information. The JD and PS not only help recruiters to remain fair & consistent and legally compliant in their selections throughout a recruitment process but they also help a candidate to understand whether they are initially suitable as an applicant for the vacancy. From here the JD and PS can be used during the on-boarding process to highlight during induction which areas require more/less development. In the longer run the JD and PS can also be used during appraisal meetings to understand performance measurement.

How do I begin to write these documents?

Your HR and/or Recruitment team will be able to write these in detail for you. If you are a Line Manager you may prefer to have a template to follow, an example can be found on the acas website.

Article by Hayley Ramm of Supportiv Recruitment Support Services.

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