The purpose of a person speciﬁcation
Why you should have a person specification alongside your job description
The recruitment process can seem daunting for many businesses. Roles need ﬁlling and you want to ﬁnd the absolute best person for the job, but it can be hard to pinpoint the exact requirements.
The ﬁrst step is to advertise the role with strong and accurate information about the position available, but another option, working alongside the job description, can be the ‘person speciﬁcation'.
The person speciﬁcation is an important part of the recruiters toolbox as it allows the company to distinguish the exact traits they ﬁnd desirable in their ideal candidates: items such as the education the candidate has received, their previous work experience and if they have any extra skills which are essential to the role. After all, it is a real human you will employ and not a robot who is solely able to complete tasks.
It also allows you to understand the personal qualities needed for a role and encourages fair and legal processing of candidates free from any kind of discrimination; regardless of their gender, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, age, race or beliefs.
The purpose of a person speciﬁcation is varied:
It makes the interviewing process much more reﬁned and therefore easier
In creating a person speciﬁcation, job seekers are able to assess themselves before applying and truly understand how they will ﬁt in with the role and your business. This allows them to match themselves according to suitability and not just skills.
It also clariﬁes the exact personal qualiﬁcations that are important to the employer in two types; essential and desirable. This enables the employer to be explicit in what they want and how the candidate matches this criteria. This makes the shortlisting for roles much easier and more efﬁcient. There is absolutely no point in hiring a person with only desirable personal qualiﬁcations at this point because they do not match precisely what's written down.
It is fair
In creating personal speciﬁcation it helps to implement policies of equal opportunities within the recruitment culture of a business. The law is very clear about discrimination and businesses will want to avoid legal battles at all costs. In writing a person speciﬁcation you are assessing a candidate on their actual abilities that you have written as essential to undertake the role.
This also means that you are testing all of your candidates fairly and equally according to this list of priorities that you have set out beforehand. It removes the unfairness of bias, prejudice and personal interest, all of which can be problematic for your business and does not necessarily get good results.
It assists with helping the new member of staff settle into their new role
Once a candidate has been chosen, the person speciﬁcation makes the process of onboarding and training much more organised because you will already be aware of what the candidate is able to do. For example, if your specification required someone with excellent computer skills as being essential to the role then you would only need to give a brief induction to the computer systems of your business.
Recruitment agencies are experts in creating person speciﬁcations and we can help your company ﬁnd the best person to help reach your business goals.
Or for more information and advice explore our other articles here.