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The Difference Between a Job Specification and Person Specification and Why Both are Necessary

The difference between a job spec and a person spec is really quite simple. A job spec actually details the roles, the functions of the individual that you're looking to recruit. A person spec is what is the target candidate that you're actually looking for that can fulfil those duties.

Commonly, employers draw up the job spec and give that to a recruiter. But unfortunately, that doesn't detail anything about what it actually is that you're looking for in that new employee.

How you draw up a job specification is really quite simple. Obviously, if it's working in your team for yourself, write down a list of the roles and responsibilities that this individual will have. I think it also helps to involve colleagues from aligned departments. So if you're in sales, ask the marketing team what they feel the responsibilities should be, as well, so there's some kind of involvement from those aligned in support divisions. Draw up each of responsibilities and bullet point them, quite simply.

How to draw up a person spec-- again, you follow a similar model, where you write down all the things that you think you're looking for in the target candidate for your business. Then, involve colleagues from support and aligned departments for their input into the ideal candidate, as well. Once you've drawn up the list of what the requirements are in the person's spec, then score or grade them using the following MEP.

Now, this is really quite simple. Once you've got your list, M is Mandatory. This is what the individual has to display in their CV in order for them to attend the interview. E is for Essential. This is what the candidate has to display at the interview for you to employ them. And then P is Preferred-- the 'nice to haves'. The things that would be the icing on the cake, but aren't necessarily essential.

Any other adjectives that you can't put in those categories, simply remove. On www.aaronwallis.co.uk, we have this free recruitment checklist to download. Now, this goes through the entire recruitment process, including how to draw up a person spec and how to draw up a job spec.

So I hope that this short video helps to explain the difference between a job spec and a person spec and helps you to devise them for your business.


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