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Job or Person Specification

When looking to hire a new employee for your business, it's a good idea to draft a job and person specification to help you in your recruitment process. These two documents will save you a lot of time in the long run and make your hiring process and decision as effective and efficient as possible. Here's our guide on the difference between the two documents and some pointers to help you write them.

What's the Difference Between a Job and Person Specification?

What is a job specification?

A job specification is a detailed document outlining the specific qualifications, skills, experience, and responsibilities required for a particular job position. It provides a clear description of the job's essential criteria, such as educational background, certifications, technical expertise, and any other relevant attributes necessary for successful performance in the role.

Download a sample job specification

What is a person specification?

A person specification is a comprehensive outline of the desired personal qualities, attributes, skills, and experience a candidate should possess to be successful in a job role. It includes criteria such as communication abilities, leadership qualities, problem-solving skills, and specific industry knowledge, helping employers assess the suitability of candidates for a position.

A more detailed guide on person specifications can be found here.

Why Should You Write Both Specifications?

It will help your recruitment consultant

    • In most cases, a job and person specification are handed to the team looking after your recruitment process, for instance, your HR department or a recruitment agency. Giving your recruiter a comprehensive brief of the role to fill and the person to find will increase their chances of finding that candidate quickly and effectively.

It will narrow the pool of applicants

    • Detailed specifications let applicants know exactly who you're looking for and will increase your chances of the right person applying for your role. This can help to cut unsuitable candidates at the first step by giving them some criteria they need to meet to be considered for the position.

You can use the documents as a checklist

    • When evaluating applications, it can be helpful to refer back to these two specifications, which will ultimately stop you from missing something and save you time in the process. 

They will probably be helpful in the future

    • Particularly if you're an employer for a large business, you will have similar roles in your organisation, and you can re-use these documents for other recruitment processes. Alongside this, you may have to recruit for the same position again in the long term!

What Should You Include in Job and Person Specifications?

We have written a detailed guide on how to write job and person specifications – but here are some key things to include in the documents:

Job Specification

The Job title

    • Where do they fit in the company?

The location of the role

    • Where will they be working from day to day?

The general objectives of the job

    • What are they working towards?

Responsibilities of the job

    • What are they in charge of? Who are they in charge of?

Salary & benefits package

    • What is the basic salary? Is there a bonus structure?

Person Specification

The level of experience required

    • How many years do they need to have completed in a similar role?

Qualifications & Education

    • Are there any specific qualifications a candidate needs to have? Are you looking for someone with a degree?

The skills needed to fill the role

    • This element can cover a broad range of things, e.g., leadership, technical, or communicative qualities which the ideal candidate would have.


    • This is often a 'nice-to-have' rather than mandatory, but sometimes you will have a clear picture of a candidate, and their interests will matter!

Job and Person Specification Checklist

Here at Aaron Wallis, we have written this checklist to aid you in writing your specifications. By following this list of questions, you will have written a successful person and job specification:

Mandatory, Essential and Preferred Attributes (MEP)

Once you've drawn up a list of requirements for the role, we think using the system MEP is useful for evaluating candidates. Now, this is quite simple once you've got your list:

  • M is Mandatory. This is what the individual has to display in their CV to attend the interview.
  • E is for Essential. This is what the candidate has to display at the interview for you to employ them.
  • P is Preferred-- the 'nice to haves'. The things that would be the icing on the cake but aren't necessarily essential.

This system can be used throughout the recruitment process and can be really important for making sure you get your priorities right when considering candidates!

Questions to Help Create the Job Specification and Person Specification

Using this short form, you will be able to effectively communicate the job specification to your colleagues, a recruiter or potential candidates.

Taking 30 minutes out of your day at the beginning of the recruitment process to understand exactly what you require could save hours of interviewing the ‘wrong’ candidates and months of pain if it leads to a wrong recruit.


Position Title:


Who Does it Report Into:

The Role:

Reason for Vacancy

    • why are we recruiting? Do I need the authorisation to recruit?

What’s the role covering – geography?

    • (Is this role working from home or from the office?) Ideally living (extremities).

What is the role doing/selling?

    • What products / service and applications? Are any health and safety risks related to this job?

Recruitment Process

How are you going to recruit for the role?

Recruitment agency?

    • Who? Are they specialists? What do they include in their service? How have you found their service so far? What’s the recruitment process – psychometrics, skills testing, reference checking, etc?

Who’s involved in the recruitment process?

    • What’s the format for the first interview and second interview? When are we looking to recruit?

Where are we going to interview?

    • What ideal date for interviews – who’s involved, tentatively book diary out?


What experience do the candidates need to have?

Does the candidate need to have a qualification?

    • If so, What level/discipline?

What are the backgrounds of other successful members of the team who undertake this role?

    • What ten attributes make someone successful in our business?


Basic salary

Commission, bonus

    • How is that paid?, i.e. monthly, annually, etc. What is the realistic OTE (on target earnings) in the first year?

Car / type/ or allowance

    • Petrol or Diesel. Engine size, age, fully expensed. Private Health / pension / home phone bill / expenses / mobile phone


    • How many days holiday, plus 8 statutory bank holidays? What is the probationary period?

Other Benefits?


How long has our company been in operation (established?)

    • Are we part of a larger group.

What’s our last year turnover/Profitability?

    • How many staff / how many in the sales team ( internal / external.)

How do our sales force sell

    • what makes our products or services better? i.e. highly technologically driven, market leader, price or service, for example Why do people like to work for you? Why do I stay with the business?

What induction programme do we have?

    • What training in year one?


Date published: 6th March 2024

Rob Scott, Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment, Author Photo

About the author

Rob Scott

Rob is the Managing Director of Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment, a national recruitment agency specialising in sourcing sales and marketing staff for businesses across a broad range of commercial sectors. Before setting up Aaron Wallis, Rob spent ten years at a specialist Sales and Marketing recruitment division of a £0.5BN recruitment group, leaving in 2007 as Marketing & Sales Director to establish Aaron Wallis.
With over 24 years of experience in sales recruitment, Rob is a History graduate with an MBA (Merit) and a PgCert in Management Practice.  In 2007, 2009 and 2013 Rob conducted the most extensive surveys of sales professionals in the UK and is a trusted authority in the sales industry. From guiding employers through the recruitment process to helping candidates find their dream job, Rob's advice has been quoted in leading publications such as Business Insider and The Independent, as well as OnRec, which host The Online Recruitment Awards every year.

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Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.

Marketing Director, City of London Police

Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.

CEO, Friday Ad Online Services

George is a joy to work with, and I'd recommend him to anyone seeking that unicorn hire - he found me mine, and I'm delighted!

Director, Education Support

I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.

HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd

George came recommended by a colleague and has been a pleasure to work with. He was great at updating us on his progress and ensured a great experience for both client and candidate.

HR Manager, Annapurna Recruitment Ltd

I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.

HR Business Partner, Greene King

I could not suggest anything I would like you to do better. The service you provided materially exceeded my expectations. I would especially like to commend Simon Bonner; he is easily the best recruitment consultant I have ever dealt with. I particularly valued his advice and guidance throughout the recruitment process. 

UK Sales Manager, BTS Holdings Limited 

Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.

Senior Recruitment Consultant, DSG International

Generally good standard of candidates. Especially liked the personality profile. Overall good value for money and will certainly use you again.

Managing Director, Medicash

As always we were extremely impressed with Rob's understanding of the role and our specific needs.

Managing Director, Speck & Burke

I really liked the YouTube presentations which made the service seem both simple and accessible. The company came to see me, and my management team, at short notice to present their service and I liked the support and advice that I received about maximising the results from the applicant.

Managing Director, Leisuresec plc

Sophie did a great job at understanding our business and our needs, she is extremely professional and we hugely benefitted from her experience and expertise.

HR Manager, The Data Privacy Group Ltd

Really good service. Just the right amount of contact and easy to deal with.

HR Manager, Zircon Software Ltd

George is a rare find in the world of recruitment - communicative without being pushy or over-bearing. He listens and understands what the customer needs as gets to know the business to ensure he provides fully competent candidates who fit.

HR Manager, Big Dug

In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.

Sales Manager, TR Fasteners

I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.

HR and General Manager, THK

Thank you for your dedicated help during the recruitment process - we came to you after unsuccessfully searching elsewhere, and hired, not one, but two! Quick response times, and a really personal approach, without being pushy.

Managing Director, Accora Ltd

I can't fault Sam or AW! Sam was a pleasure to work with and provided great support from the start. Sam always provided me with timely updates when required and provided outstanding candidates!

Director, Waste Managed Ltd

Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.

Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment

Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.

Sales Director, Inside Business

I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!

Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd

Very professional service and will certainly be in contact for future recruitment.

Director, Blakedown Sport & Play Ltd

Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.

Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions

We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.

Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management

Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.

UK Sales Manager, Nexcom

We appointed Aaron Wallis in February and the successful candidate, out of the six which Aaron Wallis introduced, was able to join Alphametrics before the end of April. The whole process took less than three months. I would recommend Aaron Wallis' services to others without hesitation.

Chief Financial Officer, Alphametrics

Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.

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Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.

M. Crisp, Candidate

I would highly recommend Aaron Wallis Recruitment, Darren was extremely helpful and provided me with plenty of advice and support throughout the whole process.

D. Bretherton, Candidate

Sophie contacted me about a role explained the details clearly and made sure I was ready for the interview. She kept in touch every step of the way till I started the job. Thank you Sophie for a great experience.

S. Powell, Candidate

Managed to get me placed within a week! Really friendly and easy to deal with. Always available for a call and my biggest challenge was I was in work at the time I was looking for my next opportunity (which is stressful) but Sam made that easy.

P. Fitzsimons, Candidate

The detail put into the preparation for interviews and the detail of the job description was first class. Rob and Simon in particular are amongst the best I've ever dealt with.

K. Peacock, Candidate

I had a very good experience with Aaron Wallis. The company itself is offering great content for all things related to the hiring process. I definitely recommend.

J. Ostermeier, Candidate

Simon was knowledgeable on his clients history, background and what their requirements were and he worked around time zones, holidays and a pandemic to get the right result.

J. Tooze, Candidate

Good swift process with Aaron Wallis, informative regarding the role and the process was moved at a good pace with healthy interaction. Would recommend them to anyone pursuing a change.

S. Bartlett, Candidate

When talking with Simon you felt relaxed cared to help you find a position that suited your needs

D. Pinder, Candidate

I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!

D. Burgess, Candidate

George Humphries was a complete professional at every point, from our first phone conversation to his “good luck tomorrow” text on Sunday before I started in my new role.

E. Fry, Candidate

Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.

R. Speakman, Candidate

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.

R. Buckley, Candidate

Excellent experience. Knowledgeable staff and really went the extra mile. Found my ideal position and I couldn't be happier. Special shout out to Sam and George: who made the process smooth and easy for me. Highly recommend.

K. Pearce, Candidate

Fantastic service, helped me find my ideal job quickly and smoothly. Would highly recommend them.

C. Caine, Candidate

Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dewrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.

R. Sealy, Candidate

Sam was by far the most professional and helpful of any individual I've ever dealt with through a recruitment agency. He was supportive and thorough throughout the process. He definitely goes the extra mile for you. A pleasure to deal with. I would highly recommend him. An asset to Aaron Wallis

M. Wyer, Candidate

I have to say using Aaron Wallis Recruitment has been nothing but an absolute pleasure. I've used many agencies over the years as the client and the candidate and its not always been a pleasurable experience!

L. Knowles, Candidate

Very polite and friendly and was very helpful finding me my next new role.

K. Craggs, Candidate

Wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with he was supportive really quick at replying and really put me at ease.

J. Marcinkiewicz, Candidate

For anyone looking for work, I can't recommend Aaron Wallis highly enough.

C. Rockliffe, Candidate

A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!

A. Bauchet, Candidate

I had the absolute pleasure of working with George Humphries on finding a placement best suitable for me.

A. Van Der Mescht, Candidate

Friendly, proactive, communicative. Overall a really positive experience.

R. Houston, Candidate

The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!

A. Callaby, Candidate

George is a fantastic recruitment agent and provides a great service. It was a pleasure I thoroughly recommend George to anyone.

C. Beaugie, Candidate

Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.

M. White, Candidate 

George above and beyond to make sure I had everything I need to secure my new role. Outstanding Professional.

A. Kirkland, Candidate

I would highly recommend thank you to Darren for helping me secure my new job role! Excellent service all round!

G. Thompson, Candidate

Sophie has been fantastic and always so attentive, highly recommend.

T. Ashbourne, Candidate

Darren at Aaron Wallis was really encouraging and helpful. He was very responsive and regularly made phone calls to explain the job opportunities available, and guided me through the application process.

A. Brown, Candidate

The staff at Aaron Wallis were fantastic. Throughout the process, they maintained excellent communication and I always knew where I stood.

M. Owusu, Candidate

Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.

C. Hoy, Candidate

Rob was really helpful when I was putting together a presentation for the second stage interview. Overall their communication was great and kept me updated of any progress

J. McGrattan, Candidate

I had a great experience. Helped me every step of the way to get my new job. Sophie was very polite, kind and helpful!

J. Parnham, Candidate

The service provided by Aaron Wallis has been just great. I was constantly informed about what was going on with the process interview and the agent has always been supportive and kind to me.

L. Colagrossi, Candidate

I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.

S. Akers, Candidate

Fantastic customer service, communication was brilliant, happy polite people to talk to, made everything a lot easier and smoother. Thank you for all your help getting me back in the work force, Keep up the good work :-)

K. Everitt, Candidate

Sophie helped me secure a new role I have been searching for. She took her time to explain clear and concisely all I needed to succeed at the interview stage. Thanks again Sophie!

O. Oladejo, Candidate

Wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with.

J. Marcinkiewicz, Candidate

Professional and responsive from start to finish. I would highly recommend. Special thanks to Sophie J for her help and support throughout.

N. Leney, Candidate

Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.

E. Heley, Candidate

The most professional recruitment agency I've ever worked with. Robert Scott was extremely proactive and send me a detailed briefing before each interview, ensuring I was well prepared.

D. Bermant, Candidate