"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. Through your help, I believe we have been able to recruit an outstanding sales professional, who, most importantly, is a great fit for our company's values."
Subhash Chopra, BTS Holdings Limited
In this section
Writing a person specification: key considerations
When starting your recruitment process, one of the initial steps that a hiring manager should take is crafting a person specification.
What is a person specification?
A person specification is a document outlining the qualifications, skills, experience, and attributes required for a specific job role. It helps employers select the most suitable candidates by providing clear criteria for assessment during the recruitment process.
What does the person specification do?
A person specification serves as a written portrayal of the perfect candidate for the position at hand. It serves to outline the skills, knowledge, qualifications, and experience deemed necessary by the employer for a candidate to fulfill the role proficiently.
Typically, the person specification is developed in tandem with the job description, which outlines the purpose and responsibilities of the vacant position.
The person specification is a valuable tool for employers during the creation of job advertisements and while briefing recruitment agencies. It serves as a point of reference for the selection and shortlisting process.
Why do you need a person specification?
The person specification is pivotal in ensuring a standardised and impartial assessment of all applicants based on consistent criteria. It acts as a safeguard, allowing the employer to justify their selection criteria objectively, especially in the event of an investigation prompted by a discrimination complaint. This approach eradicates bias, personal favoritism, and prejudice, which can hinder a successful and equitable recruitment process.
An effective person specification also aids candidates in evaluating their own suitability for the role and the organization before they submit their applications. This, in turn, helps in reducing the influx of applications from individuals whose qualifications may be less aligned with the position's requirements.
Additionally, the person specification serves as an indicator of an organization's commitment to equality and compliance with employment laws. It underscores the importance of assessing candidates based on their job-related abilities rather than extraneous factors like protected characteristics.
Lastly, the person specification, along with the job description, can serve an internal purpose, forming the foundation for future staff development, promotions, or performance appraisals.
Person specification checklist
Below is a checklist of things to include on a person specification:
- Job Title: Clearly state the position.
- Qualifications: Specify required degrees, licenses, or training.
- Experience: Indicate the necessary work experience, including years, roles, and sector experience.
- Skills and Knowledge: List essential technical and soft skills, such as software proficiency, communication, and problem-solving abilities.
- Competencies: Identify critical competencies, like teamwork, adaptability, and decision-making.
- Personal Attributes: Describe important qualities, such as attention to detail and integrity.
- Special Requirements: Note specific job-related requirements like travel or irregular hours.
- Physical Requirements: Mention any physical demands.
- Cultural Fit: Specify alignment with company values.
- Language Proficiency: If needed, state language requirements.
- Certification or Licensing: If necessary, mention required certifications.
- Education Level: Define the minimum educational background.
- Salary and Benefits: Optionally, include salary and benefit information separately.
- Reporting Structure: Explain reporting relationships.
- Location: Specify the job location.
- Miscellaneous: Include any other job-specific requirements.
Any criteria must meet the following:
Clarity and Precision: The selection criteria should be crystal clear and precise, leaving no room for confusion. This clarity helps applicants understand the qualifications, skills, and experience needed for the position, making shortlisting and decision-making consistent.
Rationale and Fairness: The criteria should have a valid reason for their inclusion, directly related to the specific job tasks and requirements. Including unjustifiable criteria can discourage suitable candidates from applying and may be seen as discriminatory.
Impartiality: A well-crafted person specification should not discriminate and should promote diversity while aligning with the job's requirements. The listed knowledge and skills must directly correspond to the position, avoiding any biased language or unnecessary demands.
Measurable Standards: When establishing selection criteria, it's crucial to consider how to evaluate applicants based on these criteria. This may involve asking specific questions or requesting examples from their previous work experience.
Equality: The selection criteria must be equitable, unbiased, and directly relevant to the job's demands. Steer clear of any discriminatory statements or language related to ethnicity, race, nationality, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
Useful Tips for Crafting a Person Specification:
- Set Realistic Expectations: It's important to be realistic when crafting a person specification. It's rare to find a candidate who meets every single criterion. To address this, differentiate between mandatory and preferable qualifications.
- Address Skill Gaps: Identify any skill gaps within your team that need to be filled. This can help foster diversity and complement the existing strengths of your team.
- Align Assessment Methods: Make sure the assessment method for each criterion aligns with the desired attributes you're looking for in a candidate.
- Review the Tone: Take a close look at the tone of the document to ensure it is clear and inoffensive. Seeking input from colleagues can help you avoid unintentional offense and make the document more inclusive.
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Our employers say...
Generally good standard of candidates. Especially liked the personality profile. Overall good value for money and will certainly use you again.
Managing Director, Medicash
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
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 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
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
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
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
Really good service. Just the right amount of contact and easy to deal with.
HR Manager, Zircon Software Ltd
Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.
Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners 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
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
Very professional service and will certainly be in contact for future recruitment.
Director, Blakedown Sport & Play Ltd
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
As always we were extremely impressed with Rob's understanding of the role and our specific needs.
Managing Director, Speck & Burke
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Our candidates say...
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
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
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
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 the absolute pleasure of working with George Humphries on finding a placement best suitable for me.
A. Van Der Mescht, 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Sophie has been fantastic and always so attentive, highly recommend.
T. Ashbourne, 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
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 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
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
George is a fantastic recruitment agent and provides a great service. It was a pleasure I thoroughly recommend George to anyone.
C. Beaugie, 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
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
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
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
Friendly, proactive, communicative. Overall a really positive experience.
R. Houston, Candidate
Very polite and friendly and was very helpful finding me my next new role.
K. Craggs, Candidate
For anyone looking for work, I can't recommend Aaron Wallis highly enough.
C. Rockliffe, 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
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
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
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
The staff at Aaron Wallis were fantastic. Throughout the process, they maintained excellent communication and I always knew where I stood.
M. Owusu, Candidate
Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.
E. Heley, 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
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
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
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
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
When talking with Simon you felt relaxed cared to help you find a position that suited your needs
D. Pinder, 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
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