Person Specification

A person specification is a document that describes a abilities and qualities that are required to do the job you are recruiting for. It is the most important part of the recruitment process, because it drives everything else. It dictates where you source candidates from, how you screen application, what questions you ask at interview, what tests you use and, most importantly, it is the basis for your final recruitment decision.

In writing a top quality person specification you are able to influence the recruitment process at every stage to ensure the best person is appointed. Typically the following is to be included.

1. Education and qualification.
2. Core knowledge and skills.
3. Specific competency.
4. Personality, Character Traits and disposition.
5. Miscellaneous Requirements ( e.g. Work away from home, driving license.)

In each of this section there should be a list of the requirements to fulfill the job role. Each item should be labelled as either essential or preferred. As a guide, the ratio between essential and preferred items should be approximately one third to two thirds, respectively and this is why at any point in the recruitment process, an individual who does not meet an essential criterion should be immediately screened out. If you have too many essential criteria you run the risk of screening out good candidate based on technicality. It might be difficult to find any candidates at all.

Education and Qualification : This is self explanatory but care should be taken not included criteria here for the sake of it. What is absolutely required for the role and what would be useful.

Core knowledge and Skills : Many of these criteria can be drawn from information in the competency matrix, albeit the focus is on core knowledge and skills acquisition rather than application. An example would be good presentation skills.

Personality, Character traits and disposition :There are the special qualities that will help you differential between good and great people.

Miscellaneous requirements : We can say the operational requirements or conditions we or candidate needs to fulfill. Better to take this call up with Human resources which can be settled against some compensation or would be easy to take decisions.

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