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STARR INSIGHTS: The key to job specifications

by Ryan Waters

Having had various conversations over the last few weeks with clients and candidates in regards to job specifications it struck me that there can be quite the disparity between two descriptions of effectively the same role but in different companies. This can affect a company’s chances of hiring the best candidate as a lack of description can suggest a lack of understanding of the requirement or even laziness, neither of which are allureing to potential joiners.

In truth, the best scenarios are when the client provides as much information as possible about the company and the actual job. This gives candidates a good reference point for their preparation for the interview. Here at Harrington Starr, we will always have detailed conversations with clients in regards to job roles and the specific skills required alongside any job specification provided. Things I would always recommend being on a job spec are: company information and background, day to day responsibilities, required experience or skills and company USP’s.

This all seems fairly straightforward but in regards to specific skills, I always encourage clients to be as streamlined as possible in this area. It can be easy to list an endless amount of desired skills and experience for the superstar candidate who may or may not be available on the market.

The reason I always point out to clients to try and narrow this to their “must have” skills and experiences is that candidates can be put off a role if they do not tick every box. I have many conversations with candidates telling them that some of these are “nice to haves” rather than set in stone requirements. Really take the time to work out what are the essential skills for the role and use the other skills as enticement to the role by offering training in those areas.

A job spec is a very important document as part of any business’ recruitment process and candidates do tend to want a reference point for their job application. Making the job specs detailed but always relevant and with realistic expectations is a huge step towards securing the best talent.

If any of our clients would like us to help put job specifications together then this is certainly something we can help with.

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