Concepts of Job Description and Job Specification

Job Analysis is the systematic process of collecting and making judgments about all the important information related to a job. Job Analysis is the procedure through which one determines the duties and nature of the jobs. It also determines the kinds of people who should be hired for those jobs. General purpose of job Analysis is to document the requirements of a job and the work performed. Moreover job Analysis is fundamental to the preparation of job specification and description.

Job Description and Job Specification

Job Description

Job description is a broad statement of the purpose, duties and responsibilities of a job or position. A job description is based on a detailed job analysis and usually summarizes the essential information gathered through job analysis. It describes the main tasks and responsibilities of the job clearly and concisely in order to facilitate the systematic comparison of jobs for evaluation purposes. The kind of information and amount of details contained in the job descriptions depend on the job evaluation plan to be used. Job Description is “snapshot” of a job. Current and accurate job Descriptions maximizes employee effectiveness and productivity as it outlines the positions’ responsibilities and accountabilities. Job Descriptions clearly and concisely communicate what the job entails. In addition, job Descriptions help in attracting and retaining the best talent as it shows that a company is organized, well-run, and fair. Job Descriptions promote responsibility; improve morale and the corporate image.

Job Description is a written statement of what the job holder actually does, how he or she does it, and under what conditions the job is performed. There is no standard format for writing job Description. It is an organized factual statement of job contents in the form of duties and responsibilities of a specific job. The preparation of job Description is very important before a vacancy is advertised. It tells in brief the nature and type of job and usually includes:

  1. Title/ Designation of job and location in the concern.
  2. Job summary and achievable results.
  3. The nature of duties and operations to be performed in that job.
  4. The nature of authority- responsibility relationships.
  5. Main tasks of job and standard to be achieved.
  6. Terms and conditions including salary, hours of work, leave, etc.
  7. Limits of discretion i.e budgetary responsibilities.
  8. Necessary qualifications required for job.
  9. Combination, co-relation and relationship of that job with other jobs in a concern.
  10. Specification of machines, tools, materials and their applications.
  11. The provision of physical working conditions or the work environment required in performance of that job.

Job Specification

Job specifications usually involve a listing of the personal qualifications regarded as necessary for satisfactory performance. Job specifications are mainly used in selecting and recruiting staff and are accordingly not essential for job evaluations. But certain personal attributes, such as experience, education and aptitude, may occur in both in job description as well as in job specification. Many job evaluation plans accordingly use job specifications to complement job description.

Job Specification describes the desired attributes of the person doing the job. It is a statement which tells minimum acceptable human qualities that helps to perform a job. Such requirements are usually established for individual jobs on the basis of judgments made by staff analysts, but in some instances they are based upon statistical validation procedures. Job Specification translates the job description into human qualifications so that a job can be performed in a better manner. Job Specification helps in hiring an appropriate person for an appropriate position. The contents are:

  1. Educational qualifications and experiences for job title.
  2. Physical and other related attributes.
  3. Physique and mental health.
  4. Special attributes and abilities.
  5. Interpersonal skills.
  6. Maturity and dependability.
  7. Family background.
  8. Work-output job context and other job characteristics.

Job Specification should be used as a guideline to the knowledge, skills and aptitudes required to perform a specific job. Job Analysis, job Description and job Specification, together form the basis of recruitment, selection and placements of persons in an organisation.