Creating a ‘Person Specification’

A Person Specification is an extension of a job description. While the job description outlines what the job entails, the person specification describes the kind of person most suitable for the job.

Outlining the minimum knowledge, experience, qualities and skills necessary to perform the job effectively.

There is no single way to present the data within a person specification; choose a format that makes most sense to your organisation and tailor for the individual job role.

Keeping in mind:

  • Qualities must be job related
  • Qualities must be realistic for the position

As an interviewer, although it may be nice to employ people with similar hobbies and interests where the candidate would have a lot in common with you or other staff within the business, this isn’t a job related decision and you would run the risk of unfairly discriminating against candidates who could do the job as well or better.

Think about being realistic in terms of considering qualification levels. For example within your business if all staff held an MBA and this seems prerequisite for future hires, question the validity of this being realistic in terms of the work involved in the job role and salary on offer etc.

It is also worth noting down what is Essential versus desirable!

Here are section Headings to consider:

  • Qualifications/training
  • Experience /skills (consider too skills used out of a work setting if relevant)
  • Knowledge, previous experience in a similar role or transferable skills
  • General/other attributes required for the job eg. Initiative, creativity, dependability, ability to deal with repetitive work, drive for sales, communication

Essentials ‘v’ Desirables:

Setting standards too high could perhaps leave you with very few candidates to choose from

When noting down Qualities only include those that are job related

Draw up a table (example)

Competence and / or Skill Essential Desirable
Customer service x
Desktop publishing x
MS Office suite x
Delivery of presentations x
Planning and Organising x

We can support in producing your Person Specification for FREE – email:

  • Find out about our FREE (GDPR compliant) Applicant Tracking System and our managed recruitment service, reducing your Hiring costs!
  • We will support your business with Psychometric Assessments or candidate pre employment Identification checks if desired

Check out :
Check out:

You can reach us on +44 (0) 131 564 0755/0755744675 or email

Visit Our Site