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How to write a great job specification

A job specification outlines the essential components of a role – but it is also the very first opportunity for you to attract the best candidates in the market, by effectively advertising your business to potential candidates. 

The East Midlands job market is currently going from strength to strength, meaning the average candidate now has several employment opportunities to choose from. Although this is great news for the economy, it makes your position in the War for Talent more competitive. Therefore, producing a lacklustre job spec may hinder your opportunity to attract the best candidate.

Follow our recommended format to ensure you attract the best talent every time:

Introduce the business

This is the first opportunity for the candidate to understand your business. Describe what you do, the sector you operate in, and your core values. Professionals who are looking for a long-term role may also be interested in the size of the business; including employee turnover, current headcount and whether you have plans to expand this headcount in the future.

Try to be different! Include any charity work, social events, and other unique points about working for your business. Is sustainability a key part of your ethos? Do you provide mental health and wellbeing support? Have you taken steps to nurture equality, diversity and inclusion in your business? These are huge interest points for workers across all sectors.

State who the role reports to

Often a candidate accepts a job because of the rapport they build with the hiring manager – yet most businesses don’t put any information about them on the job spec. Describe the line manager, their background and include a link to their LinkedIn profile. This allows the candidate to develop the foundations of camaraderie with your staff and business very early on.

Explain the job role

A short paragraph to describe an overview of why the role has come around, where it sits within the organisation and the overall general purpose of the role.

Describe the key responsibilities. This should be in bullet point form; typically the 8 to 10 key aspects of the role. Use as much detail as possible so that the candidate can understand your requirements clearly and where they fit into them. To increase the appeal of the role, include any interesting future or side projects they can have the opportunity to get involved with.

Describe the department and future opportunities

It is important for the candidate to understand the department they will be working in and how it links to the overall success of the business. What is the culture like, how many people work in the team and what do they each specialise in?

Have they worked on any big projects recently that received praise from the wider business?

What are the opportunities for the candidate to progress their career with you – in the medium and long term? Do you have a career path readily available for them to read through and see whether it aligns with their personal ambitions?  

State the required skills, abilities and qualifications

Including the relevant skills and experience needed for a job, the role allows you to narrow down your ideal candidate. Try to keep it concise (4/5 key bullet points). Things to include may be: 

  • Qualifications or training
  • Specific systems, software or program experience
  • Communication skills 
  • Team collaboration or handling projects independently
  • The ability to multitask or adapt quickly

Work with Distinct

At Distinct, we support employers across the UK by sourcing candidates with the ideal skills and ambitions to thrive in their businesses. Contact us today to learn how we can support you in hiring the perfect match.


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