Once a vacancy has been identified and it has been established that there is a need to recruit, thought must be given to:

  • The job itself. It is important to have a clear understanding of the role.  What the person will be required to do and what skills they need to do it.  Drawing up a job specification will help with this.
  • Finding your applicants. There are pros and cons regarding the use of each method of recruiting, but options include advertising in local press, using an employment agency, or advertising online either on a recruitment site or via social media, or the optical press. However you advertise, it is important to bear in mind the requirements of equal opportunities legislation.

The job specification

A job title alone gives us very limited information about the job. A job specification will provide:

• Information about the job: responsibilities, function and main duties.
• Information about the job holder: the experience, qualifications and skills needed to do the job.
The job holder’s experience, qualifications and skills are usually divided into two categories: essential and desirable.

Essential requirements are those that the person must have to be suitable. Desirable requirements are those which the applicant may have in addition which will add even more value to the role.

It is important not to include any requirements in the job specification which might be discriminatory. A job specification drawn up using objective, non-discriminatory criteria provides employers with a practical and defensible method for selecting or eliminating candidates at both the short-listing and interview stages of the recruitment procedure.

It is strongly recommended that employers use job specifications for every recruitment and selection exercise.