Differences Between Job Description and Job Specification
Differences Between Job Description and Job Specification

Differences between job description and job specification are very important for every HR personnel to know as Job description and job specification are the two outcomes of Job Analysis. Those two are the essential part of job analysis where critical differences available. Job specification comes from job description analysis. 

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Job Description

Job description is a written record of the duties, responsibilities and requirement of a particular job. It is a statement describing the job in such terms as its title, location, duties, working conditions and hazards. In other words, it tells us what is to be done, how it is to be done and why. It is a standard of function where it defines the appropriate and authorized contents of a job. Generally known as roles and responsibility.


Job Specification

Job specification is a written record of the requirements sought in an individual employee for a given job. It is a statement of minimum acceptable human qualities necessary for the proper performance of a job. In other words, it refers to a summary of the personal characteristics required for a job. In other word, it is a standard of personnel and designates the qualities required for an acceptable performance.

Key Differences Between Job Description and Job Specification

Area Job Description Job Specification
Meaning Job description is the written document in which all the information regarding a particular job including role, responsibilities and duties is summarized in a systematic manner. Job specification is the set of specific qualities, knowledge and experience, a person must possess to perform a particular job.
Origin Originates from Job Analysis Based on Job Description
Elements Consist of job title, job location, role, responsibilities, duties, salary, incentives and allowances Involves personal attributes, skills, knowledge, educational qualification and experience
Objective Describes the job profile Specifies the eligibility criteria
What is it? What the company is offering to the candidate. What the company is demanding from the candidate.
                                Key differences between job description and job specification


The key differences between job description and job specification enables us to understand things better to implement in daily HR practices. By getting clear ideas from this differences between job description and job specification, we can move forward to specific example.

Example of Job Description and Job Specification

Company Name: XYZ Enterprise

Job Title: Sales Executive

Example of Job Description Example of Job Specification
Creating of new clients. Achieving sales targets. Handle customer enquiries. Prepare daily and monthly sales report. Explore and grab new business opportunity. Updating sales record on software.   Educational Qualification: Any Graduate/MBA in Marketing preferred Personality, Skills and Competencies: Positive attitude, Customer handling ability, Good knowledge in Microsoft Excel Excellent communication skills, Ability to work under pressure, Negotiation skills, Takes initiative, Capable of working for long hours Experience: 2 years of experience in a similar job profile.
Example of JD and JS

Components of Job Description

Job description consists of all the relevant information about a particular position or post in a company.

Differences between job description and job specification
Components of Job Description


The components of Job description are as following:

  • Job Title is the name of the post vacant
  • Job Location describes the area selected by the company where the candidate will be posted after selection.
  • Role refers to the arena of work and how the responsibilities are to be fulfilled.
  • Responsibilities and Duties is a list of various job-related activities which the candidate is supposed to perform after selection.
  • Salary is the pay scale which the company is ready to pay in a month which may or may not be negotiable.
  • Incentives refer to commission and remuneration associated with the targets achieved.
  • Allowances are other benefits and expenses which a company pays to the candidate.


Components of Job Specification

A job specification is the written declaration of the attributes, skills, knowledge, educational qualification and experience which a person must possess to perform a particular job.

Generally, Job description is prepared first and then manager analyses the necessary abilities and attributes needed for accomplishing the task through preparing job specification. Need to know the differences between job description and job specification as it is required for smooth running of the functions of HR department.

Differences between job description and job specification
Components of Job Specification


The components of job specification are as below:

  • Attributes refers to quality of a candidate.
  • Educational Qualification defines the specific requirement regarding academic knowledge of a person to perform the job.
  • Skills refers to the particular set of special abilities which are essential for the proper execution of the given tasks.
  • Experience is the information of all the past and present employment or association of the candidate, including the name of the company, post, duration, salary package, job profile, etc.
  • Knowledge refers to competency of the candidate to perform the job.


Advantages of Job Description

It can be classified in 2 categories as below:

  1. Advantages of Job Description for the Company: – Job description provides following benefits to the organization- (a) Job description helps HR department to simplify the overall recruitment and selection process. (b) It helps organization to prepare a right job specification. (c) Job description helps organization to search for the suitable candidates.
  2. Advantages of Job Description for the Candidates: – Job description provides following benefits to the prospective candidates- (a) It helps the candidate to become familiar with the workplace environment at a glance. (b) It gives out a systematic overview of the vacant position and also specifies what the company wants from its employees. (c) Job description clarifies what the company is and can offer to the candidates.


Advantages of Job Specification

Definitely Job Specification is the foundation of any recruitment process as it defines criteria for the selection of candidates. Various benefits of Job Specification are as below:

  • Job specification assists organization to save time during the screening of the resumes of the prospective candidates who fulfil the eligibility criteria.
  • It acts as a benchmark for the HR Manager to design training and orientation schedule of the new employees.
  • Job specification provides an overview regarding the relevant requirements of a particular job of a company to the prospective candidates.
  • It covers the way for performance analysis and performance appraisal of the candidates.


Disadvantages of Job Description

Job description has some limitation as follows:

  • A job description is not constant and changes with time and growth of the company.
  • It only outlines the positive aspects of a job, ignoring the obstacles and negative points.


Disadvantages of Job Specification

As job specification arises from the job description, so it also shows some problems. Basically, change in technology impacts the requirement of the company, i.e. changing of skills, qualification, experience, knowledge needed to execute the roles and responsibilities properly.

Though there are some differences between job description and job specification, both of them retains equal importance during the process of recruitment. If organization fail to prepare right job specification based on job description then organization may not get right candidate for the position. So, HR managers must have to keep sharp attention for preparing right job description and job specification.


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