Differences Between Job Description and Job Specification

5 Best Differences Between Job Description and Job Specification

Every HR professional must know the differences between job description and job specification. Generally, job description and job specification are the two outcomes of Job Analysis. When HR managers want to prepare job specifications, then he needs to do job analysis which comes from job description analysis. 

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Differences Between Job Description and Job Specification

The job description is a written record of the duties, responsibilities, and requirements of a particular job. The job description contains details of the job like title, location, duties, working conditions, etc. It provides a brief idea regarding the process of job completion. Generally, the job description is known as the roles and responsibilities of the job.

Job specification is a written record of the requirements required for an individual employee to complete the job. Commonly. job specification describes the acceptable human qualities necessary for performing the job. 



Key Differences Between Job Description and Job Specification

There are some tricky differences between job description and job specification which enable us to get a clear concept. Besides HR Managers, it is necessary to know the other department’s head, which may help others to generate employee requisition and monitoring of performance. 

Area Job Description Job Specification
Meaning The job description is the written document in which all the information regarding a particular job, including role, responsibilities, and duties, is summarized systematically. 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 the 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


Example of Job Description and Job Specification

Company Name: XYZ Enterprise

Job Title: Sales Executive

Example of Job Description Example of Job Specification
Creating new clients. Achieving sales targets. Handle customer inquiries. Prepare daily and monthly sales reports. Explore and grab new business opportunities. Updating sales records on software.   Educational Qualification: Any Graduate/MBA in Marketing preferred Personality, Skills, and Competencies: Positive attitude, Customer handling ability, Good knowledge of 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.


Components of Job Description

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

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The components of the Job description are as follows:

  • 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 the company is ready to pay in a month which may or may not be negotiable.
  • Incentives refer to commissions 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 is required to perform a particular job.

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


The components of the job specification are as below:

  • Attributes refer to the quality of a candidate.
  • Educational Qualification defines the specific requirement regarding the academic knowledge of a person to perform the job.
  • Skills refer to the particular set of special abilities which are essential for the proper execution of the given tasks.
  • Experience is the information about 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 the competency of the candidate to perform the job.


Advantages of Job Description

It can be classified into 2 categories as below:

  1. Advantages of Job Description for the Company: – Job description provides the following benefits to the organization- (a) Job description helps the HR department to simplify the overall recruitment and selection process. (b) It helps organizations to prepare the right job specification. (c) The job description helps organizations to search for suitable candidates.
  2. Advantages of Job Description for the Candidates: – Job description provides the 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) The 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 organizations to save time during the screening of the resumes of prospective candidates who fulfill the eligibility criteria.
  • It acts as a benchmark for the HR Manager to design training and orientation schedules for 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

A job description has some limitations as follows:

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


Disadvantages of Job Specification

Job specification arises from the job description. As a result, it changes over time due to changes in technology and required competency. 

Both job description and job specification are equally important during the process of recruitment. It’s very important for the organization to prepare the right job specification based on the job description, otherwise, the organization may not get the right candidate for the position. So, HR managers must have to be competent in preparing the right job description and job specification.


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