Difference Between Job Description and Job Specification

Job Description vs Job Specification

Job description, job specification and job analysis are some of the phrases that confuse many students of management. These phrases are very important in the subject of human resource management. It is the job of a personnel manager or HR manager to see that the right person gets the right job to further the goals of an organization. It is through job analysis that he gets the tools of job description and job specification to fulfill his tasks. There is a subtle but very critical difference between these two tools that look very similar, forcing many make the mistake of using them interchangeably. Let us take a closer look.

What is a Job description?

Job description is a full description of the responsibilities and duties that a job entails. Making a job description is essential for a HR manager before the organization advertises vacancies. This is to ensure that the right candidates apply for the job after reading the job description. Candidates know in advance what their roles and responsibilities would be once they are selected for the job as also the tasks they would be required to perform. A job description contains the designation, the work conditions, the nature of duty, the relationship with other employees and superiors, qualifications required, and tasks and responsibilities expected to be done by the candidate.

Thus, job description not only helps in recruitment of the right employees, but it also helps supervisors to assign tasks and duties to the employees. It allows a better performance appraisal and helps in better manpower planning. A good job description is sufficient in itself to decide on the remuneration for the candidate.

What is a Job specification?

Job specification is a tool that allows management to let applicants know the skills, level of experience and education, and abilities that they are required to have to be able to fit easily into a job in an organization. In fact, a job specification enables the management to have in mind the kind of candidate they are looking for. Whenever there is a vacancy in an organization, it is this job specification that helps the management to go for recruitment as they know the type of candidates they want in the organization. A job specification is all about the skills and abilities required in a candidate along with a brief description of the job requirements.

What is the difference between Job Description and Job Specification?