Is your Job Spec doing its job?


We recruit for such a variety of roles in the Commercial department here at Red Recruitment, from office support through to Operations Managers. From Customer Service Advisors through to Senior Java Developers!


At the beginning of any recruitment process, the first thing we will ask to talk over with our client is the Job Specification. This will act as the foundation for our search and the criteria by which we will look for possible candidates. Of course, other important factors come in to the process but every business and job is different and in order for us to do the best we can in finding the right person, we need to understand each and every job requirement as much as possible.


There are two problems which I have encountered in my career which can be a potential hindrance to the job search…


One – A very sparse job brief.
I understand that clients are busy and often they will come to us because they simply are lacking in time to handle their recruitment. However, in order to get it right for you, it is essential for us to have a good understanding of the job that we are helping to recruit for. Knowledge is power and the more we have at the beginning, the smoother the candidate screening process will be and the less time of yours is wasted in interviewing candidates who do not have the relevant skills you require. So the more you feed us in the beginning the better equipped we are to help you.


Two – Strict job specifications.
Again, we understand that writing up a job spec for a new recruit is almost like writing your dream wish list. A list which you hope to have all boxes ticked. Wherever possible, we try to tick as many of these boxes as we can when CV sifting and candidate screening. But how realistic is it to tick all the boxes for one specific role for a company who specialise in their own area of expertise? If there isn’t another company like yours in the area then the likelihood is that a new candidate will not be coming with the exact experience that you are looking for.


What we ask of our clients is some flexibility through the recruitment process and for them to keep an open mind. Don’t fully dismiss a candidate just because they do not tick every box on your list. There are other factors which make a great candidate such as their attitude, enthusiasm and flexibility. I had a great meeting with a company just last week and my contact told me that he was a big investor in people rather than in CVs. If a candidate has the attributes mentioned above, then you are half way there and with training, the other boxes will soon be ticked too.


It is something to think about when you write your next job specification – of course you need to write down the job details and the skills required. But make sure you think about the personal qualities that you are looking for too – these are boxes which definitely need to be ticked. And if they are, you might be on to a winner!


“Many employers insist on asking for qualifications that aren’t necessary for successful job performance. A report from the RAC Foundation found that one in six job adverts require applicants to hold a driving licence, although the ability to drive isn’t essential. Your business may be missing out on talent. Review your job specification to ensure the skills you request are ‘must have’ rather than ‘desirable’ and adjust your applicant tracking software accordingly.”

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