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Writing a Person Specification
Drawing up a person specification is one way of ensuring that an organisation selects employees on the basis of their relevant abilities, rather than on subjective or irrelevant criteria.
To draw up a good person specification it is vital to have a clear and accurate job description based on a task analysis. By knowing what the job involves, it is easier to assess the qualities needed to do it.
These requirements can be divided into:
Each listed requirement must be justifiable in terms of the job description and task analysis. If it is not, is should not be part of the person specification.
Where a requirement could be discriminatory against or in favour of a particular group (racial, ethnic, gender, disabled), particular care should be taken to ensure it is justified in terms of the job. For example, you should not specify a desire to employ a Chinese person but you can specify a requirement to speak fluent Mandarin.
If you expect that a large number of suitably qualified people will apply for a job, it can be useful to include in the person specification not only the essential requirements but also desirable qualities.
When drawing up a person specification, you should be clear how each requirement will be assessed during the selection process. For example, this might be by:
If a requirement cannot be assessed in some way, it should not be part of the person specification.