This 5-minute read is designed to give you an understanding of the difference between a job description and a job specification, and why you need to use job specifications to get the most from your employee relationship.  
We also have a free Job Specification Template available - click here to access 
Let’s start at the beginning. What is a job description? 
According to the Collins English Dictionary, it is a “A job description is a written account of all the duties and responsibilities involved in a particular job or position.” 
It is a broad, general, and written statement of a specific job, based on the findings of a job analysis. It generally includes duties, purpose, responsibilities, scope, and working conditions of a job along with the job's title, and the name or designation of the person to whom the job holder reports. Under UK employment law every employee must be provided with his job description on Day 1. This document will outline their duties, limitations or boundaries in his duties, to whom he has to report. 
So - what is the difference between a Job Description and a Job Specification? 
A Job specification is a statement of the minimum qualifications that person must possess to perform a given job successfully”  
- Stephen Robbins & Mary Coutler 
More specifically, a Job specification is a statement of employee characteristics and qualifications required for satisfactory performance. So - While the job description describes activities to be done, it is job specifications that list the knowledge, skills, and abilities an individual needs to perform in a job. A good job specification will include, knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) including 
• education, 
• experience, 
• work skill requirements, 
• personal abilities, and 
• mental and physical requirements. 
Therefore a job spec is much more useful to an organisation – for hiring, measuring performance and succession planning.  
We'd recommend that you consult a qualified HR professional to make sure your documentation complies with UK Employment Law. For 30 minutes free advice, please book a slot by emailing  
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