The Importance of the Person Specification in a Recruitment and Selection Process
While many business organisations are building the bridge towards the “New Normal”, the recruitment and selection strategy is taking center stage. HR practitioners are assisting line-managers in adapting to this new normal. They are addressing manning issues with more attention and are finding that having a well-crafted Person Specification is of paramount importance. In practical terms, the Person Specification is synonymous of drawing the robot picture of the “ideal candidate” for any specific job.
The job description is also very important as it indicates the duties, responsibilities and accountabilities for each job. When a vacancy arises it is always recommended to review the job description and amend it, if necessary, to reflect new requirements. It should precisely portrait job appellation, job content and conditions of employment. It will definitely be a key aspect in the decision-making process before making a job offer as managers are more concerned about the capability and ability of the applicant to perform the responsibilities.
Stages in the Recruitment/Selection Process
|1. Determination of the vacancy|
|2. Complete the Job Analysis|
|3. Write or review the Job Description|
|4. Draft the person specification|
|5. Advertise in suitable sources of recruitment to attract talent|
|6. Receive applications and pre-select candidates|
|7. Hold interviews (and/or other selection method)|
|8. Make Job Offer|
|9. Implement and Induction Programme|
However, the Person Specification can show more than ability and capability. The most widely used model is that of John Munro Fraser, 1978, which considers impact on others, acquired qualification, innate abilities, motivation and adjustment. This has evolved over time and managers mainly take into consideration educational qualification, experience, skills knowledge and personality traits. The managers who can well in advance define the ideal type of person who can best fulfill a job position are more likely to recruit the best candidate for a job.
As the Person Specification is not seen by the candidate, but only by the hiring team, it is easier to find the degree of fit between who the company wishes to recruit and what the candidates possess as knowledge, skills, experience, qualification and attributes. The Person Specification has enormous importance in a Recruitment and Selection process as it facilitates the identification of job applicants possessing the potential to best fulfill the job responsibilities. Over and above, it enables business organisations to complete the hiring process in the most time-efficient manner possible and it also simplifies the process. Once the person specification has been agreed, all the selection methods used; including interviews, should be based on it.
President of the Association of Human Resource Professionals of Mauritius
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