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person specificationA “rider” to a job description, which narrows down what the hiring organisation is looking for by providing a profile of the ideal candidate for a particular job, listing the criteria necessary to carry out the job. The person specification and job description can be used as the basis for staff development, appraisals, or promotion.
Benefits of person specification
• Enables potential applicants (and recruiters) to determine whether the candidate meets the job requirements, filtering out unsuitable candidates at an early stage;
• Helps employers identify the qualities needed for the job;
• Can serve as a guide for writing job adverts and application forms;
• Can be used for comparing candidates with each other;
• Reduces bias in recruiting and selection by ensuring candidates are judged against criteria which are relevant to the job, and all candidates are judged systematically on the same criteria;
• Helps ensure that selection decisions can be justified using objective criteria should the decisions be questioned at a later stage.