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How to Catch the Eye of Great Candidates

Writing a good job specification isn’t difficult it just requires a little thought – because to attract great candidates you need to know what the perfect candidate looks like. Be aware that the job specification you write has essentially the same job as a CV: catching the eye of great candidates and persuading them that your company - and specifically this role - is perfect for them.

So take a little time to list the job requirements and get a mental picture of the skills required to succeed in this role. Once these have been decided upon you can begin to look at writing the actual specification. There are seven main areas a job specification should cover if it’s to be a useful recruitment tool:

1. The organisation
Candidates will want to see the size, history and key markets of the organisation. Strong candidates will want to know what the organisation is aiming for so they can assess whether this is a goal they can and want to be involved with.

2. The role
Why is there a vacancy? What will the candidate’s main responsibilities be? What is the purpose of the role? Is there a particular skillset required? What training will be available? What background would be most advantageous?

3. How the role will develop
How will the role look in a year or two years’ time? What opportunities for progression are there? Is there a defined career path? Again, strong candidates will look for specifications that consider the future.

4. Necessary personal qualities
What sort of person is required? Be careful here not to merely specify your own qualities or the qualities of someone you like, but what is best for the role. Remember, teams usually benefit from a mix of personalities.

5. The team
How big is the team? How does it fit into the organisation? Which people will the candidate need to relate to? Is there a specific culture associated with the team/firm?

6. Remuneration
The full benefits package should be included. Sometimes the smallest extra can persuade a candidate to accept a particular job.

7. Process and timescales
When will interviews take place? Who will be involved? How many other stages are there?

These seven points are not an exhaustive list; however including them all should give you a good professional job specification to attract discerning candidates.