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Job Description vs. Job Specification — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on October 30, 2023
Job Description outlines the duties and responsibilities of a position; Job Specification lists the qualifications and skills required for the position.
Job Description vs. Job Specification — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Job Description and Job Specification

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Key Differences

Job Description and Job Specification are integral components of job design, providing a clear understanding of a job’s requirements and expectations. A Job Description is a structured document outlining the main duties, responsibilities, and objectives of a job. It serves as a guide for prospective employees to understand the scope of the job and what is expected of them. In contrast, Job Specification details the requisite qualifications, skills, knowledge, and attributes needed to perform the job effectively. It helps employers in screening and selecting suitable candidates based on their ability to meet specific criteria.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 30, 2023
While Job Description provides an overview of the job's fundamental aspects, including tasks to be performed, reporting relationships, and working conditions, Job Specification delves into the personal attributes and qualifications a candidate should possess, such as education, experience, and skills. The former is essential for candidates to gauge the job's suitability, and the latter is crucial for employers to ascertain candidates' appropriateness for the job.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 30, 2023
Job Description serves as an essential tool for employee orientation and performance appraisal by clarifying expectations and performance standards. It is a pivotal resource for employees to comprehend their roles and responsibilities effectively. Conversely, Job Specification assists in the recruitment process by acting as a benchmark for evaluating applicants’ credentials and competencies, ensuring that the selected candidates possess the necessary attributes to perform the job successfully.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 30, 2023
Both Job Description and Job Specification are indispensable for effective human resource management, aiding in developing job advertisements, conducting interviews, and employee training. While Job Description focuses on what the job entails, Job Specification emphasizes who can perform the job. Both documents collectively facilitate mutual understanding between employers and employees regarding job expectations and employee qualifications, contributing to organizational success.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 30, 2023
In summary, Job Description outlines the tasks, duties, and responsibilities of a job, serving as a roadmap for employees, whereas Job Specification lists the qualifications, skills, and attributes needed, acting as a standard for selecting the most suitable candidates.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 30, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Purpose

Outlines duties, responsibilities, and objectives
Lists qualifications, skills, knowledge required
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 30, 2023

Focus

What the job entails
Who can perform the job
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 30, 2023

Role

Guide for prospective employees; Employee orientation
Benchmark for evaluating applicants
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 30, 2023

Importance

Clarifies expectations and performance standards
Ascertains candidates' appropriateness
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 30, 2023

Utilization

Developing job advertisements; Employee training
Conducting interviews; Recruitment process
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 30, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Job Description

Job Description is a structured document outlining the main duties, responsibilities, and objectives of a job.
The Job Description clearly stated the tasks and objectives the new hire would be responsible for.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 30, 2023

Job Specification

Job Specification serves as a benchmark for evaluating applicants’ credentials and competencies.
Recruiters referred to the Job Specification to assess whether candidates met the necessary criteria.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 30, 2023

Job Description

Job Description serves as a guide for prospective employees to understand the scope of the job and what is expected of them.
By reading the Job Description, applicants could gauge the responsibilities and expectations of the position.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 30, 2023

Job Specification

Job Specification emphasizes the personal attributes a candidate should possess, such as education, experience, and skills.
According to the Job Specification, candidates needed to have a specific level of experience and educational background.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 30, 2023

Job Description

Job Description provides an overview of tasks to be performed, reporting relationships, and working conditions of the job.
The detailed Job Description outlined the reporting hierarchy and the working conditions of the role.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 30, 2023

Job Specification

Job Specification is crucial for employers to ascertain candidates' appropriateness for the job during the recruitment process.
The stringent Job Specification helped the recruiters in shortlisting the most suitable candidates.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 30, 2023

Job Description

Job Description is essential for developing job advertisements and conducting employee training.
The HR team used the Job Description to craft accurate and informative job advertisements.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 30, 2023

Job Specification

Job Specification details the requisite qualifications, skills, knowledge, and attributes needed to perform a job effectively.
The Job Specification outlined the educational qualifications and skills required for the role.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 30, 2023

Job Description

Job Description is crucial for employee orientation and performance appraisal by clarifying expectations and performance standards.
The well-drafted Job Description was instrumental in aligning employee performance with organizational goals.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 30, 2023

Job Specification

Job Specification is utilized for conducting interviews and ensuring selected candidates possess the necessary attributes to perform the job.
The interview panel used the Job Specification to frame questions and evaluate candidates' suitability.
Tayyaba Rehman
Sep 30, 2023

Common Curiosities

Why is a Job Description important?

A Job Description is important as it clarifies job expectations, guides prospective employees, and serves as a basis for performance appraisal.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 30, 2023

What is a Job Description?

A Job Description is a document that outlines the main duties, responsibilities, and objectives of a job.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 30, 2023

How does Job Specification assist employers?

Job Specification assists employers by acting as a standard for evaluating applicants’ credentials, ensuring the selection of suitable candidates.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 30, 2023

What does Job Specification entail?

Job Specification details the qualifications, skills, knowledge, and attributes needed to perform a job effectively.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 30, 2023

Is Job Specification used during interviews?

Yes, Job Specification is used during interviews to assess whether candidates possess the required qualifications and skills.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 30, 2023

Can a Job Description be used for employee training?

Yes, a Job Description can be used to develop employee training by providing an overview of tasks and responsibilities.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 30, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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