Creating a Person Specification

20th Sep 2022 | Fintec Recruit Limited

What is a person specification?

A person specification is an extension of a job description. This describes the kind of person most suitable for the role, while a job description defines what the job involves.

What should I include?

To attract applicants that closest match the needs of your vacancy, you’ll want to focus on aspects such as:

  • The minimum knowledge required
  • Type of experience
  • Qualities and skills necessary for the job

By clearly outlining these key aspects, you’ll be more likely to attract suitable candidates that will meet the vacancy requirements and fit well into your company culture.

You might want to try putting information under headings such as:

  • Qualifications / Training
  • Experience / Skills
  • General / Other attributes

Keep it Relevant!


Before publishing your person specification, ask yourself:

  • Are the qualities job related?

It’s important to keep your own interests separate to the business’s interests. Take time to consider if what you’re asking from a candidate is necessary to fill the vacancy or if it’s something that you’d personally prefer.

For example, hiring a candidate because they share the same interests as you is not always in the interest of the business. You may run the risk of discriminating against candidates who could perform just as well, if not better in the job.

  • Are the qualities realistic for the position?

Perhaps all your current staff hold MBAs, and maybe this seems like a prerequisite for your new vacancy. Question the validity of this against the new role. Is this a necessary requirement for this job in terms of responsibilities and the salary on offer?

It’s worth making a note of what is essential vs desirable!

Setting standards too high can be counterintuitive and leave you with few candidates to choose from.

Consider drawing up a table to clearly present essential vs desirable skills and competencies.

Skill and/or competency Essential Desirable
Customer Service X
MS Office Suite X
Presentation skills X
Organisational skills X
Desktop Publishing X


We offer FREE services to support you in the creation of your Person Specification!  

Contact Us through our website to find out more!

Find out about our FREE (GDPR compliant) Applicant Tracking System. We also offer Psychometric Assessments and Candidate Pre-employment Identification checks!

For more information, get in touch at 0131 564 0755