Difference between Job Description and Job Specification

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Job Description and Job Specification are the terms which are mostly misunderstood in Human Resource circles. There exist many differences between these two terms. Job Description and Job Specification are related to the process of Job Analysis.

Job Analysis is defined as a process of systematic study of a specific job to determine the personal characteristics that are necessary to the employee to do the job effectively. It involves the collection of necessary facts and functions which are related to the specific job.

JOB DESCRIPTION

Job Description is considered as an immediate product of the Job Analysis process. The data which is obtained from the Job Analysis acts as a base for forming the Job Description. Job Description is a statement in which the duties and responsibilities of a specific job are determined. The main aim of the Job Description statement is to differentiate a job from the other jobs in the same organization.

Edwin B Flippo defined Job Description as, ” The first and immediate product of job analysis is Job Description. As the title indicates, this document is basically descriptive in nature and constitutes a record of existing and pertinent job facts”.

From the above definition, we can understand that the document of Job Description is a descriptive statement which represents the functions, facts, duties and responsibilities related to a specific job.

CONTENTS OF JOB DESCRIPTION

The statement of Job Descriptions contains various items as follows:

⦿ Title of the Job
⦿ Location of the Job
⦿ Job summary
⦿ Duties and responsibilities associated with Job.
⦿ Machines, tools, and equipment used in performing the job
⦿ Nature of Supervision
⦿ Working conditions of the Job
⦿ Hazards associated with Job

JOB SPECIFICATION

Job Specification is also one of the important products of the Job Analysis. Job Specification is a statement which is translated from the job description into terms of human qualifications which are required for performing a specific job.

Job Specification is a statement which defines the human qualities required for the proper performance of the job. It tells us about the educational qualifications, experience, personality traits, etc of an individual to perform the job effectively.

Edwin B Flippo defined Job Specification as, ” A Job Specification is a statement of minimum acceptable human qualities necessary to perform a job properly”.

From the above definition, we can understand that Job Specification document states about the minimum required qualities of the individual to perform the job duties and responsibilities effectively.

CONTENTS OF A JOB SPECIFICATION

The statement of Job Specification contains various traits as follows:

⦿ Physical characteristics of an individual
⦿ Mental specifications of an individual
⦿ Personal traits of an individual
⦿ Behavioral aspects of an individual
⦿ Emotional and social abilities of an individual

COMPARISON CHART

JOB DESCRIPTION JOB SPECIFICATION
Job Description is a document which states an overview of the duties, responsibilities, functions of a specific job in an organization. Job Specification is a statement of the qualifications, personality traits, skills, etc required by an individual to perform the job.
Content
Job Description usually lists out the job title, location, summary of a job, working environment, machines and materials to be used, duties to be performed on the job, etc. Job Specification lists out the qualifications, experience, training, skills, emotional abilities, mental abilities, etc of an individual to perform the job.
Measures
Job Description measures the tasks and responsibilities attached to the job. Job Specification measures the capabilities that the job holder must possess to perform the job.
Usefulness
Job Description offers ample information about the job which helps the management in evaluating the job performance and defining the training needs of an employee. Job Specification helps the candidates who are applying for a job to analyze whether they are eligible for a particular job or not.
Benefit
Job Description statement helps the organization in preventing the arguments among the employees about "Who should do what". Job Specification statement helps the management to take decisions regarding promotions, giving bonuses, transferring the employees, etc

CONCLUSION

Both Job Description and Job Specification are the most important statements in Human resource Management. Detailed knowledge of these two statements helps HR managers to select and appoint the right employee to the right job which results in an increase of individual and organizational efficiency.
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