Creating the job description and person specification

All posts advertised on our website have a link to a job pack, which contains:

  • information regarding the application process
  • the job description
  • the person specification
  • other additional information about the role and working at the University

For Professional Services posts the hiring manager needs to complete the current version of the professional services job pack template (.docx). For Academic posts, the hiring manager needs to complete the 'Advertising for Academic posts' form and the standard recruitment template. - see below

Job description

The purpose of the job description is to give potential applicants an accurate account of the main responsibilities of the post, and of the skills and behaviours expected. 

The job description should describe the job as concisely as possible by identifying the responsibilities of the post. Care should be taken to ensure that the job is reflected accurately and that any responsibilities listed are up to date.

Further guidance is available on how to write a job description (.pdf) (April 2018).

For academic posts, standardised academic job pack templates have been created for every level of post across the three academic career pathways:

  • ASE (Academic Staff with Education)
  • ASER (Academic Staff with Education and Research)
  • ASR (Academic Staff with Research)

These ensure that they are reflective of the appropriate duties, expectations, remuneration and career pathway for later applications for permanency and promotion. These job packs can have discipline-specific information added to them; however they cannot have pre-existing information removed from them. 

If you are planning a recruitment campaign for a Technician role, please use the standardised Technician job description templates. These should be added to the Professional Services job pack above.

Person specification

A person specification is a profile of the skills, experience and knowledge required of the post holder and is derived from the job description, but also illustrates the values and behaviours the University is seeking in the employee. It lists the criteria that will be used in shortlisting and selecting candidates. 

Care must be taken to ensure that only those criteria that are essential to the effective performance of the job are listed as essential; inclusion of non-essential criteria in that section may result in fewer suitable applicants from which to choose, as well as the possible perception of discriminatory practices. 

Those involved in shortlisting will need to use the essential and desirable criteria in the person specification as the basis for decisions for selecting or rejecting applicants. The shortlisting decisions need to be objectively justifiable and based solely on the information in the individual’s application form and the criteria. Further guidance is available on how to write a person specification (.pdf).  

Stonewall accreditation

As part of our Stonewall accreditation, when a post that includes management and leadership responsibilities is to be advertised, one of the essential requirements in the person specification must be about diversity and inclusion, for example: "A demonstrable approach that ensures principles of equality and diversity are embedded in the service."

Further support

For further advice, contact the Resourcing Adviser.

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