When referring to vacancies, many use the terms 'job' and 'role' as a synonym of each other.  There is a nuanced difference.  A 'job' is an organisational function of defined tasks, duties or activities.  A 'role' is the part played, emphasising specific behaviour patterns to achieve desired outcomes.  This distinction is helpful because it sets clear expectations for the candidate.

Some are vital to consider before announcing a vacancy, inclusive of the many activities undertaken by Human Resources Professionals.  Those are job design, recruitment/selection, performance management, learning/development, management development, career management, job evaluation, and grade of pay structure.

Grounding a vacancy, in reality, requires specificity of its intent, its content, and organisational fit.  Then, the job title, who they report to, who says to them, overall purpose, and main tasks, duties or activities.

Lastly, the following documents are essential and should be pre-prepared.

Job Description

  • Used to emphasise duties over outcomes
  • Factual, inflexible, prescriptive
  • Performance is quantified by output

(or) Role/Accountability Profile

  • Used to emphasise results over duties
  • Person-orientated, purposeful
  • Inputs qualify performance

Learning Specification

  • Refers to required knowledge/skills to perform
  • Used to devise the L&D programme
  • Inspired by competency analysis of vacancy

Person Specification

  • Refers to specific competencies to perform
  • Required knowledge, skills, abilities (KSAs)
  • Desirable experience, training, and qualifications

Sources:  CIPD, University of London

Share this post