Writing a person specification

When planning to recruit a new member of staff the personal specification is often overlooked. Most of us understand that the job description is an essential part of planning who we need in our team but we should also take the time to look at our teams and define the clinical job in human terms too.

The person specification defines a job in human terms. It identifies the kind of person needed to fulfill the demands of the pharmaceutical job you are looking to fill by outlining the characteristics and attributes considered essential or desirable in the ideal candidate (REC definition).

When writing a person specification you may wish to consider using a person specification grid which helps to decide what skills and attributes are essential, desirable or not required. A good starting point is to consider the following sub-headings to get you started:

  • Knowledge, training and qualifications (e.g are they trained in ICH/GCP or will you need to train them)
  • Skills and experience (e.g communication skills and experience to demonstrate these)
  • Motivation and relevant interests (e.g. are they interested in Oncology and can they demonstrate this by having worked in the area or studied it in the past)
  • Behaviour and attitude (e.g. can they demonstrate a “can do” attitude and motivation)
  • Transport and availability (e.g can they physically make themselves available for the hours of work) – great care must be taken in this part of the specification though to ensure that you do not unfairly discriminate against people.
  • Other requirements (e.g Health and Safety)

Next steps is planning your interview process. Click here to read our interview advice article