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What's the job specification?

Define the role and who you need

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Aim for the best recruit

You’ve identified the vacancy you need to fill. Now it’s time to work out what the role involves in more detail. How can you attract the right person for the job if you don’t know what you’ll expect them to do? This is where creating the job description or person specification becomes essential in finding and retaining a strong recruit.

Begin your search...

  • Look at the team the new recruit will be working within. What roles or aptitudes are missing? How important is it that they reflect the culture of your company?
  • You’ll need to identify the skills, knowledge, training and qualifications you would expect them to have for the job. What level of experience should they have?
  • The SCQF Levelling Tool can help you do this. It's designed to support the allocation of an SCQF level to a job role and give an indication of the level of knowledge and skills which a job holder at that level may require.
  • Remember: you may have an ideal candidate in your head but you must not discriminate. Know the law by visiting our equality and diversity sections.

Is your ideal candidate standing in front of you?

Check among your permanent, casual and temporary staff to see if you can recruit internally through a promotion or transfer. Preparing your employees for more challenging roles and growing the future leaders of your business involves a good succession plan. The benefits are:

  • You’ll keep your present employees motivated and loyal while showing other employees there are chances to progress.
  • They’ll shoulder more responsibility but also demonstrate their commitment to the business and their own self-improvement.
  • You’ll improve an employee’s living and working conditions through higher wages or an exciting new challenge.

Get an A grade in qualifications

When you're creating your person specification you'll need to think about the level of qualifications needed. But finding the right candidate for the job can be challenging when the array of qualifications, frameworks and training on offer can read like a chunk of the Engima code. Confused? Know your Nationals from your Highers with these handy guides.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority has developed an interactive tool that shows you how the exams have changed over the past few years. You can also click on all the different types of exams to find out exactly who they are for and what they do.

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) has compiled a handy Old versus New guide. It shows how current and previous qualifications relate to one another and covers all the way back to the 1960s.

The SQA can also provide a range of services including consultancy work and customised awards that allow you to develop qualifications tailored to your needs.

Want to know more

Find information on qualifications in Scotland and further afield, including interactive tools for specific sectors and industries. 

Learn more about National qualifications

Find out more about this new way of learning that will better equip school and college leavers for the workplace. You can also check out the SQA's employer guide to the new qualifications.

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework

The SCQF is designed to help you and your employees understand and compare qualifications available in Scotland. The SCQF Partnership also offers advice and support to employers through a range of resources and free workshops. You can also check out this interactive guide to the SCQF.

Hiring someone from outside Scotland

Want to employ someone not educated in Scotland? Refer to this guide to compare qualifications in the UK and Europe.

Qualifications in your sector - an easy search

This interactive tool from the SQA lets you browse qualifications for some key sectors.