Job description and grading

1. Grading

The HERA Grading Process Flowchart (managers) sets out how changes to roles should normally be managed, and whether a new job description and full grading of the job description is required using the HERA job evaluation scheme.

All new posts and existing posts which have significant revisions to the job description must be assessed using the HERA job evaluation scheme before they can be advertised to ensure consistency across the University.

  • No significant change to existing post: review the current job description and person specification. If there are no significant changes, the grade of the post will remain the same.
  • Significant changes to an existing post: talk to your HR Advisor or Recruitment Lead in the first instance who will be able to advise if a HERA job role assessment is required to accurately confirm the grade of the post.
  • New posts: talk to your HR Advisor or Recruitment Lead in the first instance who will be able to advise if there is an existing role which has already been graded which your proposed role can be matched to.  Wherever possible you will be provided with an existing job description to amend or advised if you need to create a new one and what level of HERA job role assessment is required.

Please visit our HERA - Higher Education Role Analysis site for more details about HERA and grading of posts.

2. Job description

A job description describes the key features of the job and helps potential candidates and managers to understand the key responsibilities. Visit the Template Library to help draft an effective job description. 

3. Person specification

Person specifications describe the candidate requirements including:

  • Skills and knowledge
  • Experience
  • Qualifications, education and training
  • Behavioural characteristics

The person specification is vital because the panel will use these criteria to shortlist candidates and finally appoint, therefore Colleges/Services should be clear about the criteria for selection before commencing the recruitment exercise.

Note: any critera asking for a minimum or maximum number of years' experience will be indirectly discriminatory on the grounds of age against younger or old candidates respectively. Focus should instead be on type and breadth of experience required.

  • Essential criteria are ones which without this skill/knowledge the candidate would be unable to fulfil the role, and as a result, applicants not demonstrating these will not be shortlisted to attend interview 
  • Desirable criteria are ones which are important but not essential and will help to differentiate between higher level applicants

Advice on job design, person specification and grading matters can be obtained from your HR Business Partner

We have created template job descriptions and person specifications for some posts.  Please visit the Template library to download a template

4. Equality and diversity guidelines

The University’s equal opportunities policy requires that appointments be made on merit. Under anti-discrimination legislation, the University may be challenged to justify that selection decisions were made on objective criteria. Consequently, there should be clear selection criteria - a 'person specification' for each appointment.