Job Requirements

Job requirements are prerequisites to employment, and are considered qualifications for a given job. These requirements are considered by many employers to be vital to an employee’s satisfactory completion and performance of a job.

They encompass the knowledge, qualities, and abilities that an employer seeks out in prospective employees and applicants who are vying for a position within their organization.

These requirements may include skills that are general or specific in nature, the amount and type of work experience an applicant has, what certifications or educational qualifications and credentials an employee may have, as well as what areas of knowledge an applicant is well-versed in.

People have a hard time securing new work for many reasons. Chief among them is the lack of qualifications for a job, or the inability to meet a job’s requirements.

The instant an applicant reviews the qualifications for a job they’re seeking, they should see if they are a good match for the company. In order to be considered by the new employer for the position, employees must meet criteria, and may be dissuaded from applying at new places, despite their being hard-working, determined individuals. They may even be well-educated, well-experienced, and so forth, though employer preferences may discourage them from seeking out gainful employment.

These requirements are what employees and workers have to have in order to be considered a viable candidate for employment, and without meeting these requirements, it’s likely that employers will not view a prospective employee as someone who will likely be successful at the job.

What Are Job Descriptions?

Most job postings therefore contain descriptions of the job duties and expectations. This serves to weed out potentially bad matches for the company.

It’s in this job description where prospective employees and applicants will become familiar with a job’s requirements. Some descriptions make reference to the fact in their actual postings, while some opt to not include the information, so it is essentially in the hands of the candidate to determine whether or not they are qualified for the job. This may also serve to weed out individuals who are not confident in their job performance.

Most of these postings explicitly state that some capabilities, credentials, or other abilities or skills are preferred, but not an ultimate requirement of the job. To uphold the integrity of the recruiting process is one of the stated and sole purposes of job requirements. They cause companies to put effort forth in hiring the right people for the right positions, which is beneficial to all parties involved, as well as the business itself. The onus is on the company to find candidates that best match the job requirements they’ve set forth.

In order to lower the amount of applicants and prospective employees is also a burden placed on the shoulders of companies. Without posting their job requirements, virtually anyone would be able to apply to the open position, and would automatically be given the same consideration (at first) as anyone else, despite qualifications.

By making these requirements specific and unique, employers reduce the number of applicants in their potential hiring pool even further, which results in a shortlist of prospective candidates that have the required qualifications, skills, abilities, and/or fit for the job.

To better assist these applicants in making their decisions as to whether or not they should apply for a job is also the sole responsibility of the employer, and they often seek to do so through these job requirements.

When prospective employees and applicants go through the various job requirements needed at a given employer, and realize that they would not be qualified or a good match for the job, they are completely free and clear to look for employment with another employers. There is no obligation on behalf of the company or the applicants at that point to commit to one another.

The requirements laid forth by companies are often specific, because they only target candidates that are ideal matches for the job.

Employers strive to be precise, and as accurate as they possibly can be when they’re listing the requirements for open positions within their organization. That’s why they seek to immediately reduce the amount of applicants, hoping to curate a short list of prospective employees who would best match their needs.

It can be difficult for both companies and job seekers to figure out what’s expected of both parties. Sometimes, there are a lot of empty catch phrases and meaningless lingo in job postings that doesn’t clarify much at all.

Experience, thankfully, is usually a straightforward requirement. Employers sometimes include clauses that, as a condition of earning employment in their organization, their employees must have a certain amount of experience in that field, or in the workforce in general.

For example, a company may want to hire a PHP programmer to maintain their internal databases and some of their website’s functionality. In the hiring process, they would do well to hire PHP programmers who had extensive experience. They may do well to include requirements that ensured the PHP programmer had a certain amount of experience working on systems like the one the company uses, and they may also opt to ensure that the individual has a clean record in the business, employment, criminal, and private sectors, possibly even opting to submit them to a psychoanalysis test or a lie detector test, due to the sensitivity of the information they’ll be accessing, and the risks a company takes by giving someone access to such critical systems.

Experience requisites may indicate that an employee has a certain number of years of experience in a broad or precise capacity.

Employers tend to focus on two unique aspects of work experience when they’re considering their options. The first is the quality of the employee’s work experience, and the second is the time, duration, and/or amount of experience that an applicant has.

For example, if a candidate for a job in the nursing field says they have six years of experience working in an office setting, but only two years in the nursing field, the employer would likely only consider two years, the two that pertained to nursing, as relevant work experience.

The amount of work experience is different, and refers to the number of years an employer has spent in a given practice. If that employee had three years of counseling experience in the recruitment field, and five years of experience in a financial institution such as a bank, employers would consider that employee to have three years of experience in finance, and three years of experience in recruiting -- not six years total experience in either field.

Some employers oblige their applicants to have a certain educational background. It’s common for employers to require employees to have a college degree, high school diploma, graduate degree, or other educational certification as a condition of employment.

Employers will list these requirements for the job in their postings more often than not.

Related experience can be substituted or replaced by educational qualifications as well. This means that, for example, if a company typically requires an applicant to have five years of experience in a given field, but an applicant seems qualified for the position despite not having that experience based on the grounds of their educational background, the company may offer the employee a position anyway.

What are Educational Requirements?

If education is a good match for the position, and the applicant has offers, placement, or experiences that could support the strength of their bid for new employment, it’s absolutely worth taking the extra time to apply to a position. There’s always a shot, and “qualified” is a term that many employers are willing to bend on, in the right circumstances. Usually, when a company requires their applicants to possess a certain educational background, they will alert all prospective candidates via their job postings.

Some leaps may still be a stretch, obviously. Someone with no college degree or relevant experience aiming for a position that typically calls for a decade of experience and a Ph. D., for example, is probably not going to come off as qualified for the position, and will likely be viewed as a liability and immediately discarded from the hiring pool, in the eyes of the employer.

It’s best to know whether or not you’re “in the ballpark” as far as qualifications are concerned when searching for employment. Don’t waste an employer’s time by applying for a position that would clearly not be a good fit for you, or requires something that you plainly do not have, or have the equivalent of.

Hiring managers are presented with applicants and tasked with the decision of choosing the applicant or applicants who are the best fit for the company.

They would therefore be best served by carefully assessing the requirements for a given position, as well as the applicant pool’s qualifications. Considering their cover letters and resumes before the interview phase is essential.

An applicant would be best served by applying for positions that appeal to them, and applying for positions where they meet at least one or more of the job requirements. Even if an applicant does not strictly meet every last requirement posted by an employer, they may find that their strengths as they pertain to the job listing outweigh their lack of qualifications in other areas. Employers may agree.

Job listings often include which requirements are more important than others. They may list, for example, that a degree is required, but experience is preferred -- not needed. This means that a college degree is all that a prospective employee would need for consideration for the position, though experience in a related field would certainly help.

Employers often choose employees who are strong in certain critical areas, but who lack skills in other areas. No human is a true jack-of-all-trades, and people are very different in their capacity to serve in the workforce. When making a listing, employers often list their ideal candidates, though they know that a 1:1 replica of their perfect employee may very well not exist. There is inherent flexibility to the hiring system.

During the application phase, applicants would do well to highlight their relevant, and strongest credentials.

According to most finding, employment advertisements continue to get longer. Many, including Richard Lukesh, managing partner of Your Part-Time HR Manager, are not fond of this trend. Employers are stuck using platitudes like “more is better” in their hiring endeavors, and tend to overdo things, often promising pie in the sky to their applicants and running ads that are easy to see through, and often contain unrealistic or absurd claims. These actually serve to hurt a prospective employer’s chances of finding good candidates for a job.

The quality, and the relevancy, of job experience is just as significant and important as the actual job descriptions themselves. That’s why it’s somewhat dangerous for companies to design a process for creative and using impactful, effective job postings and campaigns. Many small businesses and their owners go down their own paths with recruiting, and often write their own exceptional, absurd, hard-to-believe, and downright ineffective recruiting copy, which skewers the hiring pool and fails to connect ideal candidates and the employer.

Similarly, some jobs require their applicants to have certain certifications or professional licenses in order to be considered for a position within their organization. A CPA, or a certified public accountant, is one such career. Typically, these professionals must be licensed in order to legally conduct business.

If you’d like assistance or more information on job requirements, post your legal need to UpCounsel’s marketplace. Lawyers from UpCounsel consist of Harvard and Yale graduates, who have an average of 14 years of legal experience. They are top lawyers who have worked with the largest companies in the country, and are standing by to assist with your legal and business needs.