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Key Selection Criteria

What’s Important, What’s Not? 

At present, employers are finding it harder and harder to secure the right people for their business. This is down to a number of reasons, but the primary “pain point” appears to be the lack of suitably qualified applicants. Traditional recruitment exercises set out a clear expectation for candidates to display experience and skills in line with Key Selection Criteria. Whilst for some positions this is obviously important, for others these “barriers to entry” often prevent employers from hiring the very best candidates who are out there.

Here are 3 “Key Selection Criteria”, that aren’t always that key:

  1. Years of Experience: Almost all job advertisements outline a requirement for a certain number of years’ experience, as a prerequisite for the role. Regardless of the position (entry level through to management) years spent in a role, does not necessarily correlate with proficiency. What is going to yield a better result for your business, employing someone that is an average performer with 5 years’ experience? Or, someone who is a motivated, engaged and passionate employee, with three years on the job?
  2. Software Proficiency: Another common criteria is “demonstrated ability” with certain software packages. The main rationale behind this is reducing the amount of time needed to on-board new employees. Again, this can unfortunately result in one person being successful because they have used the software package previously, to the detriment of other considerations. In this world of computer and smartphone “omnipresence”, computer literacy is the highest it has ever been. By and large, employees are able to pick up software packages in days, not weeks or months. Furthermore, little queries about the computer systems that in the past would have had to have been answered by other employees, taking time out of their day, can now be solved with a quick Google search, more often than not.
  3. Relevant Industry Experience: In many sectors, previous industry experience and by extension, technical knowledge is essential. However, in many positions, relevant sector knowledge only really forms a small part of the role. For example, does a manufacturing manager have to have experience making a particular product, or is the candidate’s ability to manage staff, drive efficiency and manage costs more important? Core skills are transferable to other industries and as a bonus, employing individuals from outside your sector, often results in new ways of thinking, further driving improvement. 

Unfortunately, some organisations make the wrong hires due to being “bound” by strict selection criteria. In this present job market, it is important for employers to examine what criteria are really important to not only them as managers, but also, to the business as a whole. JP Smith specialise in “finding the hard to find” so if you, or your business need some guidance when it comes to identifying suitable talent, we are keen to help.

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