The thin end of the recruitment wedge

Posted on by Nancy Slessenger This entry was posted in Grapevine, Recruitment and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


Have you ever noticed how easy it is to start letting your standards slip without realizing it’s happening?



The Ugg boots


My colleague, Dave Nicol, recently confessed to me that he had become an Ugg boot fan and has actually bought himself a pair. I was astonished. I had previously been under the impression that Uggs were the domain of teenage girls.



He told me just how incredibly comfortable they are and how much he like wearing them. He was in keen to insist that he only wears them in the house.



Then as we spoke, I heard a clatter on Skype and he confessed that he’d just taken the rubbish out as we were speaking, whilst wearing the Uggs.



He had left the house in the Uggs

Dave leaves the house in his Uggs

Dave leaves the house in his Uggs


And that’s how it starts. First it’s the trip to the bin, then the corner shop, and before you know what’s happening, you’re in the pub wearing them.




It’s just the same with recruitment



I was recently recruiting for a client in Australia. We had conducted an audio interview of one of the candidates over Skype as part of our normal process. The candidate was good in many ways, but did not meet one of the key criteria. She was not procedural enough.



Procedural people get stuff done and they love to follow procedures. Sometimes they don’t seem as exciting as people who have a profile that is not very procedural, but they are much more reliable.



The role required someone who will follow a large number of procedures to the letter for all kinds of reasons, including safety.



However, my client was keen to interview her himself.




Where do you draw the line?


When you are recruiting it’s very important to be clear about what you need and have a clear set of criteria. If, for some reason you don’t get any applicants who meet your criteria, then you need to reassess the situation.



It may be that you work out which skills you need the candidates to have already and which they could learn. That can work well.



It’s dangerous to start changing the criteria on the personality traits, so be very careful if you do that.




Make sure you are clear on the criteria


It’s OK to change the criteria as long as you know what you are doing and you have good reason. The key thing is not to let them slide without realizing it’s happening. This is the sure route to disappointment and the cost of recruiting the wrong person.


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