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I’ve never been a great fan of long and complicated selection processes.

I watched an organisation fill a management position. The HR team and senior manager developed  a job profile. The job profile was just over three pages long; a bit shorter than other profiles in the organisation. I thought it was a bit of a box ticking exercise.

CVs were examined against the key skills and experience – although, to be honest, it might have been better to list the three of four things that were really important (rather than three or four pages). There may have been more clarity of thinking.

An assessment centre went ahead for those candidates that got through the CV ‘screening’ exercise. The centre consisted of interviews and exercises.

There were five people involved as assessors. All of the assessors had been through training; although some were more confident than others. Two of the assessors seemed a bit nervous and took guidance from more senior colleagues. There were a range of skills and experience the successful candidate would have to show.

Discussions took place on how the candidates had performed at the centre – objectively at first, but when disagreements were clear, subjective factors came into the discussion. I thought this defeated the aim although I had seen the same pattern in centres before.

I’m not certain that all of this benefits anyone at the end of the day. Surely it’s better to think very clearly about the small number of really important things in the role – and then be very focussed in finding out who really ticks these boxes.

See also – http://www.helium.com/items/1555928-recruitment-process

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