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Questioning The Use Of Selection Criteria Responses In Recruitment Part Two

Peter Gibson Principal Consultant at Aston Carter Brisbane and specialist recruiter in executive search discusses his opinion on the use of selection criteria responses in recruitment part two.

So, what is the solution?
In a recruitment exercise, selection criteria should be employed as a self-selection tool for candidates – if they don’t assess themselves as possessing the selection criteria/competencies (or behaviours where indicated), they should self-select out.

Rather than ask people to address selection criteria in writing, for the past decade at Aston Carter executive we have requested them to prepare a one-page cover letter which details the experience they possess relevant to the performance of the role. This requires a degree of research to ensure they quote relevant experiences, and to be factual and evidence based in their claims – aspects which can be verified by reference to their CV. The one-page limit imposes a discipline on candidates, to ensure they draw out the most relevant and compelling aspects of their experience. They are asked to view the cover letter as an executive summary of why they should advance through the first filter – the relevance of their experience.

Behaviours are vitally important, and this approach does not seek to diminish their importance. However, behaviours can be critically evaluated much more effectively through a behavioural interview (where responses can be tested and probed), compared to reading largely opinion-based prose. This approach has the benefit of assessing the candidate through different but equally relevant lenses, rather than focussing on the same element (behaviours) twice, via the selection criteria responses and interview.

We have found client satisfaction with this approach to be high, and candidates have generally been delighted that they did not have to complete written responses to selection criteria. This latter point is critical if we want to attract private sector candidates into government, as a requirement for selection criteria responses are far less common in that sector.

Article attributed to Peter Gibson Principal Consultant at Aston Carter Brisbane

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