Education vs Personality vs Experience

It’s always a tricky predicament when trying to establish what the most important qualities are most vital when trying to find your next recruit.

I want to specifically talk about the recruitment sector, as this is the one Permanent People operates in. We spend our days speaking with clients about the sort of person they would like to hire, and we have various responses, showing that each and every recruitment business looks for something slightly different in who they will employ.

But there are traditional fail safes that we look for, so the question is, what’s the most important to you when looking at candidates for your recruitment business?

Education (Ed)?

Personality (P) ?

Experience (Ex)?

I would guess that the majority would say all three or certainly an mixture of two and of course it depends on the level of the position you are looking to fill.

So here’s a maths equation, something normally out of my comfort zone!!

What is the best some to find your perfect recruiter?

Personally, I’m a; P + Ex candidate. Like many of my generation, I left school at 16, didn’t go to Uni, worked then entered the recruitment industry after a mixture of roles. My GCSE’s weren’t great, but now as a director of my own business, it hardly seems important what grade I got in Catering at 16 years old. But when hiring for my business, I’ve found the best mix is:

Ed + P. This because I want someone bright enough to absorb information, learn recruitment who has the characteristics to adapt to the industry.

But a lot of our clients will want an Ex + P for senior roles and Ed + Ex + P for more entry level positions, understandably given that candidates who are a bit younger obviously won’t have the career history yet. But what experience is transferable? Just yesterday I met three candidates in Bristol, all with very different backgrounds who could all do a different role in recruitment and all could be successfully billing away in a matter of months, with the right environment and support. So in that respect, it’s about finding the right company fit for the individual.

So that leads to another question, if you’ve got a candidate with a great personality, how much of the reprehensibility to develop that person lies with the employer?

Again, I think it’s fundamental that it’s a collaborative and long-term approach. You’ve gone to great lengths to interview, screen, test (again back to educational skills) etc the candidate, made the leap of faith to employ them, and this, in my opinion is when the works starts. Whether the candidate has a background in recruitment or not, they are joining your business, so it’s up to them to prove they can do it and up to you to give them the tools to do so!

I would be very interested to hear hiring recruiters thoughts on this?



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