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Blog : Qualities or qualifications?


Qualities or qualifications?

It is more often than not brought to our attention the number of people in the UK that are out of work. Figures published last month, by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), found that youth unemployment increased by 15,000 in the last quarter, equating to 21.4% of those between 18-25 out of work. So with thousands looking for employment, employers are finding it more difficult to find the right talent to fit their organisation, and it can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Sifting through applications to find the right person can be a long and laborious process, and short cuts should definitely not be taken, so it helps when you know exactly what it is that you’re looking for. When looking for new recruits, many organisations still place qualifications at the top of the list, believing these to be more important than the qualities of a person. It’s refreshing, however, to learn this view is changing with the like of Simon Little, Director of Recruitment at Phones4U disagreeing, stating that he would always “recruit qualities over qualifications”.
Ultimately employers want to find someone that will do a sterling job, as well as live and breathe their values and culture. So just because someone has the right qualifications, does that mean that they are a perfect fit? It’s a known fact that attitude and work ethic are harder to establish than educational qualifications.
Here are some useful pointers for organisations to follow when searching for talent:

1. What do you need?
Identify what you are looking for, ideally someone who shares the organisations culture and values, who can be trusted to do a great job, even if they don’t quite have the extent of expertise desired, look for their potential just as Simon Little does - “by valuing a person's potential, drive and passion, and being prepared to invest in their development, both the employee and company will reap the benefits”
2. Sift fairly
This in itself needs to be a thought out process, starting from when the job advert is posted. Balancing advertising to everyone whilst being specific is no mean feat especially when you need to let the applicant know exactly what it is you’re looking for and what the role requires. Set the candidates a task such as a piece of writing or 10 bullet points as to why they are suitable, encouraging them to really think about their application, and can also highlight to the employer some of those key qualities
3. Ask great questions
A well-planned and structured interview is essential to finding the perfect person. Building rapport and asking the applicant to talk about themselves can draw out interests and values. Prepare a list of questions to ask the candidate, and allowing them to ask questions in return will allow both parties to try each other out.
It is important for employees to be engaged from the word go, so putting together a well thought out induction plan will also ensure employees that they are in the right place
What do you look for in an applicant?  

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