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What is the most important factor when recruiting?

I do honestly do other things than look through the Beeb all day, but I have to credit them again with a recent article on recruitment that caught my eye.

Just about every business person must look to Richard Branson’s success with admiration and it was Mr Branson’s thoughts on recruitment that caught my eye.

Indeed I have in the past wondered how on earth such people as Richard Branson manage to recruit people who embrace their job with such zest and enthusiasm that they could be a true right hand person time and again and not just any old employee.

In fairness I’ve employed some wonderful people who’ve work hard, conscientiously and reliably for me and I remain grateful to them to this day, but I’ve also paid a King’s ransom for well qualified, seemingly smart people who have shown themselves to be self centred and scheming with an eye on their own emolument above all else.

So, whilst abbreviated I read that our hero Richard Branson focuses on personality more than qualifications and says it’s often hard to ascertain, but when you’re happy with their personality, then it’s time to look at their qualifications and experience.

The Group CEO of AirAsia speaks of looking for a “passion”, a passion in an applicant’s eyes and a “dare to dream”. Mr Fernandes says he can usually tell within seconds if he wants to hire someone. He goes onto explain that skills and qualifications can be taught, yet passion is something that can almost never be instilled into someone who doesn’t have it in their eyes.

The Founder of Altimeter Group, Charlene Li, looks firstly for culture, sharing the same values and social norms.

Once Ms Li finds that person with what she sees as the right fit, she likes to understand how they see themselves fitting in with the company and sharing their sense of purpose. It’s clearly very much a two way process as the candidate needs to feel they’ll fit in as well as us feeling they’re a good fit for us.

Over all, if I’ve gleaned anything from the article, the common factor in all of this is that instinct and personality seem to be more important in these examples than qualifications – thought provoking stuff.

What do you think?


avatar Name: Alexandra Eager
About: Alex has worked as a Financial Controller and Finance Director for many years for a variety of companies across a range of industries but more recently she has moved away from accounting working for an internet marketing agency as Finance and Operations director, primarily overseeing the finance functions and search engine optimisation (SEO) for clients. Follow Alex on G+ and on Twitter @Alex_BusDirUK
Alex runs her own company with two fellow owners developing a suite of e-commerce web sites and promoting them directly. “I found that SEO and finance were quite compatible both needing an eye for detail, research and analysis as well keeping up with new developments and changes.”

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