Essentials Vs Desirables In The Job Search

Essentials Vs Desirables In The Job Search

21 September 2017

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More often than not, when my clients are putting together a job description for a vacancy, they will list skills and education levels that they separate into two columns: Essentials and Desirables. It goes without saying that the client views some of these attributes as non-negotiable – A candidate must meet them in order to be considered for the role at hand.

As a recruiter, these types of requirements can be both a blessing and a curse. It enables me to put forward the very best candidates who tick as many boxes as possible. However, on some occasions, I know there are candidates who would be perfect for the company and the role but do not meet all the requirements.

Sometimes, candidates have plenty of ‘hands on’ experience in one area, but only educational level training in another. Whilst they still meet all the requirements, it can often be difficult to advise a client that they will refresh their skills on the job. I always take a consultative approach to recruiting, ensuring that my advice to a client means that they will ultimately secure the very best talent on the market. But, if a client proves to be too rigid in their requirements, it can often be difficult to fill a vacancy.

This leads me to this thought: How essential are the ‘essentials’? I am a firm believer that skills and systems can be taught, attitude and values cannot. Hiring managers and decision makers must weigh up what is most important: Ticking all the boxes precisely or having a great attitude and a willingness to learn.

I will always try and get to know a business; how they operate and what type of working environment they operate within so that I can recommend candidates who will compliment this and add value. For me, having the right approach to work is every bit as essential as having an understanding of a particular software system.

Ellis King, Manager, Accountancy and Finance Contract at Morgan McKinley is quoted by the ACCA: “[An] increasing trend is the importance of attitude within Accountancy … More than ever before, personality is important, and even at the interview stage companies are testing not just technical skills, but attitude.”

The Accountancy and Finance market is often fiercely competitive and fast-paced, so I will often recommend that clients separate their ‘essentials’ from their ‘desirables’ and, ultimately, decide what attributes or requirements will best serve their business. If you find a candidate who takes genuine pride in their work and is keen to drive the business forward, needing a little refresher on certain elements of the job should seem a minor price to pay.

Therefore, when creating such a job description, clients may have to consider what they are willing to be flexible about; what they are willing to train a candidate on; and what they are willing to sacrifice in order to land that perfect employee.

If you would like to get in touch with me about recruiting brilliant talent to meet you Accountancy needs, I would love to have a chat with you. Click here to see my details. All enquiries are confidential.



Written By Amara Hussain


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