When hiring look at skills, not past jobs

We were looking at a pile of resumes the other day for a customer service job when my HR person stopped me from throwing another person on the “no” pile.


“What’s wrong with this person?,” she asked.


I shot her a confused look.


“His last three jobs have been working at McDonalds, as a shelf-stacker at Coles and as a Christmas casual at Myer. We’re not a retailer, so he’s not going to fit.”


The HR person laughed.


“Fair enough, but think of the skills we need with this job.”


“We need someone who can work under pressure during busy times – like at Christmas at a department store.”


“We need someone who can deal with the public and answer lots of questions – like a shelf stacker.”


“And we need someone who adheres to processes – there’s no better training ground in the world than McDonalds.”


The message she was giving me was simple – look at skills and duties, not at roles and titles.


I am sure this guy didn’t want to work at Myer forever, and dismissing him on this basis of this “stepping stone” job was dumb on my part. In fact, the skills picked up on this stepping stone were perfect for us.


Lesson learned. Get it done – today!


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