Thursday, 4 March 2010


I am off on a course to learn how to write CVs and be interviewed in preparation for my next job.  This seemed a little odd to me as coming from industry I am more than used to doing these kind of things, and even had some outplacement help as part of my redundancy.  Of course not all clergy have this background - I was talking to one who used to be a singer - auditions yes, interviews no.  That and this article set me thinking about recruitment techniques.

In my previous career we used Competency Based Interviewing, and we used it at all levels - we believed that the detailed technical stuff was more easily taught that the competencies that we were after.  For me a competency based interview is based around the person spec, and I was horrified to hear of a company who purported to carry out a competency based interview on behalf of another company without seeing the person spec!  However, having interviewed with the church I am aware that they do not necessarily use this approach - discovered when I was told to stop asking about the past and ask what they would do in the future - a big no no in competency based interviewing.

So how does this work for auditions?  What it says to me is that there are times when the performance is everything, and others when teamwork, or organisational skills or what ever are key.  If it is about performance of a specific task then use an audition, but if you want the person to get on with others consider other approaches.  It isn't always obvious which is which though!  Something like football might be expected to be about skill, but Sir Alex Ferguson has sold players because of their attitude and the impact that it might have on others.

For me the interesting thing about the article was that the recruiter wasn't only interested in technical skill, but also in networking skills and personal interest in the form of personal projects.  Fair enough, but he then found a way to measure these attributes objectively using information in the public domain.  However, as the article points out - now that people know can this be faked?

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