Searching for Staff

Not easy. Like job hunting. Seeking for the right partner never is. But worthwhile when both sides are genuinely looking for the right match.

CCQ needs people of high calibre and particular skills. Like other small companies, it cannot match the multinationals in straight financial terms. But it can offer rewards which they cannot. Such as working from home. Wherever home may be. Flexibility in hours. And so on. Prospective employees too have their own needs as well as their own skill sets and experiences.

To help both sides to see how close the jigsaw is to fitting together, Hugh and Rob send applicants half a dozen questions. Three are basic. Why do they want to work for CCQ, what aspects of I.T. particularly interest them and what are their financial and other expectations. Even the Junior Paper Shredder experienced little difficulty when she applied for her job. She knew she wanted to do something which came to her naturally, in the environment where she was settled. She required the equivalent of a living wage, entertainment and the satisfaction of being part of the family team. Like me, she claimed no specialist skills.

The fourth question probably prevented her from progressing beyond the role of JPS. But you and I, dear Reader, bereft as I for one am of technical skill, can still think sufficiently laterally at least to consider how many people are writing emails at this moment. After all, there can be no definitive answer. We have only to indicate some of the factors which might be relevant, the ways in which these can be assessed.

The remaining two questions might well present me with insuperable obstacles. They require technical knowledge. Applicants for more challenging positions than that of JPS generally claim some technical experience and can give some level of response. Those who fail to complete the questionnaire at all have probably applied only to qualify for Jobseekers’ Allowance.

Those successful thus far are then invited to spend a day together, working sometimes as a team, sometimes individually, to solve a series of problems devised by Rob and Hugh. These appear superficially to have little to do with everyday office work. By evening everyone is much clearer on where they stand. A few shrink from the challenge of the unconventional approach. Others write in to say that, whether or not their application is successful, the day was an experience which they would not have missed for worlds.

As for the J.P.S., perhaps it was fortunate that she was the sole applicant for her position. Unconventional challenges might have really made the fur fly.

early Dec 2013 033


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