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Stick, Twist and Bust



Stick, Twist or Bust

Who remembers the game pontoon or 21? The homely version of Blackjack I believe.

I have happy memories of playing it with my nan on a Friday night, gambling for match sticks or sweets and staying up far later than my mum would ever let me. I also remember finding it near on impossible to stick resulting in a massive win or loss.

So, you wonder, why is a recruiter discussing Blackjack?


Well throughout my career I have worked with many different clients often SME’s and been an integral part in putting together the job spec for often complex / diverse roles.

Now the thing with a job spec is that it is often a bit like your dream partner.  You are looking for someone that ticks every one of your box’s, that your mum would like and smells great too.

But all jokes aside how do you decide when to stick with your ideal job spec, twist in order to find someone that ticks the most important boxes or bust and start from scratch.

What I have learnt is the following:

Understand your Most Important Things (MIT’s) - for example an administrator may need strong IT skills, a good understanding of the English language including grammar and spelling and strong verbal communication skills. Do they really need a grade C or above in Maths and previous experience of dealing with post if they will only ensure the right number of delegate packs are made up and frank the occasional letter?


Ensure that the job you are looking to fill exists in other organisations. Are you looking for one person to fill two very different roles – An example of this would be a Sales Exec / Data Entry Clark. I am generalising slightly, but in my experience the strongest sales people often leave their admin to the last minute and have to work hard to be organised.  So, are they the best person to put in front of a computer screen for hours at a time inputting accurate and detailed information?


If someone ticks several boxes and comes across well in their CV, call them. I have placed many candidates who clients have told me they would have discounted at CV stage. So, write yourself some questions about the key things you want to know, set yourself half an hour and call. You may just find your perfect candidate.


If you have been advertising for more than 3 weeks and all the wrong / not many right candidates have applied, it may be time to go back to the drawing board


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