As part of ongoing research into the employment habits of small businesses across the UK, an independent online HR consultancy polled members of staff from businesses with less than 20 employees, to find out more about the hiring process each company had in place; in order to discover which qualities they classed to be more important than others.
The study initially asked the respondents, all of whom are involved in the recruitment process within the company, if they valued experience more so than qualifications; to which almost two thirds answered ‘yes’.
Of these respondents, more than half valued experience more so than qualifications because they felt experience was ‘more useful’ for the business.
Furthermore, almost a tenth of the respondents cited that they ‘wouldn’t hire’ a candidate with no experience ‘despite the qualifications they held’. Although, in contrast, when advertising a new vacancy, 12 per cent, of the respondents claimed they placed a ‘minimum qualification level’ on the job specifications.
According to the research, when hiring a new member of staff, more than two fifths, 41%, of the respondents admitted to valuing the ‘cleanliness’ of an interviewee. However a further 29% stated that they were likely to hire a ‘polite’ candidate when interviewing for a vacancy.
The respondents were also asked if they offered internships within their business, to which a quarter, 24%, answered ‘yes’. These respondents were subsequently asked if they had ever hired an intern as a result of their ability to perform the job role, to which 47% said they had.
Kirsty Burgess, Co-Managing Director of Reabur.com, who commissioned the study, said “It was really interesting to understand what many small businesses across the UK ‘look’ for when hiring a new member of staff. Having dealt with many businesses that have regretfully hired the wrong candidate, we know how important it is for businesses to conduct a thorough interview process and offer the role to the most capable and worthy applicant, .”
Burgess continued: “It’s clear that many small employers prefer experience over qualifications, however the advantages of ‘growing your own’ shouldn’t be overlooked, and although investment in training and developing a qualified, but inexperienced member of staff can be significant, the return on that investment is often seen much earlier than expected. In my view eagerness to learn new skills and gain experience is just as important.