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Not all accountants are the same!

Should Businesses Concern Themselves with the Quality of Those Leaving Education?

Received wisdom tells us that standards are dropping among people coming out of education. More and more people go to university, and a degree is no guarantee of exceptional skill as it might once have been. This can be a worry when looking for new employees as it’s no longer enough to look for a good qualification alone.

Couple this with the routine media outcry that we see around exam results time when pupils are leaving school with GCSE A* grades but are unable to use an apostrophe correctly without consulting Google, and it’s clear to see why academic achievement cannot be used as a sole measure of ability.

Fortunately, there are a number of remedies. Whilst a CV isn’t necessarily enough on its own, it doesn’t take too long to ask applicants for samples of previous work, or to conduct a quick discussion over the phone or online before committing to a full interview. Even at the interview stage, a well put together set of questions can sort out those with the sharpest minds and greatest work ethics.

For those with no work experience, an ability and aptitude for managing certain situations can be judged on how well they respond in simple role-play scenarios. An applicant for a sales-oriented role could be put on the spot in a well-orchestrated role-play and the ability to deal with the problem rationally and without falling to pieces can be seen in the first few minutes.

Skills Outside Academia

While the levels of qualifications (and the skills needed to achieve them) may vary over time, there are plenty of skills out there which assessments can’t measure. Plenty of applicants may have great interpersonal skills, or a real flair for technology and social media, which their time in academia didn’t measure or reward. These can be highly useful for businesses in their own way, and might come out only when the applicants are given a chance.

An Opportunity to Find Someone Unique

Businesses, of course, have an interest in standards of education – the better educated the job market, the better the range of choice. This will affect how they recruit, because if standards drop, the gap between quality of any two candidates becomes more important, and they may have to find innovative new ways to look for candidates. But although this might be a worry, it can also be an opportunity. Getting in touch with people through methods that aren’t the usual application process might mean you get hold of someone not only well qualified, but otherwise unique.

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Shaikh & Co Accountants

51 St Mary's Rd, Tonbridge, Kent,TN9 2LE - Tel:01892 552696