“Most of us wouldn’t buy a holiday novel purely on the basis of its front cover,” said recruitment expert David Hunt of Alexander James Executive Search.
“Yet here are small companies gambling with the future of their business by selecting key members of their staff at first sight.”
A report by Bibby Financial Services found that ten per cent of small businesses in the UK cited personal appearance as the most important attribute in an interview.
And one in five appointments are made on the basis of a candidate’s sense of humour or ‘chemistry’ – with apparently scant regard paid to qualifications and experience.
“For SMEs, recruiting the right senior person can mean the difference between success and failure,” warns David. “In the worst case scenario, it could put someone out of business.
“So for them, there are a lot of things to take into account whenever they
need to recruit a key member of staff,” said David.
“Appearance and how someone comes across in interview is always important but anybody can get on well in an interview for an hour.
“That is where having someone from outside the company can help, bringing
an objective view to proceedings together with skills like competency based interviewing and psychometric testing which go behind the public face and identifies which candidates are most likely to be good for the company in the long run.”