Find the right student for your business

UCOM students in club tshirts at careers day

Taking the time to get your processes right can help you recruit the right person for your organisation.

It is important that students experience a fair recruitment and selection process. This means you need to know what you are looking for in a candidate, and how best to determine which candidate has the skills you need.

Draft a job description that accurately describes the role you are filling to ensure you find the right student for the role. This will also help with induction and training, and create clear expectations for your employee.

Keep it simple

Keep the job description simple but comprehensive. Clearly stated expectations help avoid confusion and create a benchmark against which performance can be measured. Don't be tempted to leave out tasks that are difficult or tedious; it is a fact that all jobs have tasks that can be frustrating. If they are part of the job, do not mislead students - consider redesigning the job to remove or improve upon them as best you can.

Remember, the more realistic the expectations a new employee has, the more likely he or she is to stay and meet your expectations.

Example of a job description

Category Explanation Example
Job title This should clearly convey the nature of the work to be done. Marketing Assistant
Location Where will the post be based? Branch office, Christchurch
Responsible to Who will be the direct line manager/supervisor? Markeing Manager
Responsible for  Will there be any staff management? If so, how many staff (part-time and full-time)? No staff
Purpose of job Why does the job exist? One or two sentences should be enough to help you and the student get a feel for the overall scope of the job. To assist the Marketing Manager with the implementation of the marketing plan
Key tasks What do they need to do? Include enough detail so that the student will have an idea of what they will have to do. This will also help you identify what knowledge/skills/attributes the student will need. It is a good idea to use active verbs like "writing", "calculating", "making", "developing", "designing", and "analysing". Designing marketing materials for the launch of a range of new products
Conditions Hours and days of work, rates of pay and particular circumstances, such as travelling, nights away from home, outdoor work, etc 10 hours a week. Flexible, occasional evening work required. Award rates.

Selection criteria are points against which applicants are assessed to determine their suitability for a job. 

These points summarise the knowledge and skills needed to perform the role. They are derived from the position description and summarise the specific knowledge and skills that applicants need to perform the role. Applicants respond to each criterion with an example of their experience in that area.

These criteria can then become the structure of your interview, as you can base your questions and discussion around each candidate's individual criteria response.

Example selection criteria:

  • An excellent telephone manner and good interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to quality client service
  • An ability to relate to people from diverse backgrounds and cultures
  • Experience in a reception/office environment
  • Ability to organise and prioritise workloads
  • Excellent word processing, data entry and Internet search skills.

Use our template to identify the essential and desirable specifications for the job. Use the job description as the basis for what you need.

Pick out the key responsibilities from the job description and group similar ones together e.g. administrative duties, those involving communication.

Specify the skills and abilities in job-related terms and identify the level required in terms of quantity or quality, for example:

  • Ability to type accurately at a speed of 35 wpm
  • Able to identify routine maintenance problems and recommend appropriate remedies

Identify any experience required to carry out the duties - keeping in mind other experiences can be as valuable as that gained through paid work. For example travel, hobbies, or community activities.

Person specification template

  Essential Desirable
Qualifications    
Knowledge    
Skills/abilities/competencies    
Experience    
Personal attributes    

Careers consultants can offer further

advice and information