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Don't Underestimate Inter-Personal Attributes When Scoping A New Role

Often when creating a job description and identifying the ideal candidate we can rely too much on qualifications and previous proven experience. Past performance is no guarantee of future success so looking at the inter-personal attributes that a role may require is often very helpful.

For example, if your business is looking to open a sales office in France, then there are some qualifications and prerequisites that may be helpful in defining the role. For example, the successful candidate will need to speak French, and probably business French. They will need some sales experience and ideally some knowledge of the culture of selling in France.

These skills, however, can be taught. People learn foreign languages and can be extensively trained in the art of sales.

Inter-personal attributes, however, are more difficult to teach. For example, opening a new office in a foreign country will require certain character attributes. The role will require someone who can work on their own, who can overcome problems, who can adapt to a new culture, and who may be naturally gregarious and outgoing. They will need to be resilient and show initiative and will need to work well with their new customers and new team members that they will probably hire.

They need to respect and work within local business rules - both legally and also adhering to cultural norms. They will need to enjoy the challenge of a new environment. They may need to enjoy and be good at business networking. They need to make friends easily and to be confident when walking into a room of strangers. They will need to be good listeners and to be able to adapt their approaches when previously tried and tested homegrown techniques don't work as well as expected abroad.

So, next time you are considering creating a new role in your organisation, don't limit yourself to thinking about the qualifications and pre-requisite experience of potential candidates. Sometimes, the inter-personal attributes of the successful candidate are the most important.

At Jackie Kerr Recruitment, we help your company to grow over the long-term by helping you to hire talented individuals who will not only meet an immediate need but will develop their skills within your organisation offering you greater value over time.

To discuss the scoping of a new role, call us for a chat on 01793 762026 or email Jackie and her team at:


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