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Changing essential criteria

(10 Posts)
zubin Thu 26-May-11 19:50:25

We are going through a restructure at work and there are some positions available to certain internal applicants that are in effect a promotion.
The job descriptions and person specs came out listing essential/desirable criteria - one of them related to length of experience and one of the candidates who the roles are open to didn't meet that criteria.
She raised this with hr who then changed the criteria removing the years in terms of length of experience and just including the experience. Can they do this? It feels like the criteria has been changed so this particular person can meet it and that decisions have clearly already been made.

magicmummy1 Thu 26-May-11 20:55:29

It's potentially discriminatory to specify a number of years experience. Maybe she pointed this out, and that's why they changed it!

flowery Thu 26-May-11 21:12:48

She was absolutely right to challenge it and they were right to change it. Outdated and potentially discriminatory to have x number of years experience as being mandatory. Someone can sit in the job for 20 years and be rubbish or have only a year or two experience and be very talented and high-performing. 'Essential' criteria should be able the kind of experience/s gained, not how long the person took to gain that experience.

flowery Thu 26-May-11 21:13:21

should be about the kind of experience/s

HarrietJones Thu 26-May-11 21:16:31

Does that mean a Job couldn't specify 'nvq or 5 years p/t experience or 3 years f/t'? That comes up regularly on council jobs

magicmummy1 Thu 26-May-11 21:31:55

Certainly wouldn't get past our HR department, Harriet.

flowery Thu 26-May-11 23:03:19

Seriously, they ask for two years more experience doing the job if you happen to work part time?! Good lord, is this the seventies?

It should be about what experience you have, not how long it took you to gain that experience. Yes it's more likely someone doing the job longer will have all the different experiences needed, but it's both potentially discriminatory as well as bad business sense to specifically exclude people because they haven't been doing the job the requisite number of years. So much potential talent lost!

HarrietJones Fri 27-May-11 07:47:23

Yeah, county council too so not exactly small , though I have queried a few things with them ...

zubin Fri 27-May-11 17:50:41

I did think this may be the case but it wasnt actually queried on the basis of age discrimination (candidate is older) but that she didn't meet the criteria - i was just wondering if they were opening up to a load of challenges if this particular candidate was appointed over others 'she only got the job because you changed the essential criteria she didn't meet' type thing!

flowery Fri 27-May-11 19:22:28

Well yes people probably will moan. But having set silly criteria in the first place they would get people moaning either way really. If this woman is better than the other candidates she should get the job. If she isn't, she shouldn't. Simples. If she gets the job it won't be because the criteria were changed, it will be because she is the best candidate.

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