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Last week, the upmarket food superstore chain Waitrose (part of the John Lewis Partnership group) released its’ list of kitchen essentials ahead of students heading back to university or going there for the first time. The chain revealed that its’ ‘starter kit for the fledgling cook about to fly the nest’ contained the following items:
Organic tamari soya sauce (£3.15)
Rose harissa paste (£4.35)
Organic cyder vinegar (£1.70)
Swiss vegetable bouillon powder (£2)
Organic Italian seasoning (£1.89)
The ingredients were selected to help the students make stir-fries, soups and marinades. However, this list was met with ridicule on social media when it featured in the Waitrose monthly magazine. The ingredients were mocked due to the price of the items and the sophisticated nature of them as well. It was felt that with expensive tuition fees being applicable in England along with high rental costs in housing for certain universities that these ingredients were unnecessarily expensive compared to the usual student diet stables of instant noodles and beans on toast.
However, there were a number of defenders of the list too on social media with quite few people saying that the ingredients were great for those students really interested in cooking and making their meals from scratch. You can read the full article here
This article got me thinking though about how this list of ingredients was viewed in 2 completely different ways with neither view being right or wrong and how the attributes of a candidate can also be viewed in the same way when they apply for a role. Some organisations might love the skill sets that you have to offer whereas another business in the same sector mightn’t value those attributes quite as highly. Your individual ability hasn’t changed so it entirely depends on the view point of the hiring organisation and what their needs are at that moment and what their organisational culture is like. Getting the right balance between what is needed and what is on offer is crucial for the candidate and the client alike. If the situation favours one party more than the other then in our experience that situation is going to be short lived.
As we’re seeing a skills shortage in a number of key industry sectors, we’ve had more clients becoming more flexible in their list of requirements for a role. We are experiencing clients placing more emphasis on the candidate’s attitude towards the vacant role than previously. That’s not to say that the requirements for skill sets or experience has diminished but rather this being balanced alongside the candidate’s attitude. This more rounded view of the candidate offers good news for those industries that are experiencing skill shortages in critical areas.