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Failed to be shortlisted

  • 07-06-2022 6:57pm
    Registered Users Posts: 62 ✭✭ StrikingOut

    Today I failed to be shortlisted for a public service job I applied for because I don't have the required 20 years experience!! I do - I have 22 years experience in fact. Last year I placed no 2 on the panel for the same position/same organisation but I turned it down because the contract they offered was short term. The panel ended in March and the HR office emailed and rang me to make sure I applied for the new campaign as these were permanent contracts offered. I haven't replied to them yet because I'm a bit stumped. I'm currently working the same position in another public service. Is this unusual? Should I contact them?



  • Registered Users Posts: 156 ✭✭ mtb_sends

    Can I ask what position requires 20 years of experience? Never heard of that before.

  • Registered Users Posts: 62 ✭✭ StrikingOut

    Assistant Staff Officer. It actually stated on the email .

    "Due to the large volume of applications received we shortlisted applications based on the following criteria:-

    20+ years relevant administration experience"

  • Registered Users Posts: 156 ✭✭ mtb_sends

    Wow thats highly unusual. I suppose contacting them won't do any harm, but I couldn't see their stance changing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 62 ✭✭ StrikingOut

    It is, isn't it? Very odd but it's their perogative I suppose. I'll email them and see what they say.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,674 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble

    I guess they'll say that some of your experience wasn't relevant 😀

    Contact them in case it's an oversight. But don't get your hopes up.

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    "Criteria" is plural, so maybe you didn't meet one of the other requirements used for the shortlisting process.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,153 ✭✭✭✭ martingriff

    Just wondering were you working for the full 22 years or had you taken any term time/shorter working year/a career break.

  • Registered Users Posts: 62 ✭✭ StrikingOut

    Nope, full service bar mat leave which they would not know about or cannot count against me. It's just peculiar. It wasn't listed as a candidate requirement either on the job specification/advert. And the fact I was placed on a panel for the same position 15 months ago.

  • Registered Users Posts: 170 ✭✭ Shuffl_in

    I know that in any of the public service offices I've been in you'd be far better off with the newer admin staff than those there 20+ years! And that's not just knocking the older staff, though most of them got in with just a short interview and handshake. Most of the newer admin staff are really good - the competitive application process these days obviously plays a part.

  • Registered Users Posts: 448 ✭✭ AnRothar

    From what you posted in 3 above.

    Due to the large volume of applications received we shortlisted applications based on the following criteria:-

    20+ years relevant administration experience

    If there is a large volume of applicants some method of cutting the numbers must be used.

    So they may have decided to create a manageable shortlist they may have decided to increase the "minimum" beyond 22 .

    To simplify the drafting of the "reply" they may have just used the phrase 20+.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,332 ✭✭✭ The J Stands for Jay

    20+ implies they needed more than 20 years experience. It could be that they received many more applications for the permanent role, and took, say, the 10 qualifying applicants with the most experience for their shortlist. Could be the least experienced of these has 23 years experience

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,366 ✭✭✭ Flinty997

    Sounds like a typo. No one need s 20yrs experience, 2yrs+ would be reasonable.

  • Registered Users Posts: 448 ✭✭ AnRothar

    While 2+ may seem ideal to you in a situation where this low value may result in significant interest it makes sense to raise the minimum.

    In the OP they mention 20 as the minimum initially required. They state that they actually have 22 years experience.

    It would appear that the initial cut off was set too low at 20 years minimum so they seem to have increased the minimum to cut the numbers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,674 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble

    Agree that no clerical job needs that much experience.

    But then they have to find some other criteria to whittle down the list of 2000 applicants. What would you suggest?

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,366 ✭✭✭ Flinty997

    Actual qualifications like MOUS/ECDL

    Relevant experience. As the OP has working in the same area.

    Public sector experience, as its particularly bureaucratic and process driven.

    Maybe a language.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,674 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble

    So you've suggested pretty much the same criteria they used (experience) plus a qualification which most employers see as meaning "I can't use computers but tried really hard and learned to pass the test", and maybe a language (which is likely irrelevant to the job).


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,366 ✭✭✭ Flinty997

    Seems like you don't know the difference between experience and relevant experience.

    Also dismissive of technical skills, qualifications and languages.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,720 ✭✭✭✭ Donald Trump

    Why would a place want to hire someone who had 20+ years experience in an administrative role?

    Unless I am misunderstanding it. If someone has been stuck at that level for 20+ years, then it's hardly a good sign either?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,976 ✭✭✭ stargazer 68

    Everyone can't be shortlisted. There has to be some cut off.

    I have 100 applications for a post. 46 of those meet the mandatory criteria. No way are we interviewing 46 people for 1 job. So we have to cut again to 10. Just need to look at experience, where they work now etc and try to whittle it down.

    Had 2 applications recently from people who worked in the same place and probably did the same job. 1 was shortlisted and 1 wasn't. She obviously questioned why - simple answer your cv was rubbish! Polite answer you didnt have enough relevant information on your cv!

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,674 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble

    Likely because it's a role that doesn't offer much scope for progression, and they want someone stable, not someone who'll get bored and píss off as soon as they've learned the job.

    Think about things like HSE clinic reception jobs. There are a small army of people making appointments, managing the queue of patients who turn up, and making sure that the right files / materials are available for the health-professionals. It's not a job that's going to be automated any time soon, and there aren't that many progression opportunities. And often, long-term knowledge of the place / sector / people is really helpful. So long-service might be a really helpful characteristic.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,720 ✭✭✭✭ Donald Trump

    Well 5 years would probably show the same.

    The only advantage of looking for 20+ years that I can think of might be that it would decrease the chance that the person you hire might be heading off on maternity leave .............

  • Registered Users Posts: 286 ✭✭ retroactive

    Maybe it was the lack of ECDL. That stuff is essential these days.

    It was a 20+ year cut off. Maybe 22 was deemed not plus enough?

    Please invest in a good orthopedic keyboard and mouse, our USC shouldn't go to waste.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,366 ✭✭✭ Flinty997

    People slag off the ecdl for sure it's basic, easy and the lowest qualification you can get. But the standard of admin staff IT skills in basic Office applications is abysmal. I know how inefficient IT illiterate people are at admin tasks. If nothing else ecdl is whistle stop tour of what the apps are used for.

    In the last set of admin staff interviews I sat on about 30% of the applicant's had very good IT skills. But you had to drag it out of them what software they had used and to walk through problems they had solved or made more efficient using their IT skills. The question then is how to get that into your CV. Often a skills table is used. But rarely tested. If someone is vague in the interview you know they've made stuff up on the CV.

    That said the HR people filtering the CVs often have poor IT and/or admin skills themselves which doesn't help.

    Again most skills are perishable. So if you haven't done something in 10yrs it's unlikely something you've maintained at a good level. So I wonder how much of 20yrs+ is relevant.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,674 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble

    20+ years aren't in themselves relevant.

    They could use 5 years, and then a random number generator to whittle down the pool. But you probably wouldn't like that either.

    I think of ECDL as an anti-qualification: someone who has it had very little else that they were able for passing. It certainly doesn't test efficiency or even capability to do actual real world tasks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 821 ✭✭✭ Liberty_Bear

    20 years for an assistant staff officer? Thats in the county councils isnt it? Starting money is 27ka year, thats got to be a typo

    Big lad who likes big lads...:)

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,366 ✭✭✭ Flinty997

    If you are happy to use a random number generator its saying you don't really care about the quality of the candidates.

    Talking about efficiency or ability after that is a joke.

  • Registered Users Posts: 39 TuamJ

    Sounds about right. I know someone in that job for a long time. Close to 10 years I'd say and they were saying that they had passed 40K not too long ago when we were talking about local house prices. Counting back a starting salary of 27K would sound about right. Add on 8 or 9 years of increments are you over the 40K.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,854 ✭✭✭ Pissy Missy

    Someone being vague in an interview does not necessarily mean they've made stuff up on their cv, it could come down to them being nervous on the day, them not understanding what you're asking or the question being unclear and/or the mind going blank at that moment.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,674 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble

    In cases where there are hundreds, of applicants, then it's very likely that everyone who meets the minimum criteria (say 3 leaving cert subject passes, 5 years work experience in the area) will be able to do the job efficiently. (Or at least as efficiently as any employer who's paying 27k can rightfully expect!)

    It's totally not efficient to interview a hundred people.

    So there has to be some way to whittle down the pool after the minimum criteria has been applied.

    They don't need to get the best-possible-person. Just one who is good enough. Random assignment would be an extremely efficient way to whittle down the pool, to select a manageable number of people to interview (usually between 5 and 10). And use in-depth techniques like interview, workplace simulation, reference checking to choose the best one from that group.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,366 ✭✭✭ Flinty997

    That will look good when the media gets their hands on that audit.