Just like job descriptions guide the recruiting, interviewing and hiring process, selection criteria help human resources understand position-specific expectations. Because selection criteria focus on the outcome rather than the person, they also provide a fair and objective way to determine whether an applicant is a good fit for both the position and your business.

Qualifications versus Selection Criteria

If it seems your business consistently chooses the wrong applicant, it might be because you’re basing hiring decisions mainly on job-specific qualifications. While credentials, formal education and job-related experience are important, they may not be enough to help you choose the “perfect” candidate. Selection criteria include, but go further than job-related qualifications. They force you to consider non-job-specific skills, general knowledge, personal attributes and traits vital to successful performance and long-term employment.

General Skills and Knowledge

Although general skills and knowledge criteria aren’t directly related to a position, the University of Kansas Community Toolbox says they are vital for productivity and good performance. For example, a testable general skills and knowledge criteria may make it easier to attract, hire and retain the most qualified customer service candidate. The criteria would cover subjects such as effective oral and written communication skills, an ability to speak a foreign language, good organizational skills and familiarity with appropriate software programs.

Characteristics and Traits

Objective personal characteristics selection criteria can determine whether a candidate is a good fit for a company. For example, companies have used selection criteria to determine if a candidate fits a fast-paced and constantly changing business atmosphere or one where most of the people work in cubicles. Examples of characteristics selection criteria include initiative, a sense of humor, and the ability to work in a team-oriented environment with a range of people and personalities.

Special Considerations

You can also use selection criteria to evaluate current employees. In addition to superior job-specific performance, you can base work-from-home approval on selection criteria pertaining to work-related behaviors. These include motivation, dependability, good time management and prioritization skills and the ability to work efficiently without direct supervision.