Executive Recruitment | Belfast | Northern Ireland

Search and Selection of an MP. Round pegs for a square hole?

Friday, April 30th, 2010

In between the Political bickering it is good to know that the Politicians at least actually haven’t missed the number one issue facing our country. At the doors, on the streets and in the media the Politicians all talk about the economy, the need to grow the private sector and the need to reduce the dependency on the public sector in Northern Ireland.

People in business are at least pleased to hear that the economy, business, job and wealth creation is the priority for our Politicians in NI.

At Gilpin we daily assess people’s experience and achievements with a view to predicting future performance and success in a given role. So it seems natural to have a look at the frontrunners’ CV’s for the 18 constituencies across Northern Ireland and look at their past experience for the jobs they are effectively applying for.

The career histories over the last (approx.) 20 years of the favourites demonstrates little or no experience of business which, according to them after all, is the number one priority matter in Northern Ireland. In some constituencies the outcome is almost a forgone conclusion, but here is how the realistic favourites line up:

East Antrim: School Teacher

East Belfast: Political Activist ; Solicitor; Political Activist

East Londonderry: Company Employee

Fermanagh South Tyrone: Political Activist; Public servant

Foyle: Political Activist ; Political activist

Lagan Valley: Political activist

Mid Ulster: Political Activist

Newry & Armagh: Political activist

North Antrim: Barrister; Political Activist

North Belfast: Solicitor; Political Activist

North Down: Lecturer ; Political Activist

South Antrim: Retail business owner ; Religious minister

South Belfast: Medical Doctor ; Political Activist ; Civil Servant

South Down: Political Activist ; Political Activist

Strangford: Retail Business Owner ; Media Presenter

Upper Bann: Business Owner ; Entertainer

West Belfast: Political activist

West Tyrone: Political activist

The list demonstrates an alarming lack of direct experience in business. The term “Political activist” is a bit of a ‘catch-all’ for those who have made a career in Politics, lobbying groups or associated activities and seems to be the main career that leads to being a MP. This would be ok if these Political activists had a track record of success of developing policy and strategically managing the economy whilst being career Politicians, but their track records of failure on this front is evident to all.

Applicants for all jobs can display competencies and transferable skills which enables the predicting of behaviour and success in a future role.

Thankfully for the candidates the strict selection rules governing public appointments do not apply when seeking the role of MP. If they did and given the primary task facing our Politicians regarding the economy, it is amazing to think that the vast majority of the “favourite” candidates certainly wouldn’t attract a sideways glance from a headhunter, likely wouldn’t get an interview for the role never mind get appointed, and most would have had the wit not to apply in the first place!

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