Selection / Selection Criteria

Defining Selection Criteria

Last updated: January 3, 2019

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Defining selection criteria

When you’re trying to decide who to hire, you’ll use pre-defined selection criteria to help identify candidates you want to short list and interview. Basically, by using selection criteria you are comparing apples to apples rather than apples to oranges!

Selection criteria are the knowledge, abilities, skills and personal attributes that are required for someone to be able to perform on the job. They provide a standardized framework and reference point for evaluating candidates, making it much easier to select the most highly qualified.

Remember that selection criteria are different from “must-have qualifications” like having a degree in education, being certified to teach in BC, or having additional post-secondary training in a specialized field. You will include these qualifications and education requirements in your job posting along with some or all of the selection criteria you’ve defined . One example of a selection criterion would be evidence that the candidate uses multiple instructional approaches tailored to different learning styles.

Selection criteria are important from a legal perspective, too. Having selection criteria ensures that your hiring practices are compliant with human rights legislation. When you evaluate every candidate for a position using the same criteria, you are judging them methodically and consistently on their job-related skills, knowledge and attitudes – and not according to your gut feeling or other factors that are irrelevant to job performance.

Examples of selection criteria

Selection criteria are often worded in such a way that they finish the sentence “The candidate demonstrates evidence of…”

Some examples include:

  • The candidate demonstrates evidence of creating a welcoming environment that is respectful of diverse ethnic, religious, linguistic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds.
  • The candidate demonstrates evidence of the ability to instruct logical and sequential lessons that relate to curriculum frameworks, including personalized learning, technology in education, alternative education and special education as it applies to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students.
  • The candidate demonstrates evidence of active and patient listening skills, and understanding the communication of others.

Three steps to defining selection criteria

1. Identify what criteria a job seeker needs to show to meet the responsibilities of the job.

2. For each selection criterion, identify what behaviours a high-performing person in this position would demonstrate. You can group these criteria according to the various elements of the job description. So, for example, you might have criteria for curriculum, assessment, communication skills, classroom management, etc.

3. Be realistic about the number of selection criteria you develop and list them in priority order.

Need help building selection criteria for a specific position? Connect with us!

Linking Selection Criteria to Behavioural Interview Questions

You may be able to find out if the candidate meets the selection criteria when you review their application. However, it’s at the interview stage where you can really explore how well the candidate meets the selection criteria. Linking your interview questions to your criteria will help you uncover this information.

Here’s an example:

Selection criteria

Creating a welcoming environment that is respectful of diverse ethnic, religious, linguistic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds.

Behavioural questions

  • Please describe your first day in your classroom teaching on your own. Tell us more about the steps you took to establish rapport with the students.
  • Tell us about a difficult classroom management issue you were faced with. Describe what the issue was and how you dealt with it.

What’s next

You’ll be using selection criteria when you screen the applications and shortlist candidates. You’ll also use these criteria to develop your interview questions, during the interview and when you are selecting the candidate for the position.