Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Working around mandatory requirements….

Posted by sweens on December 10, 2009


I often come across candidates who suggest working around items in my job descriptions that are listed as Mandatory Requirements. I wish to offer some clarification to any individual who is interested in proceeding with a Government of Canada contract opportunity.

When you see a job description for a Government contract and there are mandatory requirements listed, they are exactly as they suggest. Mandatory! Unfortunately there is no way to get around them. Only candidates that meet those mandatory requirements will be deemed compliant. Most Government contracts are NOT like a private sector job description where employers will consider candidates who have most of the qualifications.

We often joke in the recruiting industry that job descriptions are like wish lists and give an idea of what an employer wants to see. Unfortunately with Government opportunities, job descriptions are most like a recipe. If you get away from the instructions, you will not end up with what you wanted.

Where there is some play with Government contracts is in the Rated Requirements. Candidates have to pass a minimum threshold (usually 60% or 70%) to be deemed compliant but they do not need to have exactly what is listed. This is usually used to weigh the skill set of one candidate against the skill set of another candidate who has similar work experiences.

So next time you see the term – mandatory requirements – take them as such! Do not get offended when a recruiter chooses not to work with you on an opportunity where you do not meet the mandatory requirements. We do not mean to challenge your experience, you simply would not be deemed compliant on that particular bid. That is just how Government contracting works.

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