Seniority: is it a useful hiring tool?

In some workplaces, seniority is a key factor in hiring. And in some places, it's the ONLY factor in hiring. Is it time for that to change?
Should seniority be a primary requirement for hiring teachers, or anyone else? (AP Photo/The Press of Atlantic City, Michael Ein)

This week, Christopher Alcantarawrote about some of the oddities of seniority when it comes to teachers in Ontario. Oddities like the many steps you have to take to get a job, and the fact that if you move school districts, you lose your seniority and have to take those steps all over again.  

"Experience is important, no question...but seniority is not a proxy for experience- Christopher Alcantara

When we spoke to him, he also questioned the utility of seniority as a hiring tool: "Experience is important, no question...but seniority is not a proxy for experience. You can have bad experience, I can have 20 years of awful, awful, awful teaching experience, or I can have 20 years of really great teaching experience, but that isn't recognized in this process."

We're going to dig into the issue of seniority more in the coming weeks, and we'd like to hear from you. Is seniority a good way to hire teachers, or any profession? And where does merit fit in when accumulated service is a trump card? 

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