For many business owners, hiring new employees is one of the best parts of the job. It’s a sure sign that your business is growing and expanding enough that you need to take on more people to delegate the workload too. When hiring, you might often have quite a lot of applicants, but there’s always a chance that they might not be a complete fit for the job requirements.
Pre-screening candidates is the best way to make sure that you shortlist only the ones who are the best fit for the job and go on to make your decision from there. There are a number of things that you can do right the way through the hiring process to eliminate as many unqualified applicants as possible and make sure that you’re choosing from candidates who are ideal.
1. Your Job Posting.
The first place to start is when you are posting the job vacancy. Along with being very descriptive as to what the job entails and what the requirements are, you should post vacancies on job sites where you can usually find applicants who are looking for that kind of position. Don’t just use general job sites; post to job boards that are exclusive to your industry too.
You can also use the job posting as a test to see which candidates pay attention to detail and how they follow instructions by asking for specific items in your job posting. For example, you might ask them to send both a resume and a cover letter; if you only get a resume, you know that a candidate isn’t really paying attention.
2. Create a Unique Application.
Rather than asking for just resumes, you might also want to create a unique application where you can ask candidates questions that you might not get the answers to from reading their resumes alone. This can be a great way to get further insight into applicants right from the start and help you determine which ones to ask for an interview or not.
In addition, you can also use the application to ask questions about work experience and educational history, so that you can compare them with that on the resume and make sure that they match up. Be sure to ask questions that you won’t often find on a resume, such as which days and hours they are available to work or how far they are willing to travel if applicable.
3. Reading Resumes.
Reading resumes is a common way to screen applicants and look for information that indicates they are a good fit for your vacancy. Typically, an applicant’s resume will include details of their previous job positions, reasons for leaving, qualifications, skills, and certifications that they have gained either in education or from work. But don’t just look at the content of the resume; you can also use it as a tool to find out more about the applicant’s professionalism, attention to detail, organization style, and even their writing skills if that’s applicable.
4. Social Media.
Social media is becoming an increasingly popular way to pre-screen job candidates, and unless a candidate has their profile completely locked down, you will usually be able to use it to find out quite a lot about them before you decide whether or not they will be a good fit for your company culture. Check popular social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to find more information on a candidate and double-check if the information that you have been provided by them so far is correct. You can also check how professional they are online and look out for any unsavory posts that might indicate that they’re not a great fit for your company, such as sharing racist memes or other content that could reflect badly on your business should you hire them.
However, be very careful when using social media as the information found can identify things about a candidate such as their race, age, religion, or gender which should never be taken into account when making a hiring decision.
5. Telephone Interview.
A telephone interview or pre-interview gives you an option to have a conversation with a potential new hire without having to set an hour aside in the office. A telephone or video call gives you a chance to speak to a candidate in person if their resume has stood out to you and allows you to get to know them a little and learn more about them before deciding whether or not to take the hiring process further.
You can also use this time to ask them any questions that you might not already have the answer to and find out what they already know about your company. If they have no idea what you sell, they probably didn’t do any research on your company before applying or accepting the interview, which isn’t a good sign.
6. Background Check.
You may want to run a background check on a candidate before inviting them for an in-person interview or at the end of the process after they have passed the interview and you’re ready to hire them providing that their background check comes back clear. Running a background check gives you a chance to verify the information that you have already been given about the candidate by themselves in their application or resume, such as qualifications and previous work experience.
You will also be able to check whether or not an applicant has a criminal record. If they have already made you aware of a criminal record in their history and you are willing to go ahead, a background check will allow you to double-check the record and make sure that they aren’t making it out to be less serious. You can use a background check company to get all this information and more; try One Source Background, which offers pre-employment checks allowing you to verify information and screen for workplace problems like sexual harassment claims too.
7. Face-to-Face Interview.
A face-to-face interview is usually the final step in the screening process before deciding whether or not a candidate is the right fit for the position. During the interview, you will have the chance to sit down and talk with the candidate about their work experience and any skills that they can bring to your company. You might decide to just hold a one-to-one interview or split it up into two stages where you interview a number of candidates together in a group, before interviewing them individually.
A group interview can be an effective choice if you want to be able to observe how the candidates work together as a team and which skills they can demonstrate in a team setting. Most group interviews are in the form of an exercise which is to be carried out in a certain amount of time and are designed to give potential employees the chance to show how they organize, coordinate, communicate, show initiative, and show leadership traits if needed. It can also help you determine which employees are going to be the best fit for the roles that you have available.
Finding the right employee for your business isn’t always easy when you have a sea of applications to go through. A strong pre-screening process will enable you to focus on the skills and experience that you need and choose somebody who fits right in.