How To Screen Potential Employees

Yes, doing well at a job interview is hard. That’s a given. But screening potential employees is also quite a challenge. It’s very hard to judge whether a candidate is the best one to fill the position, and to some degree, the success of a company can be determined by how good the recruiting officer was. If you have been given the task of screening potential employees, here are some tips to help you out:  

1. Review the resumes thoroughly. Before you browse through the resumes, you should create a profile of the employees that you would like to hire. What educational background and training should he have acquired? What previous job experiences and acquired skills are needed for the job that you want to fill out? Also write down a list of key words and skills that you are looking for in an employee. Once you’ve created this profile, you would have a sound framework against which you would compare the different resumes you will read.

You should also check his resume for how long he tends to stay within an organization, and whether there are significant employment gaps in his career history. You may want to inquire about these points during the actual job interview.

Make sure that you do background checks to see whether the information on the applicants’ resumes are factual.

2. Look up the applicant’s name on the Internet. This is a safeguard for you to know if the applicant has any unsavory history behind him. If some of his blogs or social networking pages appear, these will give you some clue as to the type of person that he is.

3. Hold a telephone interview. As first screening, you could opt to simply hold a telephone interview, to maximize both your time and the applicant’s. Ask basic questions such as why he applied for the position, what his skills are that would qualify him for the position, and what he could contribute to the company.

4. Hold a one-on-one interview. Once you’ve held a telephone interview, schedule a one-on-one interview for those who passed. This should be the time that you ask for more in-depth questions that will let the aspiring job candidate to display his skills and know-how. You could ask behavioral, “what-if” questions to help you find out his characteristics as an employee as well as his ability to make sound and ethical decisions.

If writing skills are important to the position that he is aspiring to fill up, you could give timed writing assessments that will help demonstrate his writing abilities. Again, it’s important that you determine the specific skill sets that you are looking for, and design tests that could help you determine his skill level.

Another aspect you should look out for is his non-verbal communication during the interview. Does he look honest and open? Does he look shifty and suspicious? Remember, it’s very important for your company that you hire somebody trustworthy, and the non-verbal cues each applicant displays will speak volumes about this matter.

5. Conduct psychological testing. Psychological testing during job application is in fact looked upon with disfavor since it is potentially an unfair and discriminatory testing practice. However, more and more companies are reverting to conducting psychological testing to potential employees, since this is one of the most reliable indicators of an employee’s performance. Check out the regulations for conducting these kinds of tests for preemployment at your area.

There you have it! These are just some of the ways to screen potential employees. Though it may be very challenging to pick out the best employee for the job, be encouraged by the fact that there are so many tools available to make your own job easier. Good luck, and hope this helped you out!


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