Time and Employees: Selecting the Right Candidate

Apologies for missing the last couple of weeks. I had a pretty bad flu followed up by some travel. Last post on this topic was all about the job description and how to tell people about whom you would like to hire. From there, you will place an advertisement in an appropriate place. That itself is a bit of an art form as these things shift over time. Today, you might use say Dice but tomorrow maybe Monster is the place to recruit for a specific kind of position. I am not an expert in these things, but know people who are and consult with them when I need to. Here I want to focus on how to select the right person from the group that you have gotten resumes from. Importantly, you will probably have to pre-screen even those resumes into 3 piles. First are those that meet all your criteria, including the preferred criteria. Second, is the group that meets only the required parts of the job description. Third, are those that do not meet your minimum requirements. That latter pile is a definite no. I have had hiring managers who look at people out of that third pile and want to pursue them. Generally that means that we actually have an incorrect job description and we need to rework it. Once we have gotten past that, we are at the meat of the issue.

If you have more than one candidate in the first pile, then you can dismiss the second pile as well. If you are not sure if you have enough candidates then keep the second pile around until you are sure. Those first pile resumes will get a phone screen first. By this, you get a chance to talk to people for between 15 and 30 minutes to try to narrow the candidate field even further. You will likely be able to ask basic hard skill questions over the phone and then you will leave it to them to ask you some questions. This latter bit will be the most important. The questions that are asked will give you significant amount of information about the person and their motivation. This is especially true if you can give the person warning that you are going to call them. It gives the person time to take a second look at their submission and your company. If they have no questions, you have either done a great job in explaining everything about the position or the person has not taken the time to research you and your job offer.

Which leads to something that is probably not in the job description, but should be part of the phone screen. That is that you should provide some view to what will you will consider the candidate to have accomplished to be successful. This can be both quantitative and qualitative. One question that you should follow up with is how they react to the definition of success. You can then ask specific questions about how they might go about being successful. The absolutes of the answer is not as important as the thinking and any questions behind their answer. They are working with imperfect information and you are giving them a chance to frame a discussion with you. This is important for anyone that you would hire. Great way to take advantage of the time on the phone.

From there, we will stack rank the candidates and go to bringing people in for a face to face interview. That will be our topic next time.

Have a great day! Jim Sackman Focal Point Business Coaching Business Coaching, Executive Training, Sales Training, Marketing

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