There are many benefits of writing good job descriptions. At the top is the ability to attract high quality, highly qualified candidates.
As the applications begin to roll in, you will have one thing on your mind: finding the perfect person for the open position. While this sounds simple enough, especially if you have a large pool of applicants to choose from, there is a lot that goes into the process.
Here is something to consider: there will come a point when you need to separate the top candidates from the rest of the pack. This is the only way you can move forward in an efficient, clear, and concise manner.
The problem with this strategy is that it can be difficult to separate the “pretenders” from the “contenders.” If you have faced this problem in the past, if you are concerned that it will continue to hold you back in the future, the following tips will come in handy.
The 6 Things you should do
You have the right to approach the application and hiring process however you best see fit. When it comes to separating the top candidates from the pack, here are six of the best ways of doing so:
1. Cover Letter Review
It all starts with the cover letter. Is it fun to read through hundreds of these? Absolutely not. Is it something you need to do in order to find the best candidates for the job. Absolutely.
As you read through each cover letter, make note of what you do and do not like. Does the writing style of one applicant stand out above the crowd? This person should move to the top of your list. Is another cover letter littered with grammatical errors? It is safe to assume that this applicant can be removed from consideration.
Tip: don’t attempt to read too many cover letters in one sitting. You can only process so much information at a time, so you need to give yourself a rest every now and again. This is the only way to ensure an accurate review process. Having a recruitment management system can help. If you would like to try one for free, click here.
2. Resume Review
It doesn’t matter if you are collecting resumes through a mobile portal or more traditional method, there will come a time when the only thing that matters is reviewing each resume in great detail.
As an experienced recruiter or HR professional, you will be able to quickly pick out any resumes that don’t fit the position or company. These should be moved aside. You will also be in position to pinpoint those that appear to be a good match.
When reading through resumes, just the same as cover letters, don’t hesitate to take notes. This will help you make more informed decisions later in the process.
3. Eliminate those who didn’t Follow Directions
If a person cannot follow the directions outlined in a job post, what are the chances he or she will do so if hired? When you have a lot of applications, you must look for unique ways to find the best of the best.
It may be hard to do, it may not seem fair, but if a person did not follow the directions outlined in the post, you are best off moving on. You only want to consider those who took the time to read and understand what is expected of them. This shows that they have a high level of attention to detail, which is something that will suit them well if hired.
4. Eliminate those who don’t Fit the Job Description
When you write a job description, it is important to be as detailed as possible. This is a good idea for two reasons:
- It helps attract qualified candidates.
- It helps potential hires understand what is expected of them.
As you review a cover letter and resume, do so with this one question in mind: does the candidate fit the job description? For example, if you are requesting people with a minimum of five years industry experience, the person should have this. If they don’t, they can be removed from contention. If they do, you can move onto the next step.
You don’t want to hire somebody who is unqualified for the position. This is only going to lead to trouble down the road.
5. Get Help
Imagine this situation: you are an HR professional hiring for a sales position. While you have the responsibility of writing the job description, collecting applicant information, and comparing resumes, you realize that your job will get harder as each step is completed.
It is important to get help when you need it the most. Sticking with the above example, you could ask the sales manager to help you sort through the applicants who you feel are best qualified.
Not only does this take some of the work off your plate, but you can be rest assured that adding another person to the equation will help you narrow your focus.
Tip: there is nothing wrong with asking multiple people for assistance, as long as you can remain organized along the way. The only thing you want to avoid is having “too many cooks in the kitchen.’
6. Phone Interview Process
If you make your way through the five steps above, there is one last thing you can do: contact your “first cut” to setup phone interviews.
This process takes a bit more time, but it will definitely lead you toward the candidates with the most to offer.
As noted in #5 above, don’t be afraid to get help with this step. You can take the point on the interview, but there is nothing wrong with having somebody else sit in. This can go a long way in getting a different perspective on each applicant.
Tip: don’t neglect to take notes as the interview is being conducted. The more people you speak with the more difficult it becomes to remember what he or she had to say.
It is your hopes that you receive interest from a variety of high level candidates. This may make it more difficult to decide who to hire, but it will also put you in position to bring the right person into the company at the right time.
If you are seeking a process for separating top candidates from the pack, the six methods above will provide the necessary guidance.
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