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Top Tips for Recruiting the Best Candidates

Tuesday, March 03, 2009
By Anne Kramer

The task of hiring a new employee can be time consuming, with the inundation of resumes and the time spent interviewing countless applicants. Now, with even more people looking for employment, the job of sorting through all those resumes can seem endless. With some planning, however, it is easy to find the best candidates and ensure that you are hiring from the deep end of the applicant pool.

Building a Candidate Base
It is easy to build interest in your company before a vacancy even exists. Effective networking can yield a pool of applicants who are highly motivated and have working knowledge of the industry.
  • Emphasize the value of employee referrals. Often employees have contacts in the industry through previous employers, or they have family and friends who may be well suited to a position.

  • Encourage employees to participate in relevant professional organizations, where they can network with others who work to stay current in their industry.

  • Keep in touch with former applicants. While they may not have been the best fit for the last vacancy, they may have the perfect qualifications for a future vacancy.
Preparing to Solicit Candidates
Before advertising a vacancy, it is important to decide what kind of employee would best fit the position. This process will help narrow down which applicants have the relevant experience and attributes.
  • Review the job description for the position, and clearly define responsibilities. The job description should delineate all duties and expectations.

  • Include people who will supervise or report to the new employee. They may know about “unofficial” duties that the position entails, and can provide insight about what they need and expect from a future co-worker.

  • Make a list of the five most important personality traits that the ideal candidate will possess. Include a list of these characteristics, along with the job description, in any posting for applicants.
Screening Resumes
Wading through a torrent of resumes can be sheer drudgery, but streamlining the process is relatively simple.
  • Evaluate how much effort the candidate has put into customizing the resume for your position. Reject those that have not bothered to tailor their career objective.

  • Skim each resume for the relevant experience the position requires. Eliminate those candidates who clearly do not demonstrate those skills.

  • Use the list of key responsibilities and traits created for the position. Look for these key words in applicants’ resumes.
Conducting an Effective Interview
The interview offers a valuable opportunity to determine not only how well someone is qualified to do a job, but also how well someone will fit into your corporate culture.
  • Use a team interviewing approach. This allows an opportunity to see how a potential employee will interact with different personalities. Furthermore, multiple perspectives on a candidate can be beneficial.

  • Be sure that everyone on the interview team is familiar with each candidate’s resume. That way time won’t be wasted reviewing basic biographical information.

  • Look for signs that the candidate has thoroughly prepared for the interview. A candidate with specific questions about company procedures or culture has probably done research and is still genuinely interested in the position. A candidate with no questions may not be proactive or interested.
By effectively utilizing existing employees’ resources, carefully designing a job description, and efficiently screening applicants, employers can both streamline the hiring process and improve the quality of their applicants.

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