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4 Tips for Improving Your Screening Process When Hiring New Candidates

Hiring is always a challenge, even for the most established businesses. From finding someone with the right skill set to figuring out if they’re a good match for your company culture, your employment screening process can have a huge effect on whether hiring is successful or not.

Whether you’re a newly minted startup or a seasoned entrepreneur, these 4 tips can help you improve your screening process for hiring new employees:

1. Carefully Review Their Application

It’s easy to assume that if someone applied, they’re qualified for the job. However, applicants often submit their resume for positions that they may not be 100 percent qualified for.

And, a lot of the time, that’s a good thing because many aspects of a job can be easily taught. However, usually there are certain requirements that are critical to performing the basic duties of the position. That’s why it’s essential that you carefully review their application to determine whether they have the skills you need.

If you fail to do so and wait to find out that they’re missing a critical skill during the interview, you’ve wasted both your time and theirs. In addition to the job application, resume, and cover letter, you may want to dig into their social media, specifically LinkedIn.

This can provide you with some more insight into their skill set and previous job experiences. Check out the recommendations section, too. They might have received a glowing recommendation from a former employer that will set them apart.

2. Run a Background Check

Many businesses use employment screening solutions to provide them with peace of mind when making their hiring decisions. Depending on the position you may want to do both a background check and a credit check (especially if they’re going to be dealing with finances).

A background check can help you verify that they are who they say they are, have the experience they’ve listed, and are not a high-risk hire as far as criminal history goes. As for a credit check, it basically gives you insight into how they have managed their personal finances including whether they have any delinquent accounts and their credit history.

If you do decide to perform background checks when hiring new candidates, make sure you get their permission.

3. Ask the Right Questions

If you feel that an applicant meets the general qualifications and seem like a good fit on paper, bring them in for an interview. But first, make sure you’re prepared.

You should have a set of questions you plan to ask that are tailored to the position. Sometimes generic interview questions can miss the mark so make sure you put some thought into them. Here are a few examples to get you started:

  • What attracted you to this position?
  • What skills do you have that you think would help you excel in this position?
  • Why do you think you’re a good fit for this company?
  • What type of work environment do you prefer?
  • How would you handle ____ situation? (make sure it’s something they would realistically run into in this position)

Keep in mind that pre-screening questions like when they could potentially start, their salary expectations, and the like should be asked during a quick interview or on the application before you take the time to bring them in. It’s an easy way to weed out individuals who are not a good fit in the most basic sense.

Keep in mind that you started your business, so you’re the only one who can know exactly what you need.

Evaluate Job Candidates

4. Perform an Evaluation

Finally, having serious candidates complete some type of evaluation, whether it be pertaining to the skill set required for the position or a personality test, can help you make your decision. Pre-employment tests can be a powerful tool in narrowing down your pool of candidates, especially for a technical job where the skill set is very specific.

And, they can provide important insight. There are personality tests that can tell you how good of a match an individual is for position or a particular work environment.

To make sure that your hiring process is fair, make sure you administer the same test to everyone you’re considering for the position. Or at least those who make it to the second round of interviews.

Starting with these 4 tips, you can vastly improve your screening process when you’re considering new candidates for hire. While you might have to make a small investment up front, the pay off will be invaluable in the long run since you’ll feel confident that you’ve picked the very best fit to help take your company to the next level.

3 thoughts on “4 Tips for Improving Your Screening Process When Hiring New Candidates”

  1. I always treated the application as perfunctory and focused on the resume. Then I missed some information on the application about prior arrests. Let me tell you, I paid much closer attention after that. Good list, Christy.

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