Finding the perfect job candidate can take a lot of time, money, and other resources. You have to read resumes and cover letters, schedule interviews, and phone interviews, check references, negotiate salaries and benefits, and then make a decision. Most companies spend up to five months, hiring for just one position. During that time, other employees have to pick up the slack, which means they have less time for their own jobs, and they might burn out. Wouldn’t it be great to shorten that process? Here are some tips for cutting your resume screening time.
Write a clear job description
If you don’t craft a clear job description when you post the job, you’ll get applicants who aren’t good fits for the role. List the skills required to perform the job, along with desired levels of education and experience. You might include some of the responsibilities or what a typical day looks like. The more honest you are upfront, the more likely you are to get qualified, interested applicants.
Outline your criteria
Work with your team to outline which criteria are absolute must-haves and which would be nice to have but aren’t necessary. Think about how many years of experiences you’d like a candidate to have, their area of expertise, and whether they’re willing to travel and work certain hours. Are there certain licensures or certifications you need them to have? And don’t forget to include these details in the job post.
Test the candidates
Create a survey, questionnaire, or checklist that you can have all the candidates fill out to test their knowledge and skills before you even look at resumes. Make sure the questions will target the ideal skills and requirements. If you can, use an online, automated system that can quickly and easily score and order the top candidates. Include a time limit on the evaluation so the candidates can’t rely on Google for the answers.
Rank your results
As you scour resumes and examine the test results, put your candidates into three categories: Qualified, Borderline, and Unqualified. Let the Unqualified ones know they’re not right for your positions as soon as possible so they can pursue other opportunities. Then focus on the Qualified and Borderline applicants.
Plan your procedure
Once you have your test results, you only need to read the resumes for the Qualified candidates and bring in the ones you like for interviews. Or, you can conduct further preliminary screenings with phone interviews. If you still haven’t found the right person, go back to the Borderline group and examine their resumes.