When the job you’re hiring for gets hundreds of applicants, it’s important to know what to look for in a resume to find qualified candidates to interview.
Having a thoughtful, organized way of sorting through resumes and mapping out your needs is an essential step in the hiring process that will save you tons of time in the long run. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you could spend countless hours interviewing candidates that are not a good fit for you and your company.
Focus on the following proven criteria when vetting potential candidates’ resumes – it will make the interview process far less of a headache!
Decide On Salary Range
There are many factors besides salary that will determine whether or not a potential candidate is a good fit, but having a reasonable idea of expectations will make it easier to set up interviews. It can be taboo to discuss previous salary with interviewees and asking about “expectations” can sully relationships with potentially great hires. Rather, try to have an idea of the market and the general range that a person in a particular position might earn. This way, if you stick within that range, you wont run the risk of offending candidates or begin the process of interviewing someone you cannot afford.
Check Candidates Out On Social Media
When reviewing a candidate’s public social media account, make sure to have things you are looking for in mind. Seek out indications of positive traits like creativity of posts, good feedback, and evidence of past achievements. These will help you get a better picture of the person you might be working with. On the other hand, make sure to also take note of red flags like discriminatory posts, inappropriate comments, or poor communication skills.
Look Into Personality And Core Values
If you can somehow get a glimpse of a candidate’s core values, you will have an idea of how well they will fit into your company culture and into the position itself. Social media, resumes, and cover letters are a great place to look for indications of a candidate’s core values. Finding out what is most important to a potential employee and the values that they are committed to is important since certain things are non-negotiable.
Try Going Digital
Printed versions of resumes are great, but digital copies can really help you speed through the vetting process by making it easier to sort and scan text. With digital copies of resumes, you can search for qualification keywords that are essential to the position you are trying to fill.
More and more candidates accept this new technological reality, so they make criteria easier to search.
This technique isn’t without its drawbacks however, since certain key terms may be phrased differently, so make sure to try out a few variations of the same keywords as to not miss potentially great hires.
Set Must-Haves And Deal-Breakers
Create a list of deal-breaking criteria and start there, this might include needing candidates to be flexible with work hours, open to travel, and/or have a particular certification. Decide what you are and aren’t willing to invest in and remove any resumes that do not meet your criteria.
Don’t Stop Searching Until You Hire!
Many of the candidates you extend offers to may decline, negotiate, and/or turn out to not be a good fit during due diligence. So make sure you keep reviewing resumes even as the interview process begins.
Be Open To Change
After asking questions and going through the interview process a few times, you might begin to get an even clearer picture of your needs. As you get revelations throughout the interview process, use this new information to refine your search and perhaps even go back over discarded resumes if it is fitting.
A final piece of advice…
Let It Go!
Believe it or not, intuition takes practice, so it is inevitable that you will bypass potentially amazing candidates simply because their resume writing skills are not up to snuff. Let it go – this is all part of getting better at hiring – embrace the process and learn from your mistakes.
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day running of your business, hiring only as you go or as needs arise, but if you plan for not only what you need today, but what your business will need in the future, you will be able to vet potential candidates more accurately and hire employees that will fit with your company and complement its culture as you grow.
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send us an email, and my team will get in touch with you!