Identifying Talent: How to Screen Job Applicants Before Interview

Identifying Talent: How to Screen Job Applicants Before The Interview

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You’ve created and implemented an effective advertising strategy to attract great candidates for your company’s open positions…Now what?

It’s time to review those resumes. You should already have a written profile identifying the characteristics of a person who would be well-suited for the position you are needing to fill. In addition, a written job description should be available for the interview. The goal is to determine how closely each candidate’s qualifications, experience, and interests align with the nature of the job and its requirements.

  1. Before the Call
    Prior to the telephone screening, it is important to rank the resumes. Use a simple system; for instance, place resumes in stacks of “A, B, or C” applicants. In the car wash industry, an example of a criterion is anything that points to athleticism—either a physically demanding job or physical activities done during off time. A second criterion might depend on whether you are trying to fill a management or customer service position. Other examples of criterion for management are to look for any type of supervisory experience. For a customer service attendant, look for little job jumping.

    “A” candidates meet all criteria. “B” candidates meet a majority of the criteria. “C” candidates do not meet any criterion. Take a deeper look at resumes in the C stack for anything outstanding that would move them to the B pile. Then begin calling, starting with your A list and moving to B. You should have screened out approximately half of the initial resumes received (the C pile).

  2. Making the Call
    Telephone screening should further reduce your list by about 50 percent. On the first screening call, explain the job and share everything that is great about the company. For example, in the car wash industry, nearly all managers have been promoted from within, regardless of their education level, and they make a very good income. This attracts people who want to move up. This is not a dead-end job!

    The second part of the call will be used to gather information to determine whether or not you want to set up an in-person interview with the applicant. You will need to ask a few qualifying questions. This might include:

    • Work schedule availability
    • Reliable transportation to the job location
    • Enjoyment of physical activity and working out in the elements

    Follow the same script for each candidate you call. After confirming the candidate’s availability, interest, and reliability, discuss expectations, such as completing training and the pay scale, including bonuses and opportunities for advancement.

  3. Next Steps
    If, at any time, you decide the applicant is not a good match for the position, or you learn other disqualifying information, tell them you will call them back if you wish to schedule an interview. If, however, you feel the person is a good candidate for the job, book an interview according to the interview schedule you have established. After you set up an interview, be sure follow up by emailing a confirmation of the date and time, and provide directions to the interview site, including helpful information like where to park. Also let the applicant know who they will be interviewing with and how long the interview will last.

    Some companies also have a short behavioral survey that they want prospective employees to complete either before the first interview or before a second interview.

    Especially for customer service positions, do not be surprised if only 50 percent show up to the in-person interview. This is normal in the car wash industry. Approximately half of the candidates will be screened out at every stage of the hiring process. For example, if 60 resumes are received, you will screen out 30. Of the 30 remaining to be called, you will offer in-person interviews to about 15. Of those 15, eight may show up to the interview. Actual hires may be two or three people. This is normal for a large group of prospective candidates and is necessary to ultimately determine the best people for the job.

Contact us today to learn more about implementing a recruiting process to help make a difference in your response rate. (239) 334-1050