Looking Beyond the Resume to Find Your Next Hire
A resume is an important tool in hiring new employees, but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Immediately screening out applicants based solely on the skills and experience listed on a resume makes you vulnerable to candidates who either over exaggerate or under sell their abilities. Even if a resume honestly reflects a candidate’s qualifications, it can’t tell you whether the person will be a good fit with your work culture or have the drive needed to grow with your company.
As Hawaii continues to face a challenging hiring market, learning to spot candidate potential may be the secret to improving the quality of your hires. Here are a few methods you can add to your screening process to help see beyond the resume and find desirable candidates.
Evaluate the cover letter
One of the first things you should review before completely dismissing an application is the candidate’s cover letter. Look for signs that the candidate took the time to create a personalized and interesting letter instead of spewing boilerplate sentences. Someone who takes the initiative to craft a memorable letter is likely very interested in working for your company and this type of candidate is worth a second look.
If you’re concerned about the accuracy of information listed on a resume or question whether the candidate has the right personality for the job, talk to his/her references. Ensure that you are utilizing these conversations to their full potential by asking the right questions. Beyond skills and experience, think about the qualities that are important to your work culture and use that as a guide. For instance, if your company culture is loud and enthusiastic, ask about the candidate’s energy level, sense of humor, and drive.
Conduct peer interviews
Ask the candidate to come in and meet with a couple of your current employees. This is a relatively easy method for evaluating whether or not a candidate has the right personality to mesh with your company culture. Your staff has a unique perspective on what it takes to succeed at your company and their feedback is valuable when evaluating a candidate’s fit. Learn more about conducting peer interviews here.
Screening candidates is a lot of work and there’s no doubt that it’s easier to take a resume at face value and just be done with it. However, hiring strategically means taking the time to look beyond the resume and remembering that the best employee has more than just a nice list of skills and experience.