As the economy revs back up after the recent recession, increasing numbers of candidates are jumping back into the job-search process. With an ever-growing pile of resumes before them, hiring managers need effective tools to sort through the clutter and select the most qualified candidates for open positions.
When facing a hiring decision, it’s important to note four main categories of information: Qualifications, Work History, Past Duties, and References. Each one provides key information and insight into the candidate, his or her past performance, and the likelihood that the candidate has the skills your organization needs. Let’s look at these four categories in more detail.
- Qualifications – Broadly speaking, “qualifications” are those skills or qualities in a candidate that will enable him or her to fulfill the essential functions of the job. This may include things such as education, certifications or licenses, and training in specific skills. Some qualifications are so indispensable that they create an immediate filter for consideration. For instance, a position that requires a professional license automatically disqualifies any applicant who does not possess the required license, no matter how outstanding the applicant may otherwise be. Other qualifications may be developed through a combination of education, experience, and on the job training.
- Work History – When examining a candidate’s work history, look both at what positions the candidate has held and during what dates. A resume that fails to list dates may be covering a considerable gap in employment. While not all gaps indicate an unsuitable candidate, no hiring manager should let a gap in employment go undiscussed in an interview. Candidates who can describe their time away from work constructively – by discussing soft skills they developed, classes they took, or other valuable abilities they gained – may demonstrate the kind of self-motivation and perseverance companies value.
- Past Duties – If work history covers the “where” and “when” of an applicant’s past work, the past duties listed should address the “what” and “how.” Top candidates’ resumes will frequently list not only what the applicant was responsible for in his or her past positions, but also what he or she achieved as a result of taking on the responsibilities. This information provides insight into whether the candidate has had experience with similar duties in the past and how he or she rose to the challenge.
- References – How people talk about themselves and how others talk about them are not always the same – which is the primary reason a hiring manager should never overlook references, even if the interview is promising. Both co-workers and supervisors can provide additional insight into the candidate’s job performance, personality, and fit into the culture of previous companies.
At Marquee Staffing, our experienced staffing partners can help you identify top candidates and evaluate them thoroughly. Contact us today to learn more!