5 Ways to Hire Good Employees and Weed Out Unqualified Applicants

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How to Hire Good Employees: Save Time During the Hiring Process by Spotting Red Flags Early

Today’s job market is very tough; there are many more job hunters than available jobs. The good news for businesses is that it’s a buyer’s market. But at the same time, it can be overwhelming to sift through a mountain of resumes flooding your inbox or the resume repository. That’s why you need to have an eagle eye for scoping out the best candidates. Here are some things to look for when embarking on your employee selection process:

1. Quality Cover Letter

A quality cover letter can tell you a lot about the person who wrote it.

If there are grammar or spelling errors, it shows a lack of attention to detail. Everything comes with spellcheck these days, and if a candidate won’t put the necessary time and effort into applying for the job, it’s a fair bet he/she won’t be any better if hired. Also, make sure the letter highlights experience and credentials that are specific to the position. Did it indicate why they want the position and why they would be a good fit for it specifically? By including this information, it shows they are genuinely interested and they did not come up with a generic letter they’ve also sent out to 50 other employers.

Also, is the letter is addressed to the proper contact? If the applicant has taken the time to research and learn the hiring manager’s name then that’s a good sign that you have a candidate who is detail-oriented and will go the extra mile, compared to the people using “To Whom This May Concern.” Finally, if issues are obvious on their resume, it should be addressed in the letter. For example, if there are gaps between jobs they should mention why.

2. Strong Phone Interview

When setting up the interview, do they seem enthusiastic about being selected? If not, then they are probably not too interested in the position.

How did they answer the phone? Is their tone of voice appropriate? We’re not saying candidates should do cartwheels just because you called, but if applicants don’t even bother to turn the TV down when you call them or thank you for the opportunity to interview, that could be a red flag.

3. Professional Resume

A resume that rises above the crowd should have a professional, consistent and organized format. Although the exact number of pages will depend on the industry and specific position, it should be concise and to the point. Look to see if they highlighted accomplishments as opposed to duties. If there are gaps between jobs or education that can’t be readily explained, this could indicate a lack of stability.

4. Outstanding Job Interview

The job interview is where you can really discover that outstanding candidate.

If they’re asking probing and insightful questions of you, that means they’ve likely taken the time to do some research about the company. If so, this indicates they went above and beyond other candidates. They should be aware of the company’s vision or mission statement and have some knowledge of the products and services. Are they familiar with names of the senior management and competitors? When they talk about their strengths, make sure they’re giving you specific examples. Did any of their previous accomplishments save a company time or money?

If everything else is equal between candidates, look for the one who goes the extra mile by sending a “thank you” email, or even better, a handwritten card. It shows they are interested and value your time. Sometimes it’s all about the little things.

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