If your small business is at the stage of needing to find new employees then surely you are doing something right. It is a thrilling ride to get your business to the point of needing more manpower. If you have started the resumé gathering process or talked to a couple of people who are looking for work, you’ve probably noticed one thing in a hurry; this is harder than you thought. Knowing how to screen new hire candidates efficiently will make all the difference.
People vary as much as snowflakes. Take 10 people who are the same age, holding the same degree, held the same positions in their careers and even the in the same industry, and you will have 10 people who still seem to have little in common. When you factor in individuals, their experiences and personalities into the mix, things get dicey. What do you do when you screen new hire candidates? What can you do legally to protect your business?
To Screen New Hire Candidates, Look At The Timeline First
When the resume´s start to drift in like fresh morning snow, the names start to become a blur on the pages. It might be tempting to try and sort them by your preferences. Maybe you want an Ivy Leaguer, or someone who has worked at a well-branded company perhaps. You likely have your preconceived notions about all of the above, but before you start picking out desired names typed in the right places, stop and look the dates first.
We’re not talking about dates of graduation or anything that. We’re talking about longevity at each place of employment. While is is true that the average tenure of an employee has dwindled significantly over the last 10 years, there still should be a good amount of time on at least one job, more than 1.5 years.
While your ideal candidate from your alma mater may sound like a good find, reading the dates of employment can tell you a lot about them without picking up the phone. A resumé littered with jobs of tenures at no more than 12 months is a sign of trouble. There can be plenty of reasons why someone doesn’t stay at a job for more than a year but few of them are good.
As a small business, you have a precious amount of time and resources to spend on new hires. Do you really want to invest in someone who is going to be gone in less than a year? Time accrued in positions matters. Pay attention to this detail, especially if you are looking to fill a sales role.
Look At These Things Before You Call For An Interview
There are a few items to pay attention to on a resumé before you decide to give them a call and have them sit down with you in-person. First of all, knowing what to look for on the resumé besides relatable experience will help you waste less time trying to screen new hire candidates that are not going to be a good fit in the long run:
Look for accomplishments not titles: You will want to see a demonstration of what their employer gained for having them in their position more than what their job description was. If it is not noted on the resumé, make sure you ask. If they can’t list any accomplishments, you may want to move on to someone else.
Find forward progression in responsibility: A management title at a small firm vs. a big company is a huge difference. Don’t get sucked in by titles. Note what their responsibilities were and especially an advancement in responsibilities over time. This should give you some insight into trustworthiness and reliability to get the job done.
Pay attention to continued learning after college: Candidates that continue to put some effort into their learning in order to better themselves in their careers are definitely worth talking to. Anyone fixed on constant improvement is going to be a good asset to your company, especially if they are funding it on their own.
Some Things You Can’t Do When You Screen New Hire Candidates
There are some things that you cannot do when you set out to screen new hire candidates. For instance, you may not run a background check on them without their prior knowledge. Any candidate you screen for legal reasons needs to be notified and sign an acknowledgement before you do any fact checking.
In many states, running a credit check without permission from the new hire candidate is also illegal. Check with your state laws before you pay for background checking services.
Also, in some states, such as Massachusetts, you cannot ask about felonies after a certain timeframe. There are lots of reasons to keep up with employment laws in your state and also with the federal government. Not knowing ahead of time could land you in hot water.
HR Issues with how to screen new hire candidates can leave many small business owners leery of taking the step towards hiring new employees. It doesn’t have to be this way. PEO services are very instrumental in helping small business owners navigate the often rocky shores of HR laws in their state or the states they have employees in. If you need help with HR and want somewhere to turn to, PEO services may be what you need to screen new hire candidates and get them onboard with your company successfully.