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Are You Being Too Picky When Screening Resumes?
Think about it this way. If you’re not as beautiful as Tom Brady or Gisele Bündchen, and you look for a date who is perfect in the looks department, how likely do you think you are to find the prize? The fact is, unless you are either (A) rich or (B) famous, then you are (C) nothing extraordinarily special. For most of us, our companies are neither A nor B so we need to adjust our thinking.
I am not suggesting you lower your standards. I am simply asking you to look at more options. When screening resumes, take the time to speak to the many people who are interested in your average-looking self, so that you will have more chances to find that “dream date.” Anyone who has been single for any time knows that beggars can’t be choosers; they eventually realize they must expand their horizons to discover who is hiding among all those less-than-perfect people out there.
Write your job ads to attract as many people as possible. Stop excluding those so-called “ugly ducklings,” because you never know which one might become your beautiful swan someday. For most companies, hiring is just like sales or finding the right mate: it’s a game of numbers we want a lot of applicants. Why should we handicap ourselves before the game has even started? You will have plenty of time to weed out those who don’t meet your needs. We have all seen those AT&T commercials where kids discuss why more is better; it’s pretty obvious to those kids that more is better than less. Lou Adler was right when he said to write job ads based on performance expectations and real goals instead of focusing on frivolous qualifications. We have all hired the MBA with outstanding credentials and wonderful experience, only to find they can’t do the job. This doesn’t mean everyone with an MBA isn’t a great employee; it just means there are others who can do just as well and sometimes better.
Screen resumes to find success in similar job functions and for fundamental skill sets. Do not get stuck looking for that perfect match. You’ll be looking for a needle in a haystack, with no assurance that the needle is even there. Suppose you’re looking for someone with loads of industry experience. Why would that person ask to work for you if they’re someone else’s superstar? The odds of finding someone who is both fantastic and available are slim to zero, so stop making it a requirement. Just as with any new relationship, you need to find talent with a strong foundation, and develop the rest to meet your needs. It’s enough for this job candidate to possess the basic skills and be able to learn; they don’t have to be a nuclear physicist in the garden gnome industry. If you find candidates who’ve demonstrated the ability to succeed in a similar job, then get them and teach them your industry. If they are any good, they will learn it in no time.
Interview the Masses
The last step is to talk to as many of your applicants as possible. Create a structured approach in order to compare candidates to each other. Sure it takes time and energy, but so what? Lazy people don’t get good mates. Most good companies have personnel who are stretched thin; that’s what makes them so productive. It also makes it hard to find the time to sift through all job applicants. But you need to find that time. Finding good people is the most important thing you can do for your business. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t get someone with perfect qualifications; find the person who is the most capable and has the ability to be successful in your company. Ability to achieve is not directly related to education, work experience or other tangible qualifications. Achievement is most often demonstrated by past achievements, many of which may not directly relate to your business and is often produced leveraging intangible skills.
The Hire Talent specializes in teaching people how to conduct large net searches that use their time effectively. These searches can be done with a lot less effort than you think. We offer free consultations, so give us a call.
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