In today’s tough job market, it can be difficult trying to find as many applicants as possible. However, receiving a lot of applicants isn’t always a good thing. Most of the time, these applications are from job seekers who just blast resumes off for jobs they’re not qualified for.
Here’s how you narrow down the talent pool, leaving only the relevant and best candidates:
1. Write the job description as clear as possible
If you want to deter unqualified candidates from applying, start by writing clear and concise job descriptions. Why? Because short and vague job ads can mislead the wrong candidates to believe they’re right for the position.
Be clear on which skills, experience and education you need in your future employee. Outline the long-term goals you need the future hire to accomplish. This will not only stop people who don’t have the relevant background from applying, but it will also make professionals who are qualified to think long and hard about the role.
AJobThing has over 300 high-quality job description templates for popular job positions that are free for any employer to use.
2. Ask questions on the application
Ask them a few questions to help you efficiently filter out unsuitable candidates. AJobThing has a chat feature that eases communication between employers and job candidates.
You can ask simple “yes” or “no” questions such as “Do you have X skill?” or “Are you familiar with this software”.
You can also include open-ended questions that give you more information about the applicant. Remember that there are no right answers to open-ended questions but they will likely lead you to a few applicants who stand out.
3. Phone screen before interviewing candidates in-person
In-person interviews are a big task for both the hiring team and the candidate, so it’s essential for the hiring team to do a little work first.
A phone screening takes less than half an hour and it gives us insight on a candidate’s skills and work experience. Run through the points on the job description and ask the candidate to describe how their background is relevant to the job description.
This is also a chance to learn more about the candidate’s personality and passion for the role.
4. Address salary expectations early on
What’s the point of having a great candidate when you can’t afford to hire them? Don’t waste your time and ask about salary requirements early on.
Better yet, include the salary range on the job description. Applicants will know not to apply if they need to be paid more.
But if you’re uncomfortable including salary details on the job, try to ask about desired compensation as an application question or during the phone screening.
5. Conduct smart interviews
Now that you have narrowed down your applicant pool to a few great candidates, your final challenge is to select the best one. Take a smart approach to interviews by assembling an interview team of people who can assess interviewees from every angle.
Ask effective interview questions so you can understand a candidate’s skills, background and thought process. For instance:
Situational questions help you learn what a candidate would do in a specific scenario.
Behavioural questions give you insight into what they’ve done in the past.
Mix them both so you can form a complete opinion on every candidate.
6. Use candidate evaluation exercises
Keep in mind that job interviews don’t always tell the whole story. Some candidates can talk themselves up as others struggle to articulate what they can accomplish.
Before hiring, request they complete a test that helps you learn what they can REALLY do. This will reveal who actually has the skills for the job and help you make the final decision on who you should hire.
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