Placing an ad in your local newspaper or contacting an employment agency does not guarantee that the next person you interview has "the stuff" you're looking for. And once you have placed an employment ad, you may receive a higher response then planned. Don't seek qualified employees
at a whim! Be prepared to conduct an interview that weeds out an "unqualified" employee and draws in the "highly qualified".
How Do You Find Qualified Personnel?|
By Ken Bidgood, Copyright 2005
Placing an ad in your local newspaper or contacting an employment agency does not guarantee that the next person you interview has "the stuff" you're looking for. And once you have placed an employment ad, you may receive a higher response then planned. Don't seek qualified employees at a whim! Be prepared to conduct an interview that weeds out an "unqualified" employee and draws in the "highly qualified".
It's obvious... The interview process is key to finding that special individual. You can look through a stack of resumes a day and still not find someone that is appealing. It will take a half hour or hour of your time spent one-on-one with an individual to hash out his or her expectations, your requirements, and business goals.
Picking a Resume
A good resume will include a cover letter and references. Some job seekers find professional resume writers to create a target resume that addresses all of the qualifications you're searching for in an employee. Others choose to create their own and often fall short of grabbing your interest. But that doesn't mean that you should judge an applicant by "who" creates the resume.
The job history should be studied carefully. Are they job hoppers? Have they ever stayed at a place for five or more years? Are there contact numbers from previous employers that you can call for reference? Are there skills beyond the requirements of your job that the applicant possesses?
So if you find yourself searching for a secretary with decent computer skills who likes to communicate with people, the resume of the right candidate should have experience in both the secretarial and customer service fields. Ideally, you want the talents of the right candidate to include skills and talents outside of the specific area that you need for the position so that they may grow with the company into more challenging positions. Anyone with some office management or accounting experience would be a definite bonus for you and the company. In fact, that would be a top flight resume and someone you definitely want to call in for an interview.
Don't dismiss the inexperienced. It is very possible that the better employee with be the one with less experience in your actual field. How? If the employee can be easily trained in your specific techniques, they may work out far better than an associate with the qualifications who may be set in their ways.
Conducting an Interview
Let's say you choice Jennifer Smith's resume. She has 15 years experience in the administrative field and 5 years as a waitress. You're looking for someone who can answer the phones, conduct business professionally, and meet customer needs as needed. Would Jennifer be the best choice? Jennifer has the qualifications to complete all of the secretarial tasks that arise, but she appears to lack the experience in customer service. So it appears! During the interview process, talk to Jennifer about her waitress experience and what she liked or disliked about it. You might find that she solved more customer problems in a week then a secretary specializing in customer services does in a month. Working directly with the public in the food industry is demanding. Employees that have had similar experiences are perfect candidates for customer service.
The entire screening process can ultimately take upwards of a month and involve multiple interviews. Always take body language into account, especially noting whether or not they look you in the eye when speaking to you. Shifty eye movement is suspect and references should be double checked. Also, how is their posture? Do they slouch? What about their voice, is it confident and at a level that is easy to hear or are they meek and have a tendency towards mumbling? Also, be looking for any nervous ticks or body movements that suggest they have something to hide or fear. The handshake is an excellent opportunity to see if their palms are sweaty. Such behaviors are more natural in people fresh out of school but should be viewed with caution in people who have been in the workforce for any reasonable length of time. A background check and reference verification is essential to selecting the right candidate.
If you can't make up your mind, call them in for a second interview. This time have them complete a questionnaire. You may decide to have them perform a small task that shows their skill. For instance, ask Jennifer to type you a letter using a typewriter verses a computer keyboard. Analysis her reaction to this request and don't be afraid to explain why you are asking this of her.
Finding qualified personnel is a lot easier when you know precisely what kind of person meets your requirements. Retain the resumes submitted to you during the process for future use and be very honest but compassionate during the interviews. At the end of the day, you will find that new hire that will be appreciative of the job and more willing to satisfy your needs.
About the author: Ken Bidgood is the chief editor for Advertising XP, the web's premier location when you're after good up to date advice and observations about Business. For further information on Business please visit: http://www.advertisingxp.com/articles While you're there grab our free mini-course on how to get loads of free targeted traffic.
Keywords: employment, employment agency, resumes, employment interview, qualified employees
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