Find The Perfect Fit: 4 Essential Online Screening Tips

Throughout the hiring process, a small business owner will utilize various screening methods to determine if a candidate is a perfect fit. You can get started early by engaging in online screening. Let's begin by going over why screening your candidates is so important, and then we'll talk about four essential screening tips.

Why Does Screening Matter?

Hiring new employees requires precious time and effort. You can ensure time isn't wasted on the wrong person by carefully screening your candidates. Screening helps verify a candidate's skills and experience and guarantees they meet your job criteria well before you sit for an interview.

Many effective screening methods exist, but a combination tends to work best and provide you with the greatest benefits, including:

Guaranteeing a candidate has the right skills and experience for the role.

  • Learning more about a candidate's "soft skills," which may not show up on a resume.
  • Eliminating a candidate who isn't a good fit and avoiding unnecessary interviews.
  • Finding a candidate whose attitude and personality fit the culture of your small business.
  • Saving valuable time for you or your hiring team.

Failing to screen prospects carefully puts you at risk of hiring the wrong person, which can impact your small business in various negative ways. Moreover, if the candidate doesn't pan out and ends in termination, you'll have to start the hiring process again.

To help you out with your screening process, here are four essential tips.

Tip 1: Start with The Resume

Carefully reviewing resumes can take some time, but if you're a small business owner with fewer potential candidates, you can typically handle the process yourself.

Be on the lookout for the following:

Essential skills and education of the role 

This information shouldn't be hard to find—and if it is, then you can eliminate the candidate and move on to the next resume.

Unexplained gaps in employment

This isn't always a negative, but it's helpful to understand why the gaps exist and how the candidate spent their time between jobs.

Poor spelling and grammar

If you're hiring for a detail-oriented job, issues with spelling and grammar can indicate that a candidate lacks the necessary eye for detail. 

 Formatting errors

Similar to spelling and grammar, the format of a resume often correlates with a candidate's level of professionalism and attention to detail. However, this may not be an important factor depending on the position you're trying to fill. Use your judgment accordingly.

Tip 2: Look at Social Media 

Almost everyone uses social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and there's no reason you can't log on and do a little research on a candidate.

If you use social media as a screening resource, it's important to remember that the goal is not to uncover a candidate's personal details but to see how they conduct themselves online. Your employees are representatives of your small business, and you'll want to be sure that a new hire will represent yours favorably.

Tip 3: Use an Applicant Tracking Systems

If you haven't heard of them, an applicant tracking system is a type of software that can automatically parse resumes and review them for critical information.

It allows you to search for select keywords that align with your job description and will even choose the best matches from the bunch. This is done quickly, which may be vital if you need a position filled urgently or have many candidates.

Applicant tracking systems vary in cost and scope, so consider your options carefully. Here are just a few:

Tip 4: Conduct Skill, Personality, And Aptitude Assessments

There's a host of various online assessments you can use to screen your candidates. Most fall under two categories: personality assessments and skill/aptitude assessments.

Personality assessments focus on a candidate's personality traits, core values, and career goals. This information can help you understand how someone will respond to situations that might arise while working and whether they'll handle them effectively.

Skill and aptitude assessments measure a candidate's knowledge and ability. These assessments can be tailored to just about any position you're trying to fill, and having a candidate take them will guarantee they meet the job's basic requirements.

Whether you're testing for personality matches or job skills, these assessment tools are available online (sometimes free!) and can be sent directly to your candidate for them to complete on their own time.

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