Resume Screening: How to Choose the Best Candidate for Your Growing Business

Hiring the right employees for your business is perhaps one of the most important things you need to do to achieve success. Only if you have the right team by your side will you be able to compete within your industry and make your mark. But it’s not as easy as you think.

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Picking the right candidate involves judging not only whether they have all the professional qualifications required for the job, but also whether they can work effectively with your team.

You can save a lot of time and effort once you know what to look for in resumes, and it can help you cut down on the people you need to interview from the pile of applications you received.

While a lot of small businesses learned through trial and error, studying up on employee selection is the only way to go these days, when a bad hiring decision could mean that you set yourself back a couple of steps.

Keep reading to find out more about the issues employers face when hiring new employees, and how to screen resumes to pick out the right ones.

Challenges Businesses Face When Hiring New Employees

Countless businesses say hiring the right talent is one of the biggest challenges they face, right along with keeping revenue up and costs low.

Attracting Talent

Small businesses don’t just compete for the customers and the market share - they’re competing with bigger companies for the top talent as well. Many of the best graduates and talent in a particular industry would prefer to work with bigger organizations with better remuneration packages. This can make hiring and retaining employees a real challenge for small businesses.

On the other hand, not everyone is built for a life working in a large corporate office, and for many amazing workers the growth opportunities and close knit culture in small businesses might be more attractive.

The Warm Body Syndrome

When a small business is trying to grow, they often can’t afford the best talent or try to hire talent that’s most cost effective to fill a position. This ends up doing more harm than good in the long run, and the only thing that can help businesses break out of this bad habit is to implement healthy employee management and recruitment practices.

Managing Employee Turnover

A high employee turnover might mean that you’re constantly looking to fill a space, which is in no way productive. You will find yourself constantly trying to fill vacancies and trying to make sure your company keeps operating without their skills, which is not beneficial to the day-to-day operations of any organization.

A high employee turnover can put a lot of stress on a business, and preventing it is hard when you don’t know what to look for.

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What to Look For In a Resume?

In order to make sure you don’t face all these hurdles and challenges in hiring the right talent, businesses need to know what to look out for when they screen resumes early in the application process. If you look at a chief financial resume example, you need to be able to pick out the qualities you need for your business, since it’s very unlikely that there will be an objectively “best” candidate in the pile. Each one will have their own strengths and weaknesses, and your job is to match the right one with your company.

Define Your Needs

Like we said before, there won’t be a single candidate in the pile that could be objectively called the best, and all of them will have their own strengths and weaknesses. In order to make the right decision, you first have to decide what you’re looking for in a candidate and then judge each resume on that criteria.

Are you looking for someone with experience who can give your advertising campaigns some direction, or are you looking for someone new and talented who’s willing to grow with the business? Do you feel that a relevant degree is essential for your new employee, or that you are willing to hire someone who has real-life freelance experience instead?

Once you have the answer to these questions and you know exactly what you need, the search will become much easier.

Don’t Take Too Long

You might want to go through all the resumes you have or have a thousand other things to take care of, but don’t take too long to get back to your applicants. Most likely, the candidates are applying to countless jobs every day and someone else might end up hiring them before you do.

Filter in Steps

If you have a lot of resumes coming in, you might do well to eliminate them based on a varying level of requirements. Decide your requirements in order of priority:

  • The Deal Breakers: These are things that you don’t want in a prospective employee or the absence of certain skills that you’re looking for in your new team member.
  • Outstanding Qualities: Next come the things in your new hire that help them stand out as a great candidate among the crowd. These aren’t as easy to put a name on, but you might still have criteria to prioritize, like experience or results they got working on their own business or a referral from a trusted person in your network.
  • General Impressions: Now you have a pile of resumes from candidates that possess most or all of the qualifications you were looking for, and you can go through this final batch of candidates to pick the ones you feel would be the best fit. This is the time for you to simply go with your gut and move further in the recruitment process with the candidates you like.

Reach out for assistance

Not every business has the resources to invest in the recruitment process, and you might need to outsource this job to a recruitment company. On the other hand, you can also use software that is designed specially to assist employers while screening job applications and ultimately finding and hiring the perfect fit for the role. This option is more cost-effective than hiring a recruitment agency, but it requires someone on your team to know how to properly use recruitment and resume screening software.

About the Author

Kyla Stewart is a former content writer, who decided to start her own blogging site and become a digital nomad. She managed to create a platform where all her previous clients are gathered - so they can merge and learn from each other! Her main motto is “sharing is caring” and her goal is to see the world from different perspectives!

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