How to Save Time When Hiring an Employee By Using Phone Screening

By Jennifer Brown, Founder and CEO of PeopleTactics

You have a position to fill and have gone through the stack of resumes and now have some people you want to interview. But wait, before you invite someone in for a face-to-face interview which usually takes about an hour of your time, do a phone screen first. Phone screenings are typically 20 to 30 minutes long and will help you quickly eliminate people who aren’t appropriate for the position.

Like most things in HR, you want a consistent approach. When it comes to phone screenings, this means following the same set of questions for every person you speak with about the position.

Similar to reference checks, phone screening will help you determine if the person not only has the skills and experience for the position, but if he/she will be a strong fit with your company’s culture and values. Questions to ask include:

  • What are your career goals?
  • What are you really good at professionally?
  • What are you not good at or not interested in doing professionally?
  • Who were your last five bosses, and how will they each rate your performance on a 1-10 scale when we speak with them?
  • How did you find out about our position?
  • What attracted you to our company and position?
  • Tell me about your experience with “X”.
  • Note: If someone must have a particular skill-set (e.g., strong proficiency with Excel), ask them a question related to this requirement.
  • What salary range are you looking for?

Note: The first four questions are based on the “Screening Interview Guide” in “Who: The A Method for Hiring” by Geoff Smart and Randy Street, a must read for anyone who is going to be hiring employees.

Remember, your business is whom you hire! Effective phone screenings should yield a small slate of 2 to 5 well-qualified candidates to invite in for a longer, more in-depth face-to-face interview. Email us  or give us a call at 571-587-5615 if you would like help with finding the right candidate for your business.

PeopleTactics works with small business owners to prevent and solve Human Resources problems that can drain them of their time, money and energy.

To learn more, please visit the PeopleTactics website.

Do You Know How to Review Resumes to Quickly Find Qualified Candidates?

By Jennifer Brown, Founder and CEO of PeopleTactics

Have you ever posted a job advertisement, received 50 or more responses, and then had to spend hours upon hours reviewing each resume? This is a waste of time, especially as busy as you are with your business! You need to weed out the unqualified candidates quickly.

Here are a couple of techniques I love for doing this:

In the job posting, explain how the candidate needs to apply for the position. An example of this is:

“To apply for this position, send an email to [email protected] and put in the subject line: APPLYING FOR DESKTOP PUBLISHER POSITION. Please also include a paragraph about why you are the best candidate for this position and your required salary range.”

By doing this, you can immediately see if they know how to follow directions and have attention to detail – two skills that are typically important for most positions. For those candidates that don’t apply as specified (with the right words in the subject line and the paragraph with salary range), you can immediately put them into the “no” category.

For those candidates that successfully pass the first step and apply as you specified, then read their paragraph. Is it well written in terms of being easy to read, thoughtful and grammar/typo free? If not, put them into the “no” category.

If their salary range is out of your range, put them in the “no” category.

For the remaining resumes, review them for the key minimum qualifications that are specified in the posting. For example; education level, certifications, clearances, driver’s license, software knowledge, industry experience, and/or number of years of experience. For any candidates that don’t meet the minimum qualifications, put them into the “no” category.

By following these simple steps, you should be left with a much smaller stack of resumes to review! The remaining resumes should be reflective of candidates that meet the minimum qualifications of your position. You want to take your time reviewing these resumes in order to determine which candidates’ previous job roles and responsibilities, skills, abilities, and knowledge are consistent with the position’s responsibilities. For those candidates you deem qualified, you want to quickly call them to get a phone screen interview set-up – before someone else hires them!

Need help with reviewing resumes and interviewing your candidates? Email us or give us a call at 571-587-5615.

PeopleTactics works with small business owners to prevent and solve Human Resources problems that can drain them of their time, money and energy.

To learn more, please visit the PeopleTactics website.

Finding the Right People to Meet Your Business Needs

By Jennifer Brown, Founder and CEO of PeopleTactics

For many business owners, when you need someone to edit your blogs, book your travel arrangements, or manage your bookkeeping, the traditional route is to hire a full time employee. However, for small businesses, this can often be very costly. Hiring a full time employee constitutes paying a full time salary plus benefits, and even if you have the resources to pay this individual, oftentimes you don’t have the work to support a full time person.

While there is never a shortage of tasks to accomplish, many of these needs fall outside of the business owner’s primary skill set. In reality, these tasks are distracting and sap energy that is needed elsewhere. Business owners should be focusing their talents on the things that are their strengths and the things that help to move the business forward.

In recent years, the term “assistant” has broadened. While most people once thought of an assistant as the person who handles administration, there are now many other tasks that assistants perform for their clients. Of course, you can still hire an assistant to perform more traditional administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, making travel arrangements, and maintaining office supplies. But now, you can also hire someone to perform tasks such as blogging, following up with clients, creating and formatting documents, and bookkeeping. And, you could hire someone to handle and maintain your social media, including your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other pages.

Instead of hiring full time employees, small business owners need to be creative in how they find the right people to meet their business needs. These non-traditional sources are the individuals who want more flexibility in their schedules and include part time employees, college students, interns, companies you can pay by the hour to do this work, as well as virtual assistants and stay at home parents.

By taking advantage of these skilled workers, business owners will discover some truly talented individuals and save money at the same time. These types of workers are highly specialized and tend to be very good at those things for which they are hired. And by hiring these individuals on a contractual basis, a full time salary and benefits are no longer necessary. Additionally, if the arrangement isn’t working out, it’s much easier to end it.

To be perfectly honest, there aren’t many cons to these non-traditional sources. While there is the concern of contractual workers not feeling loyal to your company, hiring someone based on referrals will help to ensure that the individual you hire is trustworthy and reliable. Talk to trusted colleagues and don’t forget to utilize your social media community, to find someone great.

Looking to tap a non-traditional source to find an employee? We can help. Email us or give us a call at 571-587-5615.

PeopleTactics works with small business owners to prevent and solve Human Resources problems that can drain them of their time, money and energy.

To learn more, please visit our website.