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FINDING
WORKERS

SCREENING APPLICANTS

What You Need To Know

Before you begin reviewing the candidate applications, you should have already considered which skills, education, and experience are essential.  You may then decide on other criteria that may be considered assets.

The purpose of screening the candidate applications is to review the applicant’s work and educational background along with other required qualifications.  You may accidentally overlook a great candidate if you are only focussed on the format of the resume or a small grammar mistake. If these are a concern for you, consider asking questions about attention to detail or computer expertise during the interview or reference stage.

You will also need to know how to invite qualified applicants to an interview; how to tell others they were screened out; and how to communicate the results of interviews.

Why You Need To Know

Screening applications, or resumes, and conducting interviews should be a part of the hiring process to help you find the most suitable person for the job.  By developing a more formal process you will not be wasting time with applicants who do not have the essential skills.

You also need to be careful not to violate PEI’s Human Rights Act during your hiring process.  You can make light conversation but remember to only focus on the requirements of the job when you ask questions.

By telling applicants they were not successful in making the shortlist, you are showing respect and appreciation that they have shown an interest in working with your company. Some of these people may be good candidates for other jobs in future searches.

What You Need To Do

  1. Remember to create a screening checklist so you can determine whether applicants have the required, or preferred qualifications. If they are minimally qualified you may want to give them further consideration. Set aside all the applicants who do not meet your requirements.
  2. Review the resume carefully. You may have a candidate who held several short-term jobs. This does not mean that they lack loyalty. The job market is full of short-term, rather than permanent, opportunities. Ask the candidate about their work experience and reasons for leaving other jobs. Don’t consider personal information such as age, gender, marital status, or religious beliefs if it has been included in the resume. If you allow this information to influence your decision to hire, you will be in violation of the PEI’s Human Rights Act.
  3. Now invite, by phone or via email, the screened-in applicants to an interview.  The number of people you want to interview is up to you. Be clear about the time, date, place, and what they can expect.  It is good practice to have at least two people conduct the interview.
  4. Create a list of questions to ask the candidates.  Document their answers so you can review and compare with the answers from other candidates.
  5. After the interviews are complete, review the resumes and interview notes again.  Select the candidate you would like to hire and conduct references and necessary background checks as may be required.

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