When you interview employment candidates, you are talking to the people who will determine the future of your company. From each maintenance technician to the new CEO, everyone has a role to play in the future success of your organization. The problem is that most recruiting advice dealing with the pre-screening process is incomplete and almost useless. The worst hiring advice we’ve ever heard about the pre-screening process is any advice that does not include talking about soft skills.
Why Soft Skills Need to be Pre-Screened
Every recruiting professional knows what soft skills are, but most professionals wait until later in the interview process to start considering a candidate’s soft skill set. The truth is that if a candidate with inadequate soft skills gets past the pre-screening process, then they have gone too far. The best business advice you can get is to hire people who can talk to your customers. That means that you need people who can talk the language of your industry, and you can find those people in the pre-screening process.
Go Beyond the Resume
When you are hiring for a professional position, you want to see an educational foundation and professional background that meets your company’s needs. Any resume can give you that information, but resumes cannot give you insight into how candidates use their education and background to do their jobs. A good piece of hiring advice would be to use the pre-screening phone call as a way to determine just how a candidate applies what they know to what they do. Start out by talking to the candidate on a slightly personal level, and then move into talk about your industry. On a personal level, you want to see what kind of person the candidate is based on what they say. Would they fit into your corporate culture? Do they sound like someone you could work with?
When you get into the industry part of the conversation, you are interested in how the candidate applies what they know to their interaction with you. Do they really know their stuff? Are they explaining things to you in ways that your customers would understand? All of these soft skills are critical in determining which candidate is right for your company, and they can all be determined through the initial pre-screening phone call. A hiring manager can only tell so much about a candidate from that candidate’s resume. All of the hard facts are in the document, but the way in which the candidate uses that information can only be determined through a pre-screening phone call. Do more with your pre-screening calls, and you can be more productive throughout the entire interview process.
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