Best Ways to Find the Cream of the Crop from a Candidate Pool - Corey Hubbard

By Corey Hubbard Founder About Town

After working through the search process of finding and interviewing the most qualified applicants for an available position, the next step is to narrow the short list to the best person for the job. There are various to do this, but the following strategies often lead to successful results, with finalists continuing to grow within the organization after hiring.

Conduct Background Checks

Criminal background checks are not required in many job industries. However, they often provide helpful information that might otherwise not be available. It is better to find out any previous legal issues before hiring someone than to wait until after the person begins working. A drug screening test might be useful, as well.

Administer Skill Assessment Tests

Many industries have access to a range of testing tools like personality tests, problem-solving case studies, role-playing scenarios, and others to learn more about finalist candidates they are considering hiring. There may be national tests as well as industry assessments that can reveal quite a bit about a short-list candidate. Although these take time to administer, some can be scored onsite at your company, while others can be processed remotely, with results returned electronically within a few days. It is often worth the effort to have finalists take skill assessment tests to ensure they have the necessary education, experience, and abilities for the job.

Contact References

Most applicants include the names and contact information of references who can offer insight about past job experience or current character traits. However, some employers do not bother to contact references, even when they hire the person. It is always a good idea to consult the people whose names are included in the applicant's resume, as they can often provide helpful insight to indicate whether the person will be a good fit for your organization.

Request a Mini-Presentation

Depending on the job position to be filled, the short-list candidates can be asked to prepare a mini-presentation on their area of expertise. The presentation can be viewed by administrators, search committee members, or company employees, who may then be invited to vote on the candidate's knowledge and general capabilities for the job. Often, two to five finalists are asked to prepare a presentation to evaluate their demeanor and their communication skills.

Hiring a new employee can be costly and time-consuming. Strategies like these as part of a methodical evaluation process of the candidates can help to identify the most qualified candidate for the job.
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