8 Tips to Sift Through Candidates in Today’s Hot Job Market

News and insights for job seekers and hiring managers.

8 Tips to Sift Through Candidates in Today’s Hot Job Market

Finding a good candidate in today’s job market can seem like finding a needle in a haystack. Any given position may have hundreds of applicants, and not all of them are qualified. Some may be qualified but not the best fit for your organization overall. So, what is the best way to sift through candidates in today’s hot job market?

1. Require a Skills Test

Skills tests can help you identify candidates that truly have the experience you are looking for. If the position you are trying to fill requires a lot of specific knowledge, these skills tests can be a great way to sift through candidates who just aren’t a good fit. They can also help you pinpoint applicants who are overstating their experience and qualifications.

2. Have a Resume Checklist

Create a checklist for screening resumes. Have a list of must-haves and nice-to-have skills and attributes. For example, if a college degree or certification is critical for the position you are looking to fill, make that one of the criteria you immediately look for. You should also be sure the resume you are reviewing has all of the important contact information you need. Nothing is more frustrating than finding a good candidate with no information on how to reach out. 

3. Use the Cover Letter  

Cover letters can provide you with more information about the applicant that can help you identify whether they will be a good fit or not. Pay attention to details like whether they took the time to address it to the hiring manager or company specifically. You can also look for originality in the professional story they share in their letter to see if they’ll be a good fit or not.

4. Check References

Require references and be sure to check them. Getting an honest opinion from professional contacts will help you decipher whether or not they are the candidate you’re looking for. These references can also give you an idea of what the person’s work ethic is like and how well they communicate or work with others. 

5. Research Them Online  

Everyone has a presence online these days. Do your research on the candidate online. If you see something questionable in a Google search or on their social media, they may not be the right candidate for you. It can also give you a glimpse at the applicant’s personality and whether they’d fit into the company culture or not.

6. Get on a Quick Call

Scheduling a full-on interview can take a lot of time for everyone involved. Most of the time, you can get a feel for whether or not you want to move forward in the interview process by taking a quick call with the applicant. Have a small list of key questions you want to ask them and get a feel for who they are as a professional.

7. See What They Know About You

You want to be sure the person you are hiring has a good feel for who you are as an employer too. Candidates who have done their research are generally more engaged and will be able to provide you with information about your company. More specifically, ask them what interests them about your organization. This will give you insight into why they are applying and if they will be a good fit for the culture.

8. Work With Our Staffing Agency 

Last but not least, working with a staffing firm like Top Notch Personnel can help you effectively sift through qualified candidates. In fact, our team of professional recruiters can assist you in every step of the hiring process, from sourcing to interviewing and onboarding new employees. We can even assist in payroll and other key items after the hire has been made. This takes the pressure off of your internal team and frees up time to focus on important projects within your organization.