Excite Tools
Search/Tools  Yellow Pages    White Pages  Maps/DirectionsSmall BusinessClassifieds
Learn2 Hire Employees (continued)
Step 4: Review the applications

The review process can be one of the slower steps of hiring employees. Be prepared for a lot of applicants who are obviously under- or overqualified. Or you may not get enough applicants, in which case you should probably reevaluate your posting strategy.

To start off, divide the applications (or resumes) into three groups as they come in--candidates who you're very interested in, those who are possibilities, and those who aren't. The criteria for choosing are up to you, but consider these points as you go:

Application/resume red flags. Be wary of large gaps in work history (or an undated work history), a large number of jobs in a short time span, and job descriptions that are suspiciously full of overblown, vague language. If a particular educational degree is required, make sure the applicant has completed the degree, and is not still working toward it.

Cover letters. Is the letter well written and professional, or hard to follow, with spelling or grammatical mistakes? You can learn a lot about an applicant's communication and writing abilities from these, as well as the applicant's personality, so read carefully.

Related experience. An applicant's experience isn't always cut and dry. Look for skills that could translate to your needs. For example, someone who's managed a kitchen staff could probably handle managing your bookstore's staff.
Once you have a comfortable number of applicants in the first and second group, conduct a brief phone interview with each one, starting with your top picks. This interview is mainly to see if they're still interested in the position, and to answer basic questions they might have. You can also get a feel for the candidates by asking some specific questions about their experience. Begin each call by asking if the present time is convenient to talk, and end by explaining you'll contact the person soon regarding a face-to-face interview. Or, just schedule a meeting right then if it feels right.

 Previous Step

 Go to Step 5 of 8

 Click here to email this page to a friend  

Step 1: Assess your needs
Step 2: Write a job description
Step 3: Advertise the position
Step 4: Review the applications
Step 5: Develop interview questions
Step 6: Interview candidates
Step 7: Narrow your choices
Step 8: Check references