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The Art of Effective Employee Recruiting

Posted: January 2, 2014 4:44 p.m.
Updated: January 2, 2014 4:44 p.m.

Most individuals have read numerous articles on how to prepare for an interview as a job candidate. However, as an entrepreneur or hiring manager, how much time have you spent improving your skill set to effectively screen applicants and conduct interviews to optimize your potential to select the best candidate? If you’re like most entrepreneurs or managers, your answer to that question with be somewhere between little and none.

Let’s face it, these days every hire is a key hire. With competition being fierce in most industries, can you really afford to not have effective recruiting skills in your management skill set? This is as true for the small business owner with five employees as it is for the manager of a thirty person department in a business with hundreds or thousands of employees. Your success, and the success of your company, depends on hiring and retaining high performance employees in every position.

What follows is just a primer on successful recruiting skills. It just scratches the surface of how to improve your capabilities in the area but, with a wealth of information available on the internet and book store, hopefully this is enough to entice you to do some serious reading, and perhaps training, on this critical-to-success management skill set.

It all starts with your review of the resume and cover letter. Even before you read them take note of how well they are organized. Does the candidate make good use of the white space? Is there a consistent style and format? If you are evaluating candidates for a position where attention to detail is important, this would be a critical first impression and perhaps the only one needed to trim down from dozens of candidates to a manageable few.

For those applicants who make it past step one, your next down-select criteria is evaluating the resume and cover letter to ascertain if the candidate claims to have an employment track record that demonstrates the required skills and experience needed to succeed in the position. (You’ll verify their claims later on during the interview process.) I suggest that you use a prepared list where you can check off a candidate’s claims against the needs of the position. Hopefully those needs are already delineated in the job description you have in hand.

Once you have screened the applicants to a select few, next comes the actual interview process. You may want to perform a series of telephone interviews to cull the list further. This saves you the time and effort of having candidates arrive at your company who look good on paper but cannot really deliver the skills and experience claimed on their resume. Then, and in preparation for the face-to-face interviews, select your interview team and meet to review the prepared list of required skills, knowledge, experience and personal qualities. Having the entire interview team on the same page regarding those key attributes is needed to hire the great employee your organization needs.

Once each interviewer understands the requirements for a great candidate, prepare a list of several questions that probe each of the key attributes you are seeking. Not sure how to do that, just do an internet search for each quality like “leadership job interview questions” or “interpersonal skills job interview questions”. Let technology help you work smarter and not harder and provide your interview team with several questions each can select from to probe candidates for the desired skills and abilities.

So that’s the primer. Now it’s your turn to do some additional research and training, even if it is self-training, to help you select the best employees possible.

Joe Klocko is the Director of the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) hosted by College of the Canyons. Mr. Klocko’s column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. For more information about how the college’s CACT and Employee Training Institute can help your business, please call (661) 362-3111, e-mail or visit


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