With the unemployment rate at an all-time low and more jobs available than qualified people, hiring managers are having a hard time filling open positions with qualified candidates. With the use of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), employers can use technology to weed through hundreds, sometimes thousands of applications to try to find the best candidates in the quickest and easiest way.
Using an ATS does have some advantages. Not only is it automated, including rejection letters, but you can set keywords for the ATS to search for in applications and have those people move on to the next round. Whether you use an ATS or the old-fashioned manual method, here are some things to look out for regardless of how you review your applicants:
- Know what you need. List all the required qualifications that the person must Anything that “would be nice to have” should be in an optional or preferred but not a required section. The person you hire should meet all your requirements, if they don’t it may not be a good fit, so it’s important to know exactly what you need the person to be able to do or know to be successful.
- Don’t compromise on temperament. If the position you are hiring for requires the person to be outgoing, personable, and able to carry a conversation with customers, then you shouldn’t hire someone who is shy, an introvert, and who prefers to work alone. In other words, you need to look beyond the skill set and resume. Their temperament should fit the requirements for the position.
- Personality IS a big deal. Your employees aren’t expected to be best friends, but they should be able to get along and work together. A candidate may look great on paper, but if they can’t get along with the team, then it’s not a good fit. A well-run department and business need employees who can work together, not create discord. You should also look for someone who wants to make a difference, takes pride in their work, and has staying power. They should have ambition and be able to put their skills into action.
- Culture is King. Most companies have a vision, a mission, or a set of core values that represent the company and is the reason why they do what they do. Employees may not value the same exact things as the company and its owner, but they should understand what’s important to the company and respect those values. Having employees who share and respect your culture and values makes for good business.
Hiring the right employee is not an easy task regardless of how you do it. It’s very hard to determine from an application if the person has not only the right skill set but the right personality and vibe that fits. At the end of the day, you are dealing with real people and it’s important to realize that they aren’t just names on a screen or piece of paper. Finding the right person for the job the first time can save you time and money, but how they get along with your other employees and customers can have a lasting effect for years to come.
Vice President, Lakeville Manager