How to Start Screening Candidate Resumes to see Long-term Loyalty and Potential

Unlike other aspects of business, recruitment is often a slow and tedious process that doesn’t offer any guarantees that a new hire will work out. In fact, despite best efforts, sometimes candidates just aren’t a good fit for a company’s long term goals. Unlike hiring in the past decade, too many candidates are eager to jump ship for a little more pay or perks, making it impossible to retain skills and manpower for very long. The whole scenario is frustrating and costly.

What if a hiring manager could clearly identify a candidate who has the right characteristics that signals a more loyal person with great potential? In this article, we will discuss time-tested ways of spotting these signs in a great candidate, and increasing the chances of retaining a top performance employee.

Get Back to Basics

Forget all the bells and whistles of a modern-day recruitment world. When it comes to identifying top candidates, it’s important to focus on good basic recruitment methodology. Take a careful look at the candidate’s application, resume, and the initial interview. Does this person seem to be excited about being part of your company, or are they merely hoping for a job, any job? The resume may be the first hint that there is a problem – based on too many short term or random jobs, or not gaining any new skills or advancement over the course of a longer career.

Validate the Resume

During the initial screening and subsequent interviews with a candidate who seems to have the right qualities, it’s important to have a method of validating the claims made on a resume. People often say things on a resume to make them look better when in fact they do not have the indicated skills or experience listed. Be prepared to offer a candidate the chance to demonstrate his or her abilities at some point during an interview. Ask to see a portfolio of work if available. Supply the candidate with a project that validates the resume.

Look for Desired Resume Words

A well-designed resume can provide the first clues that a candidate has what it takes to provide long-term, loyal service to your company. Start with the skills that you will find in the summary and throughout the body of the resume. Certain resume buzzwords like ‘reliable’, ‘development’, and ‘growth’ can be signs that the candidate is looking for long-term employment. A candidate who is loyal will state this in many ways on a resume, with demonstrable skillsets and a dedication to professional growth and success.

Evaluate Past Work History Well

It is a given that you will be looking for things like gaps in employment, short-lived jobs, unrelated jobs, and dates that do not make sense on a resume. However, you’ll want to look beyond the obvious work history of the candidate. Look at aspects such as failure to grow or have any achievements in particular jobs, long periods of time spent in the same position, and a series of jobs that have nothing to do with the candidate’s career goals. You may also see educational history that seems out of place.

Ask the Tough Questions

When reviewing a resume either before or during an interview, it’s important to not only ask the standard interview questions, but also the tougher ones. Find out what the candidate sees as his or her future in this company. Ask the candidate about his or her short-term and long-term goals. Ask the candidate what he or she would like to earn. If a candidate cannot answer these questions directly, this can be a sign of a candidate who will accept any job offer and then later look for something better. Lastly, ask questions that pertain to the candidate’s ability to withstand tough times. People jump ship when times get tough, but the long term folks stick around until the end. Have they been with the same company through multiple management changes or owners? Have they ever left a job before final closure or were they there till the end? These are good signs that the associate doesn’t get going when the times get tough.

It’s important to carefully screen all candidate resumes and get outside support from a staffing agency if the company is struggling with recruitment. Remember, it is never about placing warm bodies into jobs. It is about hiring the right people who will provide the much-needed skills and hard work that the company needs to compete.

Conduct Thorough Reference Checks

After you have fully vetted a candidate to your liking so NOT stop there! This can be your biggest mistake. Check the references – and don’t underestimate “verifying dates of employment”. There is a huge difference between being off a month or years when it comes to stating your employment experience. When evaluating a candidate resume, it’s important to also carry out thorough reference checks for every job in company listed. If a candidate’s work history is limited you will also want to request at least three professional references. Instead of just calling the HR department, it’s important to conduct reference checks with former managers and peers. This will add greater insight into the candidate’s suitability for your company.

Looking for Additional Hiring Support in Modesto?

Contact Modesto staffing agency, AVAILABILITY Professional Staffing, for hiring support to build your dream team.


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