To keep your staffing business going strong, you need to find the best possible members of two groups: clients and candidates. Clients, you often have to track down, but candidates tend to come to you, especially in these high-unemployment times. But how do you find the strongest candidates?
This is the second post in a seven-part series over the next few weeks sharing tips for finding the diamonds in the rough of your waiting rooms.
Now, we’re looking at the main thing you tend to check out when reviewing a candidate: their employment history. Whether presented on a resume or an application, where a candidate has been is often used to gain the most knowledge about where they could possibly go.
The years themselves can tell you something about a candidate. Obviously, long gaps between jobs and/or short stays at jobs can be major warning signs.
But not all gaps in employment are created equal. Leaving a job to take care of a family member or attend school would indicate much greater depth of character than might be indicated by a resume that seems to be missing a few years. Ask the candidate about any gaps in the interview to see what prompted them to leave.
Another pattern to consider when looking at a resume is whether the candidate seems to have a career path, or at least a general direction in their work history. Jobs that cluster around a common theme, such as communication, manufacturing or education would indicate that the candidate is developing and engaging a solid skill set.
And the places where a candidate has worked are worth examining, too. Have they worked at top companies (whether in the geographic area or the area of the candidate’s expertise, or both)? Have they worked at companies you’ve never heard of in your 15 years of staffing? Or does their resume claim that they’ve worked at a certain company, but they don’t seem to have the interviewing or presentation skills to secure a position at that company?
One tactic to try when reviewing a resume for a particular job is to visualize that job as the next entry on a candidate’s resume. Would it seem to be a relatively good fit, or would it look like too great of a jump, or too much of a step down?
In your years of reviewing resumes and employment history, you’ve surely developed some methods and tactics of your own. Share them in the comments!