One of the challenges of running a staffing agency is finding the right candidates to fill your client openings. Advertising for those positions is only the beginning of the process. The key to finding the right talent is having an effective strategy for screening potential candidates before even considering them for placement. Without such a strategy, you may end up with candidates that are not qualified or not a good personality fit for your client needs.
Pro Tips for Screening Potential Candidates
Here are some tips that the pros use to screen staffing agency talent:
- Establish your agency as a top brand. Top talent wants to work with top staffing agencies. If you establish your agency as one of the best in your niche, you will attract the best talent in your area. This helps eliminate the chances of getting less-than-suitable people even applying to your agency. Branding is how you do it. It should be clear in all your marketing and recruitment efforts.
- Ensure your application and screening process projects the high standards you expect from any candidate. You need to let the person know what you expect from an ideal candidate every step of the way, from the moment that person sees your website to the application process itself. The candidate should have no questions about the quality you expect once he or she gets to the screening.
- Put every potential candidate through an assessment process. This can be a personality test or a skills test, depending on what the position is or your needs are. It should be just treated as a standard, non-threatening part of the process. This screening process helps you get further insights into potential candidates, and helps weed out potential problems early.
- Conduct thorough background checks. Your clients are trusting you to come up with trustworthy talent who can do what their resumes say they can do. You should screen for past criminal activity, previous employment, and credit checks (if part of the job profile). This helps you keep potential problems from entering your employment.
- Request references from all candidates and check them. Another way to screen candidates is to speak with people who have personal knowledge of their work habits. The candidates should have no issues providing references and you need to take the time to speak with each one.
- Check the candidate’s social media profile. Many people put on a facade when looking for a job. However, they may share their real personality online. You may find a polite, professional job candidate is a foul-mouthed, misogynistic bigot online. That is something you don’t want to emerge when that person is at a client’s business.
- Conduct a phone interview before coming up with a small pool of potential in-person interviews. Before you bring in any candidate for a face-to-face interview, conduct a phone or video interview first. They are quicker for both sides and let you get to know that person without taking the next step. Ask questions to see if what the person is saying matches up with the resume and background information you have.
- Watch for red flags. This is something you need to do all along the way. Some obvious things to look for is someone who does not come prepared, someone who is bad-mouthing a previous employer, or someone who comes to the interview dressed unprofessionally. Other things are more subtle. Is this person refusing to admit any failures? Is this person looking for a new job because he or she is bored? Is this person late and blaming the commute involved? Is this person applying for every position you have open?
If you use these tips, you will find your final candidates are of the highest quality available in your current pool of potential talent. This process helps you get to know each person at a more personal level, which helps you judge whether this person is being honest about his or her skills and what kind of personality he or she has. It is time well spent for bringing the best talent possible into your agency.