HR Chat

“Wading through the sea of applications….. Where do you even begin?…”

“I like to use the S.S.S.P.A.D.O (spay-doe) philosophy -nb.”


Wading through the sea of resumes & applications:

It can seem daunting. You post a job; you start to receive CV’s and applications. Now what? As a recruiter or hiring manager this task can seem endless and time consuming. Often it seems as though you may never get through all of them. Where do you even begin?

  1. Start! If your applications are electronic, try doing a keyword search within the document. Tag your key words to fit with the opportunity. If you are hiring for an administrative job try searching for “filing”, “organization”, “office management”, “computer skills” narrow down your search by using technology! If you have old fashioned printed or faxed applications, use your highlighters! Note anything that stands out with yellow, education & training with green, achievements with pink.
  1. Share! Use the buddy system. Pick 5-7 CV’s that have caught your attention, then have a co-manager review them. It is great to have a job description handy to share with your reviewer. A fresh, unbiased pair of eyes might catch something that you may not have noticed.
  1. Schedule! Set up interviews quickly. Great candidates don’t wait. Dedicate 1 week for interviews, and do it as soon as you can! Clear your calendar, delegate some of your day to day tasks to your staff and let them know you are investing in adding to the team. They will champion you, because they know it benefits them to have quality teammates.
  1. Prepare! Make sure you have read over the CV of the candidates you are interviewing carefully. Highlight 2-3 points of interest you can touch on during your interview. Perhaps a project they have completed has your attention, or a school they invested their training with is high on your list of trusted accredited institutions. Recognize their key accomplishments and discuss how they got there.
  1. Act! After each interview, check references right away. Review your interview notes with your co-manager. Discuss what you liked about the candidate. Refer to anything that did not fit your job description and make notes on that. Rate each candidate on a scale of 1-2-3 or A-B-C. Eliminate the “3’s & C’s” team. Keep only the top 3-5 players.
  1. Decide! Conduct a 2nd interview if required, but make your decisions firmly, based on merit, as soon as you can. Dragging out the hiring process isn’t practical for anyone. Candidates move on to other offers and you are busy, get it done!
  1. Offer! Contact the successful candidate when you have made the decision. Get their acceptance in writing before you let the other candidates know the position has been awarded to someone else, & give them a deadline. Once you have their written confirmation, let the other candidates know either by phone or personal email. Pat yourself on the back. You did it!


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© Copyright Nikki Biehn  – Alberta Building Careers 2015