When your company advertises a job opening, you know that there will be a ton of resumes coming in, maybe in the hundreds. As a human resource staffer, you know that working your way through all of these to find your best candidates can be time consuming.

You might be wondering if there is a quicker way to do an initial assessment to separate the wheat from the chaff. Recruiting specialist Deborah Millhouse of CEO Inc. has a few suggestions about doing such assessments.

Begin with the resumes, she says. Here you are looking for several things: How well the candidate communicates, skills and experience that fit with what you are looking for, big gaps in employment. You also want to pay attention to the layout of the resume. How well is it organized? How are the grammar, spelling and punctuation? If the person cannot get these things right on the resume, he probably won’t be able to get things right on the job.

If you like what you see on the resume, Millhouse says you can follow up with a short phone assessment, no more than a few minutes. At this point, you still do not want to talk too much about the company or the position.

Ask the candidate to briefly describe what his job responsibilities are now. This will give you more information on whether the person has the skill and experience for the job. You also want to find out why the person is looking for another job to find out about his motivation for leaving their current job.

You want to ask him what he is looking for in his next position or company. Millhouse says if the person’s answer doesn’t fit with your company, end things right there.

Ask him to describe what value he brings to the company – what him them so special that they should be hired.

During this brief conversation, you are looking for a few simple things. You want to assess how well the person can express himself.. You want to get a sense of his credibility and honesty, his confidence and how he deals with others. And you want to get an idea of his skills and experience. Plus, you want to see what your instincts are telling you about the person.

If you like what you hear, Millhouse says, set up a formal interview. If not, you can end the process right there.

Winston Resources can take care of this initial screening and interview for you, saving you considerable time and even money. If you’re New York City company needs workers for your temporary, temp-to-hire or direct-hire assignments, let us know!

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