Proper Candidate Screening: Finding the Needle in the Haystack


You post a job and are inundated with resumes.  The next step is critical.  You need to identify the gems – the candidates who can add value to your organization.  This makes proper candidate screening integral to the success of your hiring process.  Here are 6 things to look for when screening candidates, (and their resumes), to help you find the proverbial needle in the haystack.

Natural Progression
There’s a natural progression that most quality candidates follow.  An accountant, for example, might progress to Senior Accountant after two years and then to Controller.  A financial analyst, on the other hand, might progress to Senior Financial Analyst and then to Finance Manager or Director of Finance.  Sometimes candidates will make a lateral move to work in a specific industry, or acquire new skills.  Caveat: If a candidate impresses on paper and their career does include a lateral move, or a step back, it’s worth addressing it in the pre-screening call.  It may have been a strategic career move.

Resource: Read the blog “The Best Finance Resume We Ever Received” to learn what makes an award-winning resume.

Look for candidates who have been in a role for at least 2 to 3 years.  Candidates who have changed roles yearly, unless they’re consultants, are a red flag.

Academic Pedigree
Candidates should have graduated from a reputable university.  They should also be either designated, or doing their designation.  You’re looking for candidates who are committed to their education and professional development.

Extra-Curricular Activities
Learning about a candidate’s extracurricular activities helps you understand their potential team and cultural fit.  Areas of interest include volunteerism, involvement in networking groups like Toastmasters and participation in competitive athletics.  Volunteerism shows a commitment to community growth.  Involvement in something like Toastmasters shows an interest in professional development.  A candidate who participates in competitive athletics, or has competed at a high level in the past, will likely possess grit and a high level of motivation – two characteristics that this research shows are critical to the success of a hire.

Technical Skill Set
Look for alignment between the technical skills the role demands and the candidate’s experience and skill set.  Identify what they’ve accomplished within their duties and cross-reference this with the demands of your role.

ERP Experience
Candidates who have had exposure to multiple ERP systems are tech savvy.  They’ll also possess the ability to walk into a new role and learn different systems.  With most businesses wanting to increase operational efficiency, there is a demand for candidates who can extract relevant operational and financial data to help drive decision-making.

Key Takeaways
Proper candidate screening is key to driving a successful hiring process.  Look for candidates who have been in roles for at least 2 to 3 years and demonstrate progression.  Determine technical skill alignment.  Learn, as well, about a candidate’s extracurricular activities.  They can help identify whether or not the candidate is a team or cultural fit.  Finally, look for candidates who have had exposure to multiple ERP systems and who have taken the time to get designated.  The right candidate screening can help you find the candidate who is the high quality needle in the haystack and the person who can round out your team.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.

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