Getting the Right Applicants Past HR

Getting the Right Applicants Past HR

by Riia O’Donnell

Recruiters tend to be a skeptical bunch. The longer you’re in the field, the more you realize there’s a bit of exaggeration on every resume you read, a hint of spin in every interview, and the sin of omission on every list of references you receive. And why shouldn’t there be?

When candidates are vying for a job, they’re putting their best foot forward – focusing in on the good, minimizing the bad, and selling themselves to you and your company: it’s expected. If an applicant walked in your door with a laundry list of things they’d been disciplined, written up, or fired for, we’d never hire anyone. The trick to being a great recruiter isn’t just separating fact from fiction, it’s fishing for facts that apply to your hiring needs.

Someone was let go for being impatient with a customer? Not a huge issue for an accounting professional who spends all day with ledgers. That accounting applicant fired for cooking the books: huge problem. The fact is we all have employment baggage – we’ve worked poorly with or for someone who just pushed our buttons, failed in a position that didn’t suit our skill set or qualifications, or just plain burned out (and it showed). When hiring, some of that baggage may weigh us down, while other issues must be left at the wayside. A good recruiter finds the skills and qualities that are applicable and capitalizes upon them.

Most recruiters consider themselves the person who says “No.” “No,” this person doesn’t meet our requirements, ‘no” this application is a mess, “no,” the interview didn’t support the resume: getting to meet with the hiring manager meant getting past them. Most of the time, it’s an excellent system. Until you start hiring for IT: not only did you not speak the language, you’re never quite sure the candidates do, either. You ask the IT manager for a list of questions and answers that would assure the candidate met the required skills. Armed with these, you work them in with generic HR questions (“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”) and be ready for the jibberish. Some of the questions work well: you note their answer carefully to pass on to the hiring manager for review. But if there was a question about the question –big trouble. And if there was more than one answer to the question, the note-taking could be endless. Then there was the debriefing and trying to interpret the notes: Ask me? Oh, ASCII. “I see,” the long-suffering IT manager would say. As frustrating as it is for them, it’s more so for you. Another few hours wasted on someone who couldn’t do the work.

Enter, (where were you when I needed you?) SaaS that separates fact from fiction before you even schedule the first interview. lets your IT manager create or choose a list of questions to get the technical qualifications portion of the interview out of your hands and into the hands of the experts. You plug in email addresses and invite applicants to take a test. shows you who knows their stuff and who doesn’t, and HR can start scheduling from there. It’s a system that saves time, money, and gets the right hire to the department in no time. Genius.

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Marcelo Marques
Marcelo Marques 17 posts

In 2001, with three partners, I founded the company 4Linux and in 2004 Hackerteen, considered unique in the world by Harvard Business School by Senior Research Kerry Herman . After some years interviewing lot of candidates for 4Linux company, I founded Rankdone with a partner. Rankdone helps a lot Human Resources to test candidates for any job opening. Now I am 100% focused on Rankdone.

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