The Daunting Process of Picking the Right Candidate to Hire

Anyone who has hiring experience knows that the process can be overwhelming. The sheer volume of candidates alone can leave you staring at a list of resumes that can take days and sometimes weeks to get through. Even though you have made great efforts to clearly state the requirements for the open position, the vast majority of candidates that apply are not qualified. Spending hours and hours and hours reading through the resumes of unqualified candidates certainly takes a significant amount of time. How can this tedious process be avoided or at least mitigated? After all, when you have an open position, you need someone to fill it as soon as possible.

The key to reducing the time it takes to select the right candidate is to look at it as a process rather than a single step. In order to reduce the volume of resumes you must go through in order to hire the right person for your open position, the first step is to pay close attention to the job description you use in your ads.

When writing the job description, it is important to be clear and specific about what you a looking for and what you are not. Be sure to mention technical requirements as well as those you would prefer candidates to have; there should be a clear distinction between the two. A minimum number of years experience - both hands-on work experience and academic experience - as well as degree requirements should be included. At the end of the description, consider reiterating the requirements that are absolutely essential. This often discourages candidates from submitting their resume when they know they are not right for the position, and of course saves you countless hours looking at unqualified resumes. There is no way to guarantee that you will not receive unqualified resumes, but being extremely clear about what you will and will not accept in candidates is helpful.

The second step in the process to more quickly find the right candidate is to screen the resumes you receive. The time it takes to look at each resume ranges. Even if you only spend two minutes looking at each resume, the time can add up quickly. If you are trying to look at resumes in addition to other work, you may find yourself feeling like there are just not enough hours in the day for you to get everything done. It is best to have someone who has a lot of hiring experience be the one who looks at the resumes you receive. In other words, the person who looks at the resumes should be able to quickly identify ones that have potential and ones that do not. You cannot risk missing a good candidate because the person screening the resumes did not have the expertise to recognize a them. Though you may be on a deadline, it’s also important not to overwhelm whoever is screening the resumes, lest they become overwhelmed and look over a perfectly good candidate.

Similar to ensuring you have someone qualified to look at the resumes you receive, you must also make sure you get the right person to interview the candidates you deem qualified. The interviewer must have excellent people skills in addition to the ability to figure out whether or not a person has the skills and experience they claim to have in their resume. This person must also have an extremely clear idea about what the hiring manager needs in whoever they hire. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time by advancing candidates who actually are not fit to be hired.

There are a lot of professional recruiters - both in-house (whom you hire to work for you directly) and outside recruiting agencies that say they can conduct this entire process for you. However, the claims that outside recruiting agencies make do not always come to fruition. Sometimes, you end up spending just as much time as your outside recruiter on finding someone to hire, and, in addition to spending more time, you have also had to spend more money. If you choose to hire someone to take over the hiring process in order to give yourself more time to focus on other pressing issues, you must make sure this person will put as much effort into finding the right candidate as you would.

If you are interested in finding out more on this topic or if you would like to see if Anderson Sterling Associates could be of service to you in your hiring needs, please contact Victor Goodman at (310) 459-8100 or


"I have been working with Anderson Sterling Associates (ASA) for over 20 years and have recommended them to our partners as well. What sets them apart is their innovative approach of locating candidates who fit the qualifications we are looking for. ASA has helped find the highest level of talent for the company."
-Max Maggi
VP of Development Programs at Hutchinson Aerospace