Q. I constantly run into this problem: I pre-screen a candidate who seems like a perfect fit for the job description. But when I send the person to the hiring manager for an interview, I'm told to keep looking for someone better. This is frustrating to the managers, the applicants and me. Any suggestions on how I can improve my pre-screening? —P.B., New Jersey
A. You'll need more than a job description to pre-screen applicants effectively. A job description can explain the duties and necessary education and skills required to perform it, but they sometimes tell very little about the intangibles a hiring manager may be looking for in an applicant.
So take a few minutes to talk to hiring managers about the characteristics they're seeking in applicants. Ask what types of behaviors and attitudes the manager prefers. Has anything happened recently that might require different skills, education or experience than those mentioned in the job description? Who else will the employee interact with regularly? By interviewing the hiring manager before you interview applicants, you'll paint a clearer picture of what really constitutes a “good fit” for the position.
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