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Screening Job Applicants

Once the word is out that you have a job opening, expect to get phone calls, in-person visits, and resumes in the mail. But what do you do once the calls, letters, and people start coming in?

  • Determine if the person is indeed an applicant. If you're hiring your first employee, chances are that anyone who expresses interest in any way is an applicant. If, however, you have 15 or more employees, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires that you keep all records of all applicants for a full year, so determining who is an official applicant and who isn't becomes more important.
  • Decide how to respond to applicants. It's always a good practice to acknowledge everyone who applies for your job, even if you decide that they aren't suited for it.
  • Decide on the type of information that you are going to require from applicants and how you are going to get it. Do you have an application you want them to fill out or are you going to rely on resumes? Which other types of application materials could you ask for?
  • Determine if you're going to test your applicants. A few industries and jobs require certain testing, but most are at your discretion. What you need in an employee will determine what, if any, testing you want to do. Refer to your job description if you have one, and see if any of the requirements necessitate testing.