Employers use a variety of methods to screen potential employees. Some simply use education and previous experience as their criteria, while others may require background checks, drug tests and personality profiles. Occasionally an employer will also use handwriting analysis, driving record and credit checks.
Notification of Opening
The very first step in the process is to notify potential candidates that an opening exists. In some larger companies it is a requirement to do an internal posting before seeking outside candidates. If suitable candidates cannot be found within the organization, the job will be posted on websites such as Monster.com or Jobs.com, ads may be run in the local newspapers, and there is always employee word-of-mouth.
In order to get to the job screening part of the hiring process, your résumé has to paint a picture of you as a person as well as your working experience. Typos, bad grammar and poor punctuation can reflect badly on an applicant. Too much personal information in a résumé can be off-putting to a potential employer. Employers are not interested in how many kids you have, what your hobbies are or that you’re a dog lover.
Once your résumé has passed the initial screening process, you will have to complete an application. Whatever you do, DO NOT lie on the application. There is a blurb at the end of most applications which states: “I certify that all of the statements contained in this application or accompanying forms are true and complete. I understand that any false statements, omissions, or misrepresentations will constitute sufficient cause and reason for either refusal to hire or if hired, termination from employment.”
The application packet will contain release forms that, when signed, will allow the employer to perform background checks and contact your references including previous employers. Reference and background checking is done in order to help determine eligibility for hiring.
Sometimes it seems that the questions asked in interviews are arbitrary, but they are designed to reveal certain aspects of an applicant’s personality. Employers want to gain insight into your reasoning ability, motivation, interpersonal skills and your adaptability. The interviewer may give you what-if scenarios to broaden the scope of your personality.
Reference and Background Checking
If you have survived the process so far, now comes the waiting game. During this time, employers are deciding who will progress to the next step. Sometimes it’s immediate and other times it could be days, weeks or even months before a decision is made. After selecting about three to five of the most qualified applicants, the employer will check references and perform background checks. If there is a problem deciding which applicant to select, the employer may request that the remaining applicants return for a second interview. The second interview may include the department manager or key department team members who will assist in making the final hiring decision.
The successful candidate will be contacted by the employer either by phone, mail or e-mail to inform them of their decision. Customarily upon acceptance of the job offer, the potential employee will be sent for drug testing. Favorable drug test results will complete the offer and the employee is given a start date.