Quick review: You wrote a tight job ad featuring why somebody would want to work for you and the job requirements. You minimized the time spent spinning in place by providing only an email address and requiring a one-page resume. This gave you the ability to screen the candidates and decide who has the greatest potential to fill the position.
This month’s article is all about sorts and piles. Sorts is the magnifying glass for reviewing resumes. Your ad specified what information was needed: Did the candidates provide it? What story does it tell? Piles are where you put the resumes after the sort—go, no go or maybe. Go means their resume shows they can do the job. Whether this is true is going to be left up to the interview. The no-go pile is for people who do not provide the requested information or it is clear they cannot do the work. The maybe file is for those resumes that are not clear.
There is one more thing before you get started. You don’t want to do this alone. Grab the positions supervisor or somebody you trust from the work group. Explain they are to review each resume twice. Once the rules are understood, divide the resumes and begin the review process.
Review all the resumes for what was required. If they didn’t include it, put them into the no pile. Don’t waste time on people who cannot follow instructions. If it is clear they can do the job, place the resume in the go pile. If you have doubts or are uncertain, place it in the maybe pile.
When everyone has gone through the resumes once, as a group, review the go, no-go and maybe piles with a new set of eyes. At the end, there should be three piles everybody agrees with. Now it is time to tackle the maybes.
Given the previous discussions on the go and no-go piles, review the maybes with one aim—move them into the go or no-go pile.
When finished with Sort 2, draft individual emails for the no-go candidates, thanking them for responding and letting them know you’re keeping their information on file for a position that better matches their experience.
As a group, rank the resumes in the go pile from best (first) to worst (last). Once you agree on the order, decide how far down the list you are going to go. The difference between first and last is significant, so stick to the highly qualified.
When finished with Sort 3, send the go individuals you don’t intend to interview an individual email thanking them and asking to keep their resumes on file for a position that better matches their experience.
You now have the finalists for the position. Using this approach, you quickly screened out the unqualified and made the time-consuming interview process worth your while. Determine what date and time is best for you, and inform the candidates on the meeting details. If you want to dig deeper in the screening process, join our Facebook Group for Green Industry Pros and download the checklist.
In the next part of this series, we will tackle how to interview the finalists to find the truth and select the best candidate.
William Eastman is a senior consultant at GreenMark Consulting Group. The company’s unique three-pronged approach to coaching appeals to landscape and snow companies of all shapes and sizes from around the country. Regardless of which phase your company is going through, GreenMark’s offering of business toolkits, virtual coaching, live business boot-camp workshops and deep-dive one-on-one consulting can provide the insights and direction your company needs to thrive. For more information, please visit greenmarkgroup.com.