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How to Easily Pick the Best Candidate Based on the Resume

How to Easily Pick the Best Candidate Based on a Resume You have an important role that you need filled ASAP, or you’ve had a nagging job opening for the last month and half and don’t know where to start with that pile of resumes on your desk.  You know one thing, there’s no way you have time to interview them all, so how do you know which resumes are the best?  Is there a way to, quickly and effectively, spot the best candidate just by scanning their resumes?

Follow our foolproof 6 step process to save hours of interviews, background checks and reference calls wasted on candidates that were never going to be Mr. or Mrs. Right anyways, and streamline your hiring process by learning the best way to rank candidates just by looking at their resumes:

  1. List all of your requirements for the job, necessary skillsets, education or certifications, and minimum experience. Once you’ve got the full list, categorize them into mandatories, desirables, and bonus qualifications.  Set a minimum score or tally that you want, either for each section or for all of the mandatories, desirables and bonus qualifications in total.
  2. Without looking at any names, personal profiles or pictures, scan through the resumes and tally how each resume stacks up against the above requirements.
  3. Eliminate the resumes that don’t meet your standards from Step 1. Unless one of those resumes grows legs and walks back into your new pile, you’re done with that candidate.
  4. So now you’ve got a new stack, but how do you break ties or close ranks? Within your new, whittled down pile, look for measurable results listed in the resumes.  Search for achievements like awards, goals met, dollar value of projects, or number of people managed. This will give you a tangible view of the candidate’s past instead of waiting until the interview or reference check process to find out your Project Manager has only managed a 1 person, $1 project that was 1 month behind schedule.
  5. This next step is the personality/culture fit.  Every office has its own vibe; what types of personalities click in your office? Similar, to step 1, list some personality traits that you think would be beneficial to someone joining your office.
  6. Scan the profile/hobbies section or any other personal information section on the resumes. Sometimes the personal profile section can be a bit of a gloss-over section, but if you know what works in your corporate culture, don’t be shy to look for it.  For example, if your office is very green, look to see if anyone has noted any environmental volunteering on their resumes, or if you’re in an ultra-competitive company, see if anyone has marked down sports accomplishments.

By the time that you’ve run through this process you should have your own quick, clear ranking of your candidates, based on experience, results and personality fit, prior to interviewing them. We still recommend you go through the interview and reference check process, but this should help you get to that process faster and with a better view of what candidates to seriously consider!

Next time you’ve got an open position, try this process out and let us know how it worked!


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How to Deal with an Arrogant Candidate During a Job Interview

How to Deal with an Arrogant Candidate During a Job Interview Job interviews can be a painful process in several ways. Sometimes you deal with smelly applicants, other times candidates are clueless and clearly falsified their resume, and, unfortunately, in even more situations, we end up having to put up with an arrogant, pompous narcissist.

There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Confident applicants are people who you want working with you. They believe in themselves and their abilities, and can back-up their claims with real life experience, references, and measurable proof. Arrogant people may possess those qualities, though it may be a false confidence if they can’t prove experience, and they come with other traits that will damage your corporate culture. To spot the poison before it sneaks onto your team, keep an eye out for certain behaviours during the interview. Some examples include:

  • Negativity towards past co-workers and managers
  • Inflating importance on past projects
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Interrupting
  • Using condescending tones and language
  • Blaming others for past failures
  • Making you sell them on the open position, as though you may not be good enough for them

How do we deal with these pesky headaches? Here are 6 strategies you should consider — you’ll notice they all involve taking the high road (no matter how much you’d like to bring them down a notch).

  1. The first step is to determine if you’re talking to the “real” candidate. Physically you have the right person (hopefully) but are they nervous and not acting like their true selves? This can be confirmed through reference checks, but it also requires good judgement.
  2. Look at their skills and decide if what they bring to the table will out-weight the fact that they come with a not-so-good personality. Will your team be able to handle this person?
  3. Ask some questions about their current work environment to understand their present situation. A work environment filled with more arrogant people, coupled with a low self-esteem, can cause a nice person to act arrogant. Will your culture bring them back down to Earth?
  4. Remember that their accomplishments should speak for themselves. If your candidate seems to be overselling and trying to convince you they’re awesome, they’re probably not awesome.
  5. Get yourself through the interview and be polite. Job applicants are still considered customers, and they will talk about a negative experience. Being rude can cause you to lose future star applicants or customers.
  6. If all else fails and you’re ready to throw-up, just cut the interview short. This comes with pre-planning. Refrain from setting expectations by telling them how long an interview will be or exactly what will happen.

Every recruiter, HR professional and hiring manager has been through a dreadful interview with an arrogant person. Believe it or not, a 2012 study from University of Nebraska-Lincoln said job seekers are more successful when they’re narcissists, meaning these people are not going anywhere and have potential to make it into your company. While you can’t control arrogant people, you absolutely can control yourself. Have a look at the signs of arrogance above, and ask yourself: Do job applicants think you’re arrogant?

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Job Descriptions for Contractors vs Employees

Job Descriptions for Contractors vs EmployeesA perfect job description is the first step in making sure you attract the most qualified applicants for your position.  If you consider the job posting as a marketing document (which we recommend you do) then you know that to make it effective, you need to write for your target audience. There are many ways we can classify job seekers, but one way is to look at those seeking permanent, full-time employment and those who are seeking contract positions.

The job description you write to attract a new employee should be different from the one you’d write for a contractor who is performing the same work. To understand those differences, let’s first take a look at the goals and behavior of each group.


Those looking for full-time, permanent work tend to have long-term goals in mind. They’re seeking an organization that will help them grow and provides opportunities for promotion. These people also recognize that since they’ll be with their new organization for a long period of time, they’ll want to be in an environment that makes them happy. Therefore, they research the company and its corporate culture to find the place that they know will fit with their values. Finally, and most obviously, future employees care about the salary and benefits being offered, including vacation. They depend on the company to help them find the ultimate work/life balance.

Contractors are usually independent entities seeking short-term project work. Their main goal is to find a project where they have the skills required to do the job, but they also want to learn and grow as a professional, as well as gain some impressive accomplishments and references to add to a long resume. Although this group wants to know they’d be working in a nice environment, they’re much less concerned with the corporate culture. This is because they know it is not long-term situation, but also because they avoid getting involved with employee activities, protecting themselves from being classified as an employee by the CRA. Finally, independent contractors don’t seek a salary, but instead are looking for a competitive market rate that allows them to pay themselves, and also cover other expenses unique to contractors, such as insurance and vacation time.


Because there is more invested in a permanent position, employees often spend more time in their job search. They carefully evaluate all positions and organizations based on which ones will help them achieve their personal goals, and then concentrate on submitting top-notch applications to a select few who meet the criteria. These job seekers (at least the good ones) rarely go through this process but when they do, they’re hoping that it will be their only job search for a long period of time.

Contractors treat the entire situation as a business-to-business activity. Instead of searching for a job, they’re looking for a gig for their business. These people often deal with procurement departments rather than HR and, therefore, are used to that process. Contractors are always looking at new jobs, even if they currently have one that is expected to last for another few months. As such, they apply to many positions, they’re time is limited, and they have no desire to read the “fluff” in a job description.


The employee job description is what’s more often written about and you are probably already an expert on this topic. When creating a job posting for a full-time position, put a lot of effort into selling the company and the long-term benefits. Demonstrate why they should want to work at your organization and explain the corporate culture. The tone of your ad will also tell a prospective employee a lot about your culture.  Instead of just skills, let future employees know all of their roles and responsibilities as a member of your team.

On the contrary, contract job postings should be short and to the point. Provide an overview of the project with the required skills so the contractor can quickly decide if they want to apply or not. Be sure to include the length of the project and try to use words more unique to contracting such as “rate” instead of “salary.” Finally, there is a common misunderstanding that every contractor would rather be an employee. As a result, there may be a temptation to include a line that says “potential for permanent employment.” This line may actually discourage career contractors, so you may want to think twice before adding it if that isn’t really part of the plan.

Both employees and contractors bring different value to an organization. They each have different benefits so a solid mix is a great idea, just be sure you know the best ways to recruit each of them.

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5 Ways to Recruit a Diverse Workforce

5 Ways to Recruit a Diverse WorkforceThere is plenty of research and real-life proof that a diverse workforce leads to many competitive advantages. Most organizations today recognize this and set goals to create one. If you’ve ever been a part of these programs, though, you know that recruiting a multi-cultural team is easier said than done. Here are a few extra tips you can try, if you haven’t already.

  1. Be Involved with All Communities

If your diverse recruitment strategy only starts when a job is posted, then you’re already too late. Instead, make an effort to get involved with a variety of communities. Places such as schools and cultural celebrations often seek sponsors and volunteers. Try to mix a variety of organizations in with your social responsibility program.

  1. Host Events in Different Places

Does your company ever host networking or promotional events? If so, try to mix up the venues to support businesses representing different communities. Not only will it help you network with new people, but it also sends a great message.

  1. Look into Different Groups and Organizations

There are many non-profit organizations dedicated to helping specific minority groups excel in their profession. Start working closely with these organizations and give them a heads-up on roles that open up in your company.

  1. Create a Diverse Recruiting Team

If there’s little diversity in your team at a recruitment fair or on the review panel in an interview, it immediately sends an impression that your organization has no diversity, even when that is not the case. Furthermore, more representation helps answer questions from minority groups and understand cultural differences that others may perceive as rude or weak.

  1. Make It Part of Your Culture

Having a few stock photos of a diverse workforce might look good, but it will not go much further than that. First, photos only show visual diversity, such as race and gender, but diversity comes in many other forms. Next you need to ensure your workplace is welcoming of everybody and has programs set up to retain your diverse workforce.  Conduct regular audits and consider mentor programs that help people rise to the senior management level.  As your culture becomes more diverse, the recruitment will happen naturally.

Developing your diverse workforce is not going to happen overnight. It requires a company-wide commitment and you have to act on the plan created, rather than just stating that there is a plan. Once you become known as a place where everyone can work with equal opportunity, recruitment will become much easier.

If you have any additional tips to add, please feel free to share them in the comments below.


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Tips for Hiring Your First Employee (Video)

Is your small business getting to the stage where you need to hire your first employee? That’s a big step to take with many questions to be answered. If you’re finding yourself in this position, then you stumbled onto the right blog post! Here’s a video from that gives tips for doing just that!