The Human Resources guys have a big job on their hands in companies. They are the people who must screen potential candidates for job openings. Before any advertisement is ever placed, there has to be a consensus as to what the job description should be. What qualifications is the company looking for in their new hire? Qualifications are not just what can be gleaned from a resumé. The reality is that some candidates look better on paper than they do in person. It is a process to hone down the resumés you receive to those that really fit the job description.

Once you inform your staff of a job opening, they are encouraged to apply for the job. It is much easier to promote a current employee from within than to have to “break in” a new hire into the corporate culture. Those employees who have already gone through the screening process may actually prove to be a better fit in the newly opened job.

Once these employees have passed the preliminary screening process, what further criterion can be used to find the “best” employee for the job?

When the Human Resources department has whittled the resumés into Possible, Unacceptable and Appropriate, the work of interviewing can begin. For those who have been deemed appropriate, a full investigation of their resumé should commence, to check out the validity of their qualifications and references. Job seekers have been known to pump up their resumés with flowery job descriptions that really do not give you a sense of what their jobs entailed. The Human Resources department needs to see if they can get a sense of what the candidate is interested in, and if s/he would be a “fit” into their organization.

Sometimes, the only way to really know about a person is to do a cursory phone interview, followed by a face-to-face interview if the responses to the phone interview are to the Human Resources’ liking. There is no reason to personally interview someone who wants appreciably more money than the job is offering and won’t settle for less. The responses to the questions and the feel of the interviewer for the candidate will determine whether the latter has been eliminated from contention, or is still in the running.

A face-to-face interview tells volumes about the candidate. How the person is dressed, if s/he arrives for the interview on time, his/her body language, if s/he makes eye contact—those can be gleaned by taking notes of both the questions s/he asks and his/her responses to your questions. Those are clues to how an applicant might fit into your corporation. It is still a subjective world we live in. If the interviewer feels that the applicant will not fit in to the company, the person will be eliminated from further interviews.

Ironically, there is also the possible case of the candidate who, after the interview is over and s/he is offered a position, decides to refuse the job due to certain factors, such as not getting a good feeling from the interviewer. The company will then have to find someone else. The last thing a company needs are employees who do not wish to work for them.

Potential employers are in the driver’s seat as there are many more applicants for each position available. But how many of these applicants are a good fit for the job? It will often take time even after they are hired to find the answer to that question. People most often than not accept job offers just to have a job, whether or not they feel they want the job for the long term.