For lots of organisations doing that recruitment dance, the first dance step in the interviewing process can be the preliminary phone interview.
Here’s three tips you may want to consider that will help you make the best use of your time, get the right candidates onto the dance floor, and increase the likelihood of a successful appointment.
Tip #1. Singing from the same hymn sheet?
When you first introduce yourself to a potential candidate in a preliminary phone discussion it can be worth quickly and unassumingly asking them, “What sort of role are you ideally looking for, what other types of jobs have you been applying for?”
If you are advertising, for example, for a Level one Helpdesk role and they say they really want to be a Network Engineer, or you are advertising for an Admin. Sales Coordinator and they are mostly applying for marketing roles, you may not be singing from the same hymn sheet.
Tip #2. History Lesson for HR
I personally really like to ensure the chronology of work history can be substantiated down to the year, and month. I also like to do a mini-audit and have a look at their LinkedIn profile to see if that corresponds with dates, companies and titles in their work history.
If there is disconnect with their CV and LinkedIn from the onset, you may want to think twice about a phone interview. If the phone interview happens, besides verifying their work history you may also like to know why they have moved jobs. Gaps in work history that can’t be accounted for and a track record of leaving jobs for questionable reasons should raise alarm bells.
Tip #3. Be the Referee Scrutineer
Managers have mentioned that nobody ever provides a referee who will give them a bad reference check. I often think that managers do not hold out for referees that are direct supervisors and ask the right questions. (Click HERE to read Reference Checking: Level 201)
When doing a preliminary phone interview, don’t hesitate to ask the candidate which direct supervisors they will be using for their referees. If they indicate that the employer does not provide reference checks, insist that you do not want one from the employer, you are seeking a “personal reference check”. If they cannot give you confidence that they will be able to provide a somewhat recent direct supervisor as a referee you may want to thank them for their time because it may not be worth your time going forward.
While it can often be a difficult market, taking the time and care to get the right person in the seat can save money in the long run.