Many people compare hiring and screening future employees to dating: Everyone is looking for that perfect match! And the first step to finding that perfect addition to your team is to look at your screening process. The screening process helps you identify, attract, recruit and hopefully hire a long-term employee for your company. Doing it the right way could ensure you hire top performers that will help your company grow. Doing it the wrong way can saddle you with the headaches of a bad hiring decision.

Here are some key strategies to help you find your perfect match:

Who is your ideal match?

First things first – what does your perfect match look like? You should define the type of person you hope to hire. This way, you’ll be much more effective in reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates. Without having the ideal match in mind, you risk hiring employees based on the best sales pitch, and you may not end up with the qualities that fit your company’s needs.

The First Contact

First impressions are key! When you speak to the candidate by phone before the interview, be sure to introduce yourself and thank them for their resume or application. Tell them what you’re looking for in an ideal employee and ask what they’re looking for in a position. If you feel a connection, set up a face-to-face interview. Otherwise, politely thank them for their time and explain that you don’t see a match for this particular position.

The Interview

As you prepare for the interview, be sure to remember the list of qualities you’re looking for in your perfect match and draft your questions to ensure you get the information about those things that are important to you. Ask each candidate the same questions but do be flexible. You want each candidate to feel comfortable enough to let down their guard.