Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

4 Ways to Weed Out the Best Candidates in a Pool of Plenty

Copy and paste. Attach. Send. Applying for a job in the digital age is easy. In fact, it’s so easy that most job candidates can apply for several different jobs in just 10 or 15 minutes. But what’s great for candidates isn’t necessarily great for small business hiring.

While one or two HR professionals were able to handle the workload 10 years ago, a job post these days could garner 50 plus resumes. So how do you effectively weed through all of the job seekers who are just applying because there is an opening from the serious candidates? has a few suggestions.

1.  Post your job description on a serious job search site.

Perhaps this goes without saying, but don’t post your job openings anywhere and everywhere. Pick social media outlets and job search websites that make sense for your industry and more importantly your company. Consider sites like Spark Hire too. They’re not only an ideal place to feature your job post but to conduct most of the hiring process.

2.  Add “must-have” skills to the job description. recommends including “must-have” skills and qualities listed along with your job post to attract serious candidates. Furthermore though, they suggest adding a disclaimer like, “If candidates do not have the following skills, they will not be invited for interview and need not apply.” Not only does this give you license to throw out any resumes that do not meet the requirement but it also prevents continued follow-up from job candidates who did not meet the initial expectations. You have a clear reason to point to for why they haven’t heard from you all.

3. Provide specific instructions for applying.

Yes, there are job seekers out there who will post their cover letter and resume without even reading the job description. One surefire way to weed these applicants out is to include specific instructions for how and what to include in the job application. advises HR professionals to ask for a special subject line or an answer to question as the first line of their application email. This way, you can easily identify the job candidates who are serious about the job and those who are just applying to apply.

 4.  Conduct an initial screen with video interviews.

Finally, utilize Spark Hire to manage first round video interviews. Meeting every single candidate face-to-face can take up too much time. A video interview is an easy way for you to meet a great deal of candidates in a shorter period of time. You’ll be able to gauge a lot during this initial screening, like their ability to answer questions concisely, personality and professionalism. All you have to do is provide a list of questions. Each job candidate will answer those questions, and you’ll be able to watch their answers via video.

Small business hiring is no easy task, and an influx of applications can make the process even more difficult. By taking a few, simple steps to weed out overly eager job seekers, you’ll better be able to identify those job candidates that are serious about your job.

What else can your business to do weed out the serious candidates from the bad? Share now in our comments!

Kathryn Randolph

Kathryn is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a B.A. in English Writing from DePauw University and has five years experience writing for major job search and higher education websites. When she's not writing for the web, Kathryn is hanging out with her new baby girl, traveling, cooking, reading and running. She believes that the perfect job is out there for everyone and hopes to help Spark Hire job seekers discover their career passion and pursue it.

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