Create Questionnaires and Use Filters to Find the Candidate

By Cheryl Stein
Monster Business Coach

We all want to hire the right candidate for the right position. So we write a job posting that we think accurately describes the job opening that we have. We post it and wait for the responses to start coming in. Sometimes the results are good and the search is over quickly and painlessly. Still other times we have lots of work to do to sift through the resumes that we receive to find that perfect person. Why can’t it be easier?

Monster’s own Samantha Harris, Lead Canadian Client trainer offers some tips and advice on how to use all the really neat features that Monster has for you to maximize your chances of finding the right person and to reduce the amount of work that you have to do to get them.

Did you know that there are four ways that a candidate will search for a job?
They search by:

1. Location
2. Keyword
3. Occupation, or industry
4. Search in any combination of the four.

While there isn’t much you can do to influence a job seeker’s desired location, occupation or industry, there is a way to write a posting that includes important keywords. 62% of all job seekers will search by keyword. Properly using keywords is one of the best ways to get a broader range of resumes and a greater likelihood that the person that you want will be finding your posting.

Let’s just say, for example that you are a manufacturing company looking for someone who has fantastic customer service skills to work in your call center. Your ideal candidate might have worked in retail or might even have been a waiter/waitress. They will apply based on transferable skills and not necessarily because they have experience in your industry. If you provide the right keywords they will find you, leave the keywords out and they won’t.

Did you know that you can create screening questionnaires? Probably one of the best ways to weed out those unsuitable candidates is to create a questionnaire. Come up with the questions that you would like to know the answers to and save yourself a tremendous amount of time ruling people out. If you are stuck and don’t know what to ask, Monster has a whole list of questions to help you get started.

Tips for creating questionnaires:

Make a mix of question types
Don’t make all your questions the same. Make some multiple choice, some yes or no, some short answer and some longer answers. That way it stays interesting.

Ask a qualifying question after a yes or no question.
If you ask someone a yes or no question, it is much easier for them to lie. It is a great idea to have them fill in a sentence or two to qualify that answer which will uncover more information and give you some insight into your applicant.

If you want a person to speak a particular language, ask them if they speak the language in that language. It seems obvious but if you need your candidate to speak Mandarin or French, ask them a few questions in Mandarin or French. Make those questions a little longer so the candidate has to demonstrate some understanding of the language.

Test communication skills by asking them to fill in a longer paragraph. If good communication is important to the role that you are trying to fill, make the candidate write a paragraph or two in answer to a question about communication.

Your questionnaire is saved and easily accessed from a drop down list. Once your survey is created, all you have to do is select it and modify it slightly if necessary every time you post a position. You will never have to do the work again. If you always want to ask the same questions, the survey can be automatic every time you post.

Did you know that there are filters? You can filter job applicants for career level, education level, work authorization (as in authorized to work in Canada) or by location. These questions can be left out of your questionnaire and can be turned on or off individually. That means that you don’t have to filter for all things at once. You can choose to only filter for education level, or only filter for location, or any combination of the four.

Did you know that you can send follow up emails automatically so that candidates don’t feel like their resumes have gone into a black hole? There is nothing more discouraging for your potential candidate than feeling that they have responded to a job posting and nobody will ever see the resume. This feature makes the job applicant feel like they are having a more personalized experience.

Did you know that sometimes your job posting doesn’t look like what you think it looks? Use the monster preview feature to make sure you are posting what you think you are posting. There is nothing more important than double-checking to make sure that things look right.

Using these features couldn’t be easier – the system will prompt you during the process of posting a job. It will ask you if you want to create a questionnaire. It will ask you if you want to create a reusable library of questions and if you are at all confused, you can call Monster Customer Service at 1-800-MONSTER (666-7837).

Read Screening Questionnaire Best Practices: 10 tips to help you design screening questionnaires.