Have you ever been completely surprised by someone? Perhaps you hired someone who, on paper, seemed to be a perfect fit with your practice culture. Seemed to want a full-time position. Seemed to want to live in your community. Seemed to have the skills you were hoping for. Seemed to check all the right boxes.

And then that person started working for you, and you quickly discovered that she was nothing like your initial impression. She didn’t fit well with your team. She didn’t want to work 40 hours per week. She didn’t like where your practice was located. She embellished her skillset on her resume. She left a lot of your “must-have” boxes unchecked.

A fact-finding mission

You probably didn’t go to school to become an investigator, but that’s exactly what you have to be when hiring a new employee. To find quality team members that don’t turn into “surprises” later, you must view the hiring process as a fact-finding mission.

The resume — Once you’ve written and distributed a great job ad and the resumes begin pouring in, you’ll need to spend some time sifting through them. Keep an eye out for any resume red flags:

  • Typos, poor grammar, and/or misspellings
  • Gaps in employment
  • Frequent moves
  • Lack of career progression
  • A failure to follow directions
  • A lack of attention to detail
  • Too much/irrelevant personal information is included

If a candidate hasn’t put the time and effort into creating an exceptional resume, he probably wouldn’t be an exceptional employee. And, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than exceptional.

The research — So, you’ve found a handful of resumes with no glaring issues. Now, the real fun begins. It’s time to take a closer look at these candidates before you choose who will fill out a job application and be moved on to the interview process and who will be eliminated as a potential candidate. Your research should include the following:

  • Social media review — Search for the candidate on various social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. Their profiles will often give you deeper insight into them than their resume, job application, and interviews. If their social media profiles aren’t private and show questionable character, consider yourself warned.
  • Experience review — Examine the candidate’s experience closely, but don’t limit yourself to candidates with veterinary-specific experience. When hiring, especially for roles like the client care representative, the experience should match the job requirements. Don’t count someone out who is highly qualified just because he’s never worked in a veterinary hospital.
  • Internet review — Search for the candidate online to avoid any future surprises. If he’s been in the news, unless it was for something great, it’s probably best to pass on that one.

The job application — Once you’ve weeded out candidates based on their resumes and your research, it’s time to invite your favorites to fill out job applications. Yes, resumes AND job applications should be part of your search for a new team member. Many practice managers and owners think job applications are unnecessary because they include much of the same information that resumes include. But, there are questions and sections on the job application that aren’t on the typical resume. They include:

  • The legal section — The job application is a legal document that includes a section that requires the candidate to attest to the truthfulness of his or her information. It protects the business owner and hiring manager in case it is discovered later that the candidate was dishonest when applying for the position.
  • The salary section — Ask an applicant how much she needs to earn—her salary requirement—so you can avoid a disconnect later in the hiring process.
  • The availability section — Is your candidate interested in a full-time or part-time position? Is he only available during the day Monday through Friday, or can he work some weekends or evenings? It’s good to know these things before the interview process.

Once you’ve completed the resume review, research, and job application processes, it’s time to begin inviting the superstars you’ve discovered to participate in telephone interviews, which is exactly what I’ll cover in my blog post and Facebook Live broadcast next week.

Learn more about finding, hiring, and keeping your standout crew here.