Following up on resumes
March 31, 2008 7:46 AM   Subscribe

I need to find a decent replacement for my job when I go off to grad school. How do I follow up on these resumes I've been sent?

My bosses know this. I don't want to leave my company in dire straits (partially out of loyalty, partially because they'll come calling me when they can't figure it out).

The job position I currently have is a complicated one. It involves two entirely different domains (graphic design and programming). I just got accepted into the grad program of my dreams and it starts at the end of July.

We (my employer and I) figure we will probably have to have two employees replace me. I'm really trying to find decent replacements because the company has been quite good to me.

We put up an ad for each position on Craigslist, got some resumes, but nobody's standing out for each side. This means we have to dig a little deeper.

How do we do it? What is the professional way to follow up? Emailed inquiries? Phone interview? In-Person interview? I know they all happen, but what's the standard next-step?

And yes, my employers have hired other people, but not for the tech sector and also...somewhat casually.
posted by Brainy to Work & Money (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
First, be prepared for this process to take twice as long as you think, if not more. Have you posted these positions to MeFi Jobs? Dice has, anecdotally, the "best" candidate pool for tech jobs, but IMO 95% of all resumes you'll get from any posting are, to put it mildly, "not a good fit".

NETWORK. I've always always always had the best hiring experiences come via a tangible connection (mutual friend, same club, etc.). Send an email to your friends. Are you on LinkedIn? FWIW, MeFi meetups are an outstanding networking tool for people like you.

partially because they'll come calling me when they can't figure it out

This is a separate trap you should arm yourself against. Decide if you're willing to go down this road; if you are, make it very clear to them what your rate (don't ask, tell them what you feel is fair) and availability (ditto) are.
posted by mkultra at 8:19 AM on March 31, 2008

Do you mean the candidates are not acceptable and you need more candidates, or you need to know what to do with these potential candidates? If they are potentials, I think the best thing to do, and the best way to get a sense of a candidate, is an in-person interview. If they are local, just get them in.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:25 AM on March 31, 2008

We just did this in both domains you mention. I assume you requested portfolios from the designers and code samples from the programmers.

If you don't like the replies you got, wait a week and run the ad again. Assuming you seek junior people, in both domains the ratio of complete knuckleheads to smart people is just amazingly high. We threw away without a second look 95% of what was sent in. Especially graphic designers: those for-profit art schools are doing these kids a real disservice by telling them they have talent.

Once you find someone you like, you can do a phone screen, but understand that the weaknesses of the format.

If they pass that, bring them in for an in person. Structure the interview with numerous "OMG this guy is an idiot. We must end this now." breakaway opportunities so you don't waste your time and theirs interviewing for a job they won't get.
posted by mrbugsentry at 8:27 AM on March 31, 2008

Generally, the order is:
phone screen,
first round interview (request that the candidate bring a portfolio of his work scrubbed of proprietary information),
reference calls,
second round interview,
pre-employment screening (drug, background if you do them)

It's a giant game of chutes and ladders. Actually, it's all chutes. At any time you can be back at the posting/resume stages.
posted by 26.2 at 8:44 AM on March 31, 2008

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