Hiring new team members can be challenging and stressful for a practice leader. After taking the time to create an ad that outlines the job qualifications perfectly then you have to find the best place for it. And you are crossing fingers the whole time for suitable candidates.

The responses that we see in the industry range from dumbfounding to hopeful. It’s true that the unsuitable ones seem to be more memorable. Why is that? It’s because they illustrate everything that you know you don’t want. If you’re looking for detail-oriented, then you are struck by the fact that they didn’t change the job opening title. If you’re looking for a punctual person, you’ll notice the resumes come pouring in just before the deadline. And if you are seeking professionalism then you’ll pick out the ‘party_on_dude’ email address.

Remember, even if you choose to not respond to a potential candidate, you’ll need to keep their resume on file. The best thing to do would be create several folders in your email in which to store them. Folder one is for qualified candidates with the second for possible candidates. You’ll definitely need a third for those with absolutely no chance of consideration. As they arrive you can sort the resumes accordingly.

Email only those candidates you feel are qualified to schedule a telephone interview. The telephone interview can reveal a lot about the person. For example, if you are hiring for a front office position you’ll want to hear their voice. If the candidate does not have an upbeat, telephone demeanor or good verbal skills it may make you think twice about moving to the next step with this person. It is also a good indicator of their job motivation if one of the first questions is regarding pay or benefits. Your time is extremely valuable and you should only be scheduling in-person interviews with those candidates you feel possess the desirable qualities and would fit well with the team.

During the in-person interview, it is important to make note of the person’s punctuality and appearance. Were they on time for the interview and were they dressed professionally? Also, consider how the interview flowed. Were you leading the whole conversation or did you feel they were fully participating and asking pertinent questions?

It’s always a good idea to have the potential candidate participate in a skills assessment. A skills assessment is very important in order to assess the candidate’s current abilities. You’ll also see a glimpse of their personality so that you may assess if they would be a good fit with the team.

Always follow the guidelines set forth in your Employee Manual for any skills assessment and interviews. Potential team members should be screened and vetted as much as possible prior to joining the office. After all, this candidate is becoming a part of a high-functioning team – don’t settle for less!