One of the biggest challenges in hiring a professional to join your organization is weeding through the dozens of applicants that come to your attention. There are many ways to help thin the flood of applicants. Some tricks you can use to figure out who is serious and who is just “floating out a resume” is to ask and require applicants to jump through some hoops such as writing an introduction explaining why they would be a good fit for the position, or how they would benefit the company with their particular skill set. You can establish a simple form of testing that requires applicants to visit a website and answer several questions about their past, or regarding their work and talents that could be beneficial to the company. While these won’t deter all weak applicants, it will definitely thin the group of hopefuls and allow for less legwork on your part.

Another option is to outsource the project to an outside agency: a recruiting firm. Although they can be expensive, recruiting firms free up a great deal of man-hours for you and other members of your team to do other things that are more in line with your job description. The advantages are that most recruiters will shelter you from the non-desirables who have no business applying for a job they are not suitable for. Along with the screening and man-hours, most recruiting firms offer a guarantee with their candidates and will be inclined to go the extra mile to ensure that you have the right candidate in the position. This guarantee is for your benefit just as much as it is for your peace of mind. There is nothing more unattractive to a recruiter than having to go back and do a search all over again (with no additional fee) once they have already done the work.

So if you’re looking to save some trouble and make the “right” hiring choice, you need to be proactive and have candidates jump through hoops, or take advantage of the services you can acquire from a variety of professional recruiting firms.

Free Your Career: Are You Locked To Your Degree?

Do you need a business degree to work at a business? Must you major in Journalism or English to work at a newspaper? What about computers? Do you need a Computer Science degree to program computers? The answer is pretty obvious: No.

The biggest factor in your college degree is in the fact that you have one. Most employers we deal with do ask for a college degree, but rarely specify a course of study.

The few times they are specified, it is because this person will be working in a highly specialized field like Metallurgy.

Some degrees can be more useful than others, especially when the top requirement from employers these days are communication skills, but you can work in any major and still possess such skills.

Aside from communications, there are many other qualities that hiring companies look for. The list of most sought after qualities are honesty, integrity, and interpersonal skills. Such skills do not require a particular major to have any sort of mastery.

The best bet for any jobseeker is to be a complete player. If you have your degree in business, you could benefit from some writing courses, or public speaking, while art majors would do well to take some business classes, with math. This will get you started out in the right direction, since its the basic skills you gain from college that are so appealing, not the course of study. Remember, there is no teacher like experience, so don’t concern yourself with whether or not you’ve taken the right classes and gotten the right degree, but celebrate the fact that you went to college and demonstrated the true talents employers seek, such as determination, teamwork, communication skills, honesty, and integrity. Those are the true talents people seek out in one another.