Experience Isn’t Everything: Five Ways to Tell If Your Entry Level Candidate is Qualified

Years of experience tend to be king when it comes to job postings. It is one of the most common reasons candidates decide not to apply for positions that they are otherwise well-qualified for. Entry-level employees bring a lot of value to the table. The key is being able to pick out which entry-level applicants are qualified. These five ways will help you determine how qualified your entry-level candidate is. 

Assess Entry-Level Candidates Differently 

Before we dive in, it is important to note that you must assess entry-level candidates differently. They will not have the years of work experience to back up their credentials. You must look at education and other experiences to infer whether the qualifications are truly there. 

Internships are Telling 

While internships are temporary and often unpaid, they can provide candidates with a wealth of experience. This is especially true if a candidate has completed multiple internships in your company’s industry. Take a closer look at what each internship entailed. The chances are good that the applicant has created a valuable network, is knowledgeable about the industry, and possesses valuable skills. More than one internship also indicates exposure to different angles, which translates into versatility. 

Education Matters 

Take a close look at the degree received, GPA, and relevant courses completed. The GPA indicates how seriously they took the coursework and the value they most likely gained from it. For example, someone who earned a C in a class probably didn’t take away as much from it as someone who got an A. 

Look at Extracurriculars 

Extracurriculars can be used in place of work history to determine motivation. Someone who has a long list of activities and awards, recognitions, and even offices held indicates a driven candidate. 

Contact References 

References can tell you a lot about an entry-level applicant and may be your most valuable resource. Contact each one listed. Ask in-depth questions such as:  

  • Is he or she punctual?  
  • What are the candidate’s weaknesses?  
  • What are the candidate’s assets?  
  • What is their attitude?  
  • How does he or she handle stressful situations?  
  • Does the applicant work well as a team member?  
  • What relevant skills does he or she possess?  

Take the Hassle Out of Hiring 

Making smart hires is the backbone of any successful company. Salem Solutions can help you find the best candidates to fit your company’s needs, whether you are looking for entry-level or seasoned applicants. As the nation’s leading staffing firm, our specialists will take the time to understand your personnel needs and present you with only the most qualified candidates. Request an employee today! 

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