Is your clerical candidate proficient in all Word applications? Have you seen examples of their written work? These are a couple of examples of how to screen your clerical candidates.
Clerical skills literally run the world. Out of all the applications most companies use, they probably go back most frequently to Office tools like Word and Excel. Basic tasks like documentation, answering correspondence by phone or email, and scheduling appointments are so engrained into the busy work lives of almost all your employees. So, you would think it would be easy to find a clerical candidate with these skills, right? Ask any employer and they’ll probably tell stories about how they haven’t been able to find someone competent in the clerical space. This blog will help you know what to look for in a clerical candidate.
Hiring for Clerical Skills
Clerical skills support businesses at their most basic level. These skills are really the backbone of just about any company. Small mistakes at the clerical level can cost companies big money or even negatively affect your brand. Make no mistake—clerical skills are much more valuable that you probably imagine. That means you have a lot riding on hiring a worker with these skills.
Some of the most common clerical skills that we look for are:
- Attention to detail.
- Ability to communicate in writing and verbally.
- Organization and the ability to multitask.
- Time management.
- Some basic software skills in office-related programs.
- Ability to troubleshoot and adapt to change.
- Collaboration skills.
How can you gauge these skills? Start with the resume. Look for small typos that would indicate they miss small details. Look for examples of how the candidate used the skills you’re looking for on the job. Ask them some strong behavioral questions such as:
- Tell me about a time your attention to detail benefited your company?
- Have you ever had to drop everything you were working on to take on a new, more urgent task? How did that make you feel and what did you do?
Next, look at the candidate’s LinkedIn profile. How many connections does the candidate have? Strong connections mean the candidate is actively reaching out to build their network, which is always a good thing. Look at spelling and grammar to see if their attention to detail carries over onto this platform. Do they have any recommendations or endorsements that help you get a better sense of the candidate? You should also compare the LinkedIn profile to their resume to look for problems with consistency that could be a red flag.
If the candidate’s resume, LinkedIn, and interviews go well, it’s time to test their skills. You’re already testing their verbal communication skills during the interview process. The candidate should send you a thank you after every interview; check that document for typos or sentences that don’t make sense. If the candidate doesn’t send you a thank you, that also tells you something, doesn’t it? But a quick thank you email isn’t the same as checking grammar on an actual document. We recommend giving the candidate a homework assignment as a final test of their writing skills. As them to write up a summary of their last interview. Or, you can use any one of a number of pre-employment tests that are on the market. Look for attention to detail and promptness in responding to the assignment.
If you’re looking for clerical talent, Stellar Staffing excels in this area. Talk to our team about our pre-vetted clerical candidates and get the help you need when you need it most.