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The Team Member Application

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The Team Member Application

We are interested in a few key things when it comes to job candidates: It is often difficult to ferret out pertinent information from a candidate's resume. An objective and/or a professional summary can distract from the really pertinent information.

By Bob Piper, The Talon Group June 30, 2005
This article first appeared in the PB July 2005 issue of Pro Builder.

We are interested in a few key things when it comes to job candidates:

  • History of progressive job responsibilities
  • Significant achievements & learning experiences
  • Tenure (as in good tenure)
  • Educational and professional details
  • Compensation history
  • References

It is often difficult to ferret out pertinent information from a candidate's resume. An objective and/or a professional summary can distract from the really pertinent information.

Even worse are functional resumes that feature a laundry list of blind accomplishments or skill sets with no reference to when or where they took place. Only after scrolling down to the bottom of the last page do you see a chronological job history (if you're lucky) that looks like a train schedule.

This is one of the reasons we recommend utilizing a Team Member Application (TMA) in lieu of a resume. This form, which can sometimes be as many as six to eight pages long, captures all the necessary background information needed to prepare for an interview.

Candidate information is captured in a consistent format, enabling you to compare apples to apples.

The Makings of a TMA

In addition to basic bio-data (name, address, contact information), a TMA typically captures the following information:

  • Chronological job history (dates, title, direct reports)
  • Reason(s) for leaving each position
  • Motivation(s) for making a change
  • Significant accomplishments
  • Likes and dislikes about each position
  • Names and contact numbers of current/former supervisors
  • Compensation specifics (starting & ending) by position
  • Aspirations, including steps taken to prepare for same
  • Education & continuing education
  • Why your company?
  • Four to five business references
  • Signed authorization to check references, credit, criminal history, drug screening, etc. (obviously at a later date)

I know what you're thinking; a six to eight page form is a lot to ask a candidate to complete. Some candidates may not want to take the time. After all, we are talking about someone's career here. I do think, however, it is important enough to invest the time and energy.

Benefits of using a TMA

A key advantage of the TMA is how it helps both parties jump-start the interview process. You, the employer, have information at your fingertips that will help you evaluate candidate qualifications against the position's success profile. Having the pertinent information available also enables you to prepare for the interview. Because of the information provided, you can more quickly engage in a meaningful discussion and focus on what the candidate actually accomplished and how those successes can or may be replicated at your company. The candidate will also be better prepared when you drill down into specific areas.

Keep in mind, most builders require candidates to sign releases to check references, credit, criminal background, etc. The TMA becomes the first document in the new hire's employee file.

Finally, the Team Member Application demonstrates the importance your company places on selection.

Remember, "The more you sweat during training... the less you'll bleed on the battlefield." The better candidates will appreciate the TMA, while the rest will see it as a nuisance. After all, isn't that the point?

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