courtesy Mark IV Builders

Whether hiring or not, you probably receive many unsolicited résumés, e-mails, and calls from people who want to work for you. The incoming flood has diminished a bit at Mark IV Builders, but we still get at least one or two such inquiries a week. Busy as we are, we quickly evaluate every single one; even if we can’t use someone now, s/he might make a great addition to our team later.

Here’s how I organize and prioritize these inquiries to save time.

A’s: This group includes people I definitely want to meet for a face-to-face interview. They have good experience, a long tenure in good jobs (no “jumpers”), and an educational history that suggests they like to learn. Most “A” candidates also use e-mail, so I always write back — even if only to thank them for making contact and to ask them to keep in touch. I want to stay on their radar screen.

B's: The “maybe” group; not as strong as the “A” players but worth pursuing if the A candidates don’t work out. Though they may have good credentials, I might have a gut feeling that they’re not a great fit. I make contact with these folks as well.

C's: Not a chance.

I binder-clip the three piles together and add new inquiries as they come in. And sometimes I share names with my local peers. We all believe in building our networks and paying it forward.

—Andy Hannan is production manager of Mark IV Builders, in Bethesda, Md.