Workforce Connections prescreens potential hires

Employers, we know you have been there.

You post a job and are flooded with resumes. Half don’t meet the minimum qualifications. Then there are those with glaring mistakes. And when you start to interview, someone who looked great on paper suddenly doesn’t seem so hot in person.

Frustrating. But it doesn’t have to be. There is a way to save money and time while finding a good hire for your company. We don’t want to brag, but we’re the BEST when it comes to connecting employers to great hires.

Our Workforce Connections’ Business Engagement Specialist Team (aka BEST) can help identify the right candidate for the job at no cost to you. That’s what we do as part of Workforce Connection’s mission of connecting employers to a ready workforce.

We have access to candidates who already have completed job skills training or otherwise match up with the skills you are looking for. We can help post your job openings, and we even hold regular prescreening interviews of potential candidates before they are referred to you.

But we don’t stop there. Workforce Connections also can provide candidates health, alcohol awareness training and other work cards. We can assist with tools, uniforms and other items required for the position. We even can help with transportation when needed.

Again, at no cost to the employer. (That’s you.)

“When employers, especially small employers, learn what we can offer, they are stunned,” said LeRoy Bilal, business engagement specialist II. “Many had no idea all these resources were available. We function like an extension of a company’s HR department. Or, for smaller companies, we essentially become their HR department.”

Workforce Connections also can offer employers conference rooms for interviews, provide temporary office space and assist in other ways.

“The services provided by BEST are critical to the successful placement for the individual seeking a job and to the business owner seeking the most appropriate candidate,” said Donna Criswell of Batteries in a Flash. “BEST’s prescreening saves entrepreneurs precious time. I believe it also saves the job seekers disappointment from mismatches.”

How can this be? Workforce Connections is Southern Nevada’s local workforce development board, funded by the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and charged with connecting employers to a ready workforce.

When small employers told us they needed help with hiring, we listened.

Every Thursday morning, BEST holds prescreening interviews at which members of the business engagement specialist team preinterview potential candidates for employers. We make sure minimum qualifications are met, and the potential hire possesses the “soft skills” necessary to impress, such as dressing appropriately and showing up on time.

These prescreenings also allow us to work one-on-one with candidates by providing an opportunity to give valuable feedback before the job seeker comes face-to-face with an employer. Because as we all know, first impressions count.

“At the prescreenings, I’m looking for a warm personality, a firm handshake, and someone who knows what is on their resume,” said Bryon Goynes, business engagement specialist II. “I am prescreening directly to what my employer has asked. If I like a candidate, I will prepare a referral form that will refer them directly to the employer for an interview.”

That means when a candidate is referred by BEST, he or she already has been vetted, saving the company valuable time and resources. Basically, we do the work for you.

Last program year, BEST helped more than 500 job seekers connect with more than 50 employers. Those new employees earned starting wages of between $9.40 and $32 an hour.

Want to learn more about how Workforce Connections’ BEST may be able to help you? Visit

Let us help with the hiring, so you can be your best when it comes to running your company.

Kenadie Cobbin Richardson is the director of business engagement and communications for Workforce Connections, Southern Nevada’s local workforce development board. Email Richardson at

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