When you’re hiring for a new position, you naturally want the best talent on the market. However, that can be hard when you’re sifting through hundreds of resumes, not knowing if the skills listed are reflective of the actual candidate. This is where the screening process in recruitment comes into play.
Screening involves reviewing key pieces of information, speaking with the candidate in a short interview, and/or assigning skill assessments to test if the candidate should pass the next recruiting round. Needless to say, it’s essential to finding the right candidate for a role.
And that’s exactly what we’re going to explore here today.
Steps in the Hiring Process
Let’s start by reviewing the steps in the hiring process.
- Recognizing the need to fill a position - Every hiring process starts by recognizing the need for a new hire. This can occur when an employee leaves a company or after a skill gaps analysis showing the need for new talent.
- Writing and posting a job description - Your job description should entail everything a candidate needs to know about you and the position. Then it’s time to post that job description either to your career page or the job board of your choosing.
Be mindful here of the language you use to mitigate bias in the hiring process and reach the most talent possible.
- Reviewing applications - Either manually or through the help of an applicant tracking system, eliminate the candidates who fail to meet your minimum requirements.
- Screening and assessments - From here, it’s time to screen the most promising candidates and run any assessments necessary to verify their skills.
- Checking Background and References - At this point, you’ll have winnowed your candidates to a select few, and you’ll want to check their backgrounds and references for potential problems.
- Making an offer - Finally, you will have come to the best candidate. The one perfect for the position. It’s only a matter of making an offer and waiting for them to accept it.
- Onboarding - Often forgotten as part of the hiring process, onboarding is essential to get your new hire integrated into your organization.
Video vs. Phone Screening
When it comes to the screening process itself there are two primary options that bring us to video vs phone screening. Both have their merits. Only one can be the best when it comes to types of screening.
When it comes to virtual interviews, both phone and video interviews allow recruiters to maintain a human connection and consistency. This is only natural because they both have recording potential. However, this is really where the similarities end.
Video interviews, for example, consistently fail to mitigate bias. Of course, they give the candidate an opportunity to make a visual impression of how they dress and present themselves. However, this format also opens opportunities for unconscious recruiter bias based on candidate appearance.
What’s more, video interviews are simply less accessible. It requires candidates to possess a microphone, webcam, and a stable internet connection. These are luxuries many of us take for granted, but according to Pew Research, only 77% of US adults have access to high-speed broadband internet. Contrast this with the nearly 98% of adults that have access to some type of cell phone – all they would need for a phone interview.
Then there’s the matter of actually reviewing these formats. This is yet another space where we see video interviews fall short. When recruiters use automated phone interviews with Qualifi, they can review a screening in as little as 5 minutes. Contrast this with video interviews which require the full attention of the recruiter for the duration of the interview — stretching this review time to at least 15 to 30 minutes depending on the interview length.
And speed is essential for this next point. Phone interviews are ideal for high-volume hiring. They’re faster, reach more candidates, and help improve diversity in recruitment. All of which you’ll need for high-volume recruitment.
What is Screening in Recruitment?
The answer to “What is screening in recruitment” is best surmised as the process of checking an applicant for the necessary skills and qualifications to fill a role. The process itself is rather simple with the right tools and know-how. However, it remains one of the most time-intensive tasks in the entire recruitment process. To explore why, let’s take a look at the application screening process from start to finish.
- Resume and cover letter screening - The first step in every screening process is to consider the resume and cover letter. Here we’re looking to see if the applicant meets the minimum qualifications that the role requires. This in itself is a time-consuming task if done manually, especially if you’ve had many applicants. To this end, many organizations utilize applicant tracking software, or ATS, that identifies relevant keywords to save recruiters time and energy.
- Skill Assessments - Once you’ve selected a set of likely candidates, you can choose to send them skill assessments to test the qualifications claimed on their resumes. These are particularly common for highly technical positions such as code developers, and will easily sort candidates based on skill.
It is important to note here that skill assessments can occur at any time in the recruitment process but before the initial interview will save the most time.
- Screening Interview - Next will be the all-important screening interview - a brief 15-30 minute interview with the candidate designed to gather insights into the applicant beyond their resume.
For the best results, you’ll want to provide each candidate with the same set of questions. These questions should address your most important concerns such as salary expectations, experience, and company knowledge. Ideally, this will allow you to easily compare candidates and choose who to move on to the next steps.
- Reference Check - If a candidate makes a good impression during the screening interview, it’s time to check their references to learn more about their history. References should include either past coworkers or employers that can attest to the candidate’s performance.
- Online Research - Many companies turn to social media to research their candidates. After all, candidate profiles across platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn will show you how candidates present themselves to the world. In the process, you’ll be able to learn about their behavior and whether it suits your company culture.
- Background check - Many roles can include sensitive information or environments where it’s essential to run a background check. These exact roles can vary drastically from childcare to cybersecurity. Regardless, you’ll want to know whether a candidate has a criminal background
Once a candidate has passed these key steps in the pre-employment screening process, it’s finally time to move on to the interview with the hiring manager.
As we’ve established here, there’s much that goes into a strong screening process. It is little wonder that the interviews take up three-quarters of recruiters’ time. Thankfully, there are tools like Qualifi’s on-demand interviews that drastically reduce the time it takes to find that perfect hire.