Hiring can be a long and tedious process. It starts with identifying your hiring needs, preparing job descriptions, and planning how you’ll recruit the right people for each role. Once these are done, the next steps are making a job posting and sorting through the applications to look for candidates who meet the minimum qualifications and required credentials.
At the screening and shortlisting stage, recruiters will review each applicant resume thoroughly to determine whether or not they will proceed with the next steps of the application process. And though it may sound simple on paper, it's a lot more complex than it seems and considered the most time-intensive aspect of the hiring process.
In this blog, we'll discuss how to make your screening process as smooth and efficient as possible by listing down some best practices.
Why Conduct Applicant Screening?
Let’s face it: skimming through hundreds of CVs and deciding who to push through within the recruitment process can get overwhelming. But implementing a candidate screening process is one of the best ways to shortlist the most qualified applicants in your talent pool.
Candidate screening allows HR teams to make an evidence-based selection of applicants and assess them based on skills, personality, cognitive ability, and emotional intelligence. In fact, applicant screening can shield your organization from unqualified candidates that could harm the productivity and morale of your workforce.
Best Practices for Pre-employment Screening
Whether your HR team is new to screening applicants or needs a refresher, you’ll have several things to do during the process. We’ve elaborated on them below.
Write In-depth Job Descriptions
A job description (JD) outlines roles and responsibilities. The written statement may also provide details about your mission, company culture, benefits and compensation, salary range, and immediate supervisor.
More importantly, make sure your JDs show your compliance with local labor laws. Some laws to consider include:
- Prohibition on Discrimination Against Women (Republic Act No. 6725)
- Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act (R.A. 10911)
- Magna Carta of Disabled Persons (R.A. 7277 and R.A. 9442)
- International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Presidential Decree No. 966)
- The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (R.A. 8371)
Conduct Talent Assessments
Pre-screening is a step that every recruiter goes through before selecting candidates for a role. It includes resume reviews, applicant interviews, background checks, assessment tests, and other methods. Let’s look at a few:
Talking and reaching out to prospective hires starts with an assessment of job applications and resumes. That way, it’ll be much easier to single out candidates without the requirements.
At this stage, having specific screening criteria for candidates is essential. Some factors to consider include:
- Cultural fit
- Educational background
- Industry & market knowledge
These pointers will help you choose which applicants you’ll endorse for the next round of your pre-screening process.
An initial interview may be done face-to-face or through a phone call. This stage of the recruitment process helps you get some basic information about the applicant’s skills, qualifications, and interest in the position. You may also check if the candidate provided accurate info in their resume.
Moreover, conducting initial interviews help you identify candidates that demonstrate professionalism and communicate well.
Another way to pre-screen candidates is through a skill test or assessment. They may include aptitude tests that measure job-related abilities and personality tests that evaluate character and behavior.
Schedule Formal Interviews
After pre-screening and selecting qualified candidates, you can now schedule next-level interviews with hiring managers and peers.
Interviews with Hiring Managers
At this stage, applicants will meet with your hiring manager, who will usually ask candidates about their experience and skills, work history, and qualifications. Moreover, they’ll ask applicants when they can start working.
Structured Panel Interviews
Some sensitive roles may require a more in-depth assessment than an in-person interview. As the name suggests, a panel interview is a conversation between two or more hiring team members.
Depending on the level of the role, the panel typically includes the hiring manager or other department members/relevant decision-makers.
During the final interview, candidates will meet the CEO, a member of the senior management, or your HR manager. This stage of the recruitment process can help you identify applicants who align with your company culture. Make sure you prepare behavioral questions to gauge the candidate's EQ for the role.
Questions to Ask During Interviews
Below, we’ve listed some relevant questions to ask during an interview:
- “Can you tell me about yourself?”
- “Why are you looking for a new opportunity?”
- “How did you learn about the position?”
- “What do you know about our company?”
- “Why are you a good fit for this position?”
- “How does your past experience help you excel in this position?”
- “What are your professional goals?”
- “What motivates you?”
- “What do you look for in a company’s culture?”
- “Do you have any questions for us/me?”
Perform Background Checks
Some applicants may seem professional during an interview, but some inconsistencies may arise when you conduct a background check. Perform a background check with an applicant’s current or previous employer to investigate their employment history and performance.
Get the Right People On Board
A rigorous screening process helps you identify candidates aligned with your company’s vision and goals. By following best practices and offering robust benefits like Instacash, you can minimize hiring time and get the right people on board.
Streamline your hiring processes with Sprout’s cloud-based software. Our recruitment and application tracking system makes it easier for you to go through applicant resumes and communicate with the hiring manager.