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The candidate screening process is one of the most important aspects of the hiring process. It filters candidates who aren't qualified, people we shouldn't be talking to, and those who aren't a great fit while elevating candidates who are perfect for our open roles. Before diving into your first screening, make sure you've prepared a pre-screening questionnaire to assess candidates. A pre-screening questionnaire is the fastest way to identify red flags and those with whom you should move forward in your recruitment process.
A pre-screening process will look slightly different for recruiters and in-house HR teams. HR teams will primarily be looking for a candidate's experience, skills, and qualifications, while recruiters will be focusing on assessing the cultural fit and potential tenure of a hire. That said, both types of teams should ask about the same core topics:
- Qualifications/Educational Background
- Professional Experience
- Interest in the Role
- Understanding of Company & Job Duties
- Motivation & Career Goals
These topics should be the core of your pre-screening questionnaire, although it can vary depending on the specific job role. For example, if you're looking for a software engineer you may want to include technical questions as well.
When it comes time for recruiters to ask candidates screening questions, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The type of questions asked during a screening can vary depending on the position being filled, but they should focus on topics that will help recruiters get an understanding of the candidate's qualifications and cultural fit.
For example, if you're hiring for a sales position, screening questions for recruiters might include:
- What kind of experience do you have with cold calling?
- How would your previous colleagues or employers describe your ability to close deals?
- What type of sales cycle are you used to?
- Describe a difficult deal you closed. What were the specific challenges of that deal?
These questions will help recruiters get a better sense of how qualified the candidate is and whether they'd be a good fit for the team.
No matter what type of position you're hiring for, an effective screening process should always include a combination of pre-screening questions and in-depth interviews. This two-pronged approach helps to ensure that only the best candidates make it to the final rounds of your hiring process.
If you're currently struggling to come up with screening and interview questions, check out Pillar's library of more than 1,000 interview questions. Specifically tailored by role, these questions can be added to your screenings and interviews with a couple of clicks allowing you to focus on having an engaging conversation and assessing the candidate's answers rather than focusing on what to ask next. Our team built interview intelligence software with one goal in mind, to help you make better hires. Check out our solution to see if it's right for you.
You may be asking, "What is the screening process in recruitment?" The screening of applications in the selection process is one of the first steps toward the recruitment of an applicant. Screening helps to ensure that the right people are considered for the job by providing employers with a process to assess both qualifications and experience.
The screening process in recruitment is an essential part of the recruitment cycle because it allows employers to efficiently and effectively identify the most suitable candidates for their open positions and filter those who don't appear to be a great fit based on their objective qualifications.
The screening process typically begins with a review of the job description and candidate qualifications such as education and experience. Most often, this step is done by AI focused on identifying keywords that will help the recruitment professional match skills with terms that they find useful to the role.
After this initial assessment, recruiters will consider the applicant's resume and cover letter to determine if they meet the requirements for the job. Then, employers may wish to assess an individual’s communication skills or technical knowledge through phone interviews, online tests, or in-person interviews.
The screening process in recruitment is a critical part of the hiring process and should be taken very seriously. It allows employers to reduce the time spent on interviewing unqualified candidates and increase their chances of finding qualified individuals who fit the role and company culture.
Challenges of cultural fit can be harder to identify early in the screening and interview process because you're generally less familiar with the candidate's personality, values, and ambitions. However, there are a few questions you can ask during the pre-screening or interview process to get an understanding of how well a candidate will fit in with your team.
Questions such as:
- What type of work environment do you thrive in?
- Tell me about a time when you had to collaborate on a project with someone who had a different perspective than you.
- What type of feedback have you received from former colleagues or bosses about your ability to work on a team?
Asking these types of questions can help you gain an understanding of how well the candidate will be able to fit into your company's culture and whether they'll be motivated to stick with a role when things get tough.
Screening and interview questions are the catalysts for some hard conversations that need to happen in the first few interviews:
- Does the person really want to perform well in this role?
- Can they work in the conditions they're being placed in if hired?
- Will they create the type of results that we need to sustain growth?
- What resources and training have we allocated to help them get results?
These are the types of questions recruiters should be asking to ensure that they end up with the best possible candidate for the job.
The screening process in recruitment is one of the most important elements of the hiring cycle, and it's essential for employers to have a thorough understanding of what makes a great screening process before beginning their search.
Maybe you're pre-screening and asking yourself, "Why is candidate screening important?" After all, we have AI, digital assistants, and tools for that. The screening process in HR is like any other process - it ensures that you have the right people in the right roles, to achieve your goals. The screening of applicants in the selection process is the foundation of your conversations with each applicant. It gives you the data you need to ensure you're talking to the right people.
Overall, this makes the job screening process a critical step in ensuring that you hire the best person for the job and that they stay with you for years to come.
As good as modern AI is, we've still seen AI hallucinations, biases, and failures in candidate screening. That's why it's important to have a human-assisted screening process in HR.
There is no one-size-fits-all method for screening candidates, but the most effective methodology is understanding the job you are hiring for and the type of person who would be best suited for that position. Armed with this knowledge the job screening process should be done thoroughly and systematically. Consider, for example, the impact of implementing Pillar's interview intelligence software into your screenings and interviews.
By leveraging Pillar's suite of hiring tools such as AI candidate assessment, interview recording, transcription, and indexing, you gain the ability to search the text transcript by topic and share relevant interview segments with your team members involved in the decision-making process. This empowers you to create a more informed and agile hiring process that aligns with your organization's distinct recruiting requirements.
Once you've looked at the candidate data, you can review the interviewers and use interviewer coaching tools to help them improve their skills and better understand what they should be looking for during the screening process. You can also create rich scoring systems, such as competency-based scoring, to track candidate performance on each competency.
The final step in the HR hiring process is making sure that you have a solid onboarding process in place when you make a hire. This involves setting up resources, support structures, org charts, and training to help the new hires get up to speed quickly and ensure they feel comfortable in their role.
The screening process in HR is an essential part of any hiring process as it ensures the effectiveness of your new employees, but it should be combined with other tools such as AI, interview intelligence software, and interviewer coaching to create a comprehensive recruitment system that works for your organization.
Creating this entire ecosystem usually requires 5-7 different tools which we'll talk about in another article. Or, if you'd like, you can download our free guide, "How to Build the Best Recruitment Tech Stack" for more details and a list of our favorite tools.
Our team would love to help you make better hires. To see how we could work together, book your demo of Pillar today.