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Screening and evaluating candidates for open roles within your company is a critical part of the hiring process. Without proper screening and evaluation, your company could end up with an unsuitable hire or even worse, someone who doesn’t properly fit in with the team and culture.
What is screening and evaluation in the hiring process:
Screening and evaluation is the first step in the hiring process. It involves a recruiter or hiring manager going through a candidate's portfolio, resume, cover letter, and any other materials they may have submitted. This is done to determine if the candidate has the qualifications and skills needed for the job. The recruiter then conducts a phone screening or video call to further evaluate whether the candidate is suitable for the position.
If you're using outside recruiting, you'll want to provide them with a document to use as a guide to assess candidates. A "screening questions for recruiters" doc that outlines the requirements and expectations of the role can greatly help a recruiter find great hires and match them to your company’s needs.
When evaluating candidates, you should be looking for qualities like dependability, trustworthiness, communication skills, and problem-solving abilities in addition to the hard skills necessary to perform well in the role. After an initial screening process, the recruiter can then conduct interviews, technical assessments, or other personality profiles to further evaluate the candidate's suitability for the role.
You could also use Interview intelligence software. Interview intelligence is a powerful tool that can be used to help recruiters assess a candidate's fitment by gathering insights from the screening and interview process. By using platforms like Pillar, the recruiter can get an accurate picture of how the candidate performed in the screening process and how they answered any questions or problems posed during the interviews.
Feedback for candidates who performed well and are moving on to the next step in the interview process should be simple and self-explanatory - unsuccessful candidates are a bit more challenging.
Examples of interview feedback for unsuccessful candidates:
Interview feedback should be honest, direct, and respectful. Unsuccessful candidates might receive feedback such as "not a good fit for our team culture", "lacked technical skills necessary to complete the job", or even "you weren't able to demonstrate the right level of knowledge and experience for this role".
I'm personally a fan of specificity in this case, as being objective but also helpful and encouraging can go far when saying, "No," to someone whose hopes and dreams may have been riding on this job interview.
Be sure to include a few points on how they could improve their skills or qualifications so they have something to work towards. Not only is this good practice, but it also gives them an idea of what you're looking for in future candidates and open roles that may be a better fit for their skill set. Screening and evaluating candidates is a crucial part of the hiring process but that doesn't mean it's always easy.
If you're new to recruiting, and you've heard questions like, "What is the screening process?" The screening process in HR helps employers and recruiters to identify the most suitable candidates for an open role, based on pre-determined criteria such as skills, experience, technical knowledge, and attitude. Like a funnel, candidate screening tools and criteria allow a company to focus on the most qualified applicants for an open role.
There are many methods for screening candidates. Some are as simple as reviewing a resume- others require a more technical approach.
Common screening steps include (but are not limited to):
- Phone or video screenings (interviews)
- Online assessments
- Technical exams
- Background checks
- Reference checks
- and Personality tests.
No matter the method, it’s important to determine which qualities are necessary for success in the open role and tailor your evaluation and screening processes accordingly. This will help you to find the right person for the job faster and ensure your current team isn’t overwhelmed by handling more than their fair share of work.
Today, the first several steps of the screening process can be carried out in an automated way by AI. AI sourcing tools like Paradox's Olivia and HireEZ's automated recruiter are effective ways to find the best candidates quickly. But, it’s important to remember that no matter how advanced the technology, the human element is still essential for successful hiring.
Let's look at a screening process example for a mid-level software engineer role at a tech company:
What is the screening process in recruitment:
First, let's take a 30,000-foot view of the screening process steps pre-interview. In the initial screening process, a recruiter or hiring manager will review resumes and other material submitted by applicants. This will include reading through portfolios, cover letters, and technical assessments for any candidate that meets the job's basic criteria (this step can also be automated with AI as we talked about in the previous section).
Next, a phone screening is conducted to further evaluate whether the candidate is suitable for the role. The phone screen will cover all of the basic criteria, and expectations for the role, and provide the candidate with an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge. After passing the initial screening process, a recruiter can then invite the candidate for an in-person interview or video conference call - and this is where the screening process stops and the interview process begins.
Why is candidate screening important:
Candidate screening is both the candidate's and the company's opportunity to make a good impression on each other. A successful screening process helps to quickly identify and narrow down the best candidates for the job. It’s also important to remember that a good candidate experience can have a huge impact on your company's brand, reputation, and overall success in recruitment - so it is important to make sure that all stages of the screening process are well thought out and executed.
Once the candidate has made it through the screening process, the interview process begins. This usually starts with a hiring manager or recruiter introducing the candidate to the company, its mission and values, and providing an overview of the role and its responsibilities. This is then followed by a series of questions that are tailored to the skillset required for the job - with an emphasis on why the candidate is well-suited for the position.
Next, a candidate will meet with a panel of interviewers. This is often the team that they will be working with or a group of peers who have been tasked with assessing the candidate's skills, experience, and potential fit with the team. This is generally followed by a Q&A session where the interviewer can ask any follow-up questions that they may have.
Finally, once all interviews are complete, a hiring manager will review all of the candidates' screening materials and interview feedback to determine who should be offered the job.
Now that you're thoroughly familiar with the screening and interview process, let's talk about what happens after a candidate leaves the final interview. Evaluating candidates after an interview is the stage where a hiring manager or recruiter will review and rank all of the candidates who applied for the role.
This usually involves compiling a scorecard along with notes from screenings, interviews, reference checks, background checks, and other forms of evaluation (such as personality or skills tests). The hiring manager then looks at these notes to identify any pros and cons for each candidate.
Candidate evaluation should be completed as soon as the interview has wrapped up. This helps the recruiter or hiring manager to make a more objective decision and avoid any potential unnecessary delays in the recruitment process. Candidate evaluation examples where the hiring manager or recruiter waited too long to make a decision can often result in the loss of a desirable candidate - especially with workforce shortages and talent in such high demand.
When evaluating candidates, it's important to take into account all of the information that has been gathered throughout the screening and interview process - such as skillset, experience, attitude, cultural fit, etc. Candidate assessment after interview examples might look like this:
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Strong leadership qualities
- Creative problem-solving abilities
- Passionate about the work they do
- Ability to collaborate well across teams.
Evaluating candidates after an interview is a crucial part of the recruitment process, so it's important to be decisive in your decision-making. The right candidate should breeze through the job screening process. This is why well-thought-out and efficient screening and evaluation processes are essential for successful recruitment - so make sure that you take the time to create a bulletproof process that gets results!
If you've had less than successful results and would like our team to help you create effective hiring systems that decrease cost-per-hire, lower time-to-hire, and result in lowering employee turnover by up to 50%, book a demo to chat with someone on our team. We'd love to help you make better hires!