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Our interview intelligence guides you through the entire interview process, so you find your next great teammate—effectively and equitably.
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The best methods for screening candidates involve not only resumes, calls, interviews, and assessments, but also background checks, and reference checks. The primary goal is to make great hiring decisions that bring top talent to your team, while also reducing turnover risk.
But before we get to all of that. The first step is to create a company people actually want to work for. If you think about it, Google, Facebook, Salesforce, High Alpha, and others don't have to cajole quality talent to come work for their company, talent lines up for any open role. Creating a culture that people are excited to join is vital in today's competitive work environment.
Once that's been done you need to create an effective screening process for hiring that ensures you're selecting the right applicants. This begins with a job description that's comprehensive, accurate, and uses inclusive language.
Start by creating a comprehensive job description that outlines what qualifications and experience a candidate is required to have to perform well once hired. This step will help you narrow the talent pool to only those that are qualified and should move from the pool into a screening interview.
Our "Ultimate Interview Checklist" includes a section to help you write an effective and inclusive job description so you can attract the best applicants.
Why is the candidate screening process important?
The screening process for hiring is an essential step in finding the right candidate for the job. Think back to a poor hiring decision that was made, and a person that joined your company who didn't contribute as much as expected. Maybe they took a long time getting ramped or were unfamiliar with the tools necessary to perform well in their role. These (and many more) are reasons to build a bulletproof screening process for hiring.
What is the screening process?
Most companies use a screening process that begins with a talent pool. Candidates are selected from the pool as prospective employees based on their qualifications and moved from the pool into a screening interview process. This could be a phone call, personality assessment, or face-to-face interview. The goal of screening is to get a better sense of the candidate and their potential fit for the job before proceeding further in the process.
What is screening in HR?
The hiring process in many companies requires several steps to be completed with HR before a candidate meets with hiring managers or panel interviewers. This step allows for qualifications to be verified or references to be checked before the applicant is introduced to the team. This step also allows the team to stay focussed on their day-to-day responsibilities until they're needed to assess the candidate's fit for their team and the introduction of scenario-based questions.
Screening is the first step to ensuring a candidate has the best possible qualifications and fit for the team before moving forward in the hiring process. As you move a candidate from the talent pool into the screening process, consider using tools like interview intelligence software to get the most out of your time with the candidate. Tools like Pillar will provide insights powered by Ai to help you find the best fit for your open role.
There are somewhere between 5 and 10 different types of screening in recruitment. The 3 most used today are resume screenings, phone screens, and skills tests. Screening process examples can use these three in combination or add several more. For instance, hiring manager interviews, personality tests, reference checking, social media screens, or take-home assignments.
If you're building your screening process currently and were to ask what is the screening process in water treatment versus tech, you'd find they are quite different. For instance, if you're hiring for a water treatment plant, the resume and reference checking would be followed by a skills or aptitude test that considers each candidate's knowledge of the specialized equipment and processes required to successfully complete the role.
In tech, on the other hand, employers may consider past performance in a similar role, familiarity with certain platforms, or previous experience in a certain market/ industry. In either case, it's important to set clear expectations for each step in the screening process before beginning the interview. This will ensure that all candidates have the same opportunity to prove their qualifications and have a fair chance to compete for the role.
The initial screening and selection process for any role is the most rigorous. Candidates are all competing to be memorable to interviewers and hiring managers, and HR is responsible for setting the stage. This is done through various stages of screening and selection, such as background checks, drug tests, and reference checks which all make up the screening process in HR.
The first step is usually a resume review to ensure basic milestones like work history and education qualifications align with what's required for the role. Obviously, screening processes in business would look a little different from those in the non-profit world, but in general, phone screens are the next step. This is when HR can assess a candidate's communication and soft skills, get a better sense of what drives them, and ask questions that determine their fit for the organization and company culture.
The last step in the screening process typically involves behavioral or situational interviews. These are conducted either face-to-face or virtually, by hiring managers and interviewers to assess how a candidate would handle real-life scenarios that can be applicable to the job on a day-to-day basis. This part of the process ultimately determines if the candidate is the right fit for the role and company, and should be carefully planned out by HR to get the best results.
Before moving from screening to the interviewing process, the candidate should not only have a good idea of the hiring process, but they should also know exactly what's expected of them along the way.
This is where video interview platforms can help keep interviewers on track with prompted interview questions. These questions create a fairer interview environment, streamline the interview process and provide a seamless, efficient way for HR to manage the screening process. Platforms like Pillar that are powered by Ai allow recruiters to see candidate insights that go beyond resumes, phone screens, and in-person meetings to get an accurate picture of who each candidate really is before bringing them in for in-person interviews.
Early in my career, I was hiring 20- 30 technical roles for a manufacturing company. The HR team had been told that each of the people hired needed to have previous experience building hospital doors. Now as you can imagine, this is a very small niche, and the vast majority of applicants weren't even getting past the application phase. This is where the screening of applications in the selection process comes into play.
Initial screening in the selection process has to fit the needs of the role and also realistically represent the skills of the talent available. This is why candidate screening is important, perhaps the most important part of the process. It's the first step in finding the best fit for your company.
For the particular job, our team put together a test of the basic skills someone needed to perform at or above company expectations, and we included those in a test that each applicant would be invited to take once they passed a drug screening. This is a great example of how to streamline the selection process, eliminate anything that doesn't help a prospective employee perform in their role, and ensure that you are getting the best people for the job.
I've touched on the pre-screening process several times throughout this content, so let's use this section to get into more of the meat. We've covered what the pre-employment screening process entails, and we've also covered different steps that are involved in an effective pre-screening process, now let's talk about the why.
Why do you put a process like this in place and what does the pre-screening interview mean?
To run a great company, you need great operators at every level. For years, individuals with incredible skills who could make a huge contribution to the team, company, and culture were excluded from the talent pool because of something from their past. Hard-working, smart, fun, and diverse individuals weren't even given an opportunity to work for many companies because of something in their past, or something they couldn't control.
Today, the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and many other organizations are seeing to it that everyone has an equal opportunity to work and provide for their families. Pre-screening interviews and processes provide the opportunity to take a different approach than we have in the past - To learn more about a candidate, what drives them, what they love to do, and how they like to do it, all while making sure they are the right fit for our company. There's no room for prejudice or bias when it comes to screening candidates, and every candidate should have the same opportunity to showcase their talent and skills.
Technology has come a long way in helping HR departments determine who is the best fit for each role they fill. With the help of Ai, interview intelligence platforms like Pillar enable hiring managers and recruiters to see insights on applicants that go beyond resumes and traditional phone interviews. This helps them get an accurate assessment of who each person is before bringing them in for in-person interviews or further consideration. If you're currently assessing your candidate screening process, schedule a demo to chat with someone on our team. We'd love to show you how Pillar can help you make better hires.