What is the Screening Process

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What is the Screening Process

In the fast-paced and rapidly changing world of work, hiring processes, supporting software, and strategies are constantly evolving. To ensure that you are hiring the best and most qualified candidates, companies, especially startups, use a variety of screening and interviewing techniques and tools to filter through the pool of candidates. In this article, we'll dive into the screening process and some of the top job screening questions that companies use today.

What Is the Screening Process?

The screening process is the first step in the hiring process that allows an employer to filter through the applicant pool and identify the most qualified candidates for an open role. The goal of the screening process is to reduce the number of applicants to a manageable level so that hiring managers can focus their efforts on the most promising candidates.

A great visual for this would be a marketing funnel. Each step of the funnel narrows the pool to a smaller number of candidates who are not only a great fit, but well qualified for the role. The screening process begins with:

Step 1: Resume Review

The first step in the screening process is typically a review of the candidate's resume. This review helps employers quickly eliminate applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the job. Once the resume review is complete, the candidate moves to a:

Step 2: Phone Screening

After the resume review, employers (often HR) typically conduct a phone screening to further evaluate the candidate's qualifications and determine if they are a good fit for the job. During the phone screening, employers may ask a variety of questions related to the candidate's skills, experience, and qualifications. Once the phone screen is over, a candidate will either exit the hiring process or be moved to the next step which is:

Step 3: Video Interview with a Hiring Manager

The next step is (most often) an interview with a hiring manager where the candidate answers a series of questions related to the job. The interview can be conducted over a video interview platform and will often utilize interview intelligence software in the background to assess the candidate's fit for the role.

This is where companies deviate from a traditional hiring process and use strategies that fit their own unique industry, company, or even role. Once the hiring manager interview is complete, the next step will often be an in-person interview, followed by a team interview, assessment test, personality test, and even executive interviews.

Screening Process Example

Let's take a look at the screening process example through the eyes of someone going through it:

John just graduated from college and was looking for a job. He stumbled upon a job opening for a marketing assistant role on Indeed. He submitted his resume to apply for the position and received a call from the HR department the next day, inviting him for an interview.

After the initial phone screen, John was asked to go through an additional screening process that involved several steps. The first step was a skills assessment test. This test evaluated John's skills and knowledge in marketing, as well as his ability to think critically and solve problems. John was happy to complete the test and felt that he had performed well.

The second step was a reference check. The HR manager contacted several people at the company John spent several summers interning with to confirm his work experience and performance. This was a critical step in the screening process, as it provided the company with insights into John's work ethic, attitude, and professionalism. Once the initial screening process was completed, John would be invited to a video interview with the hiring manager and go through the interview process from there.

If you're new to the hiring process and googling things like, "What is the screening process in recruitment," or even, "What is the screening process," hopefully the example above answers your questions.

There are several types of screening in recruitment.

1. Resume Review,
2. Phone Screen,
3. Assessments to verify skills,
4. Reference Checks,
5. Personality testing.

What is Screening in Recruitment

Before hiring a candidate, screening is a critical step to ensure that they have the necessary skills, experience, and qualifications for the job. We talked a bit about this in the previous sections, but here's a full description of each step.

What is Screening in Recruitment?

Screening is a step-by-step process that narrows your candidate pool and helps to identify the best candidates based on their skills, qualifications, and experience. The screening process usually begins from the first contact with the candidate and ends before the interviewing stage. It involves reviewing resumes, and cover letters, and conducting background checks or assessments.

Types of Screening in Recruitment:

There are several types of screening used in recruitment. These include:

1. Resume Screening: This is the first type of screening and is often handled by a junior HR professional or recruiter. It involves reviewing resumes to determine if the candidate's experience, skills, and qualifications match the job description and requirements.

2. Phone Screening: This type of screening involves calling the candidate to ask preliminary questions about their experience, salary expectations, availability, and in recent months as companies have begun to enforce office hours: geographical location.

3. Online Assessment: Online assessments, such as personality tests, cognitive ability tests, and situational judgment tests, are used to evaluate the candidate's suitability for the job.

4. Reference Checks: Reference checks involve contacting the candidate's previous employers or supervisors to verify their work history, job performance, and professional conduct.

Why is Candidate Screening Important?

Candidate screening is a vital step in the recruitment process because it helps to identify the best candidates for the job- and if you're trying to build a great company culture it really is step one toward accomplishing this goal. Screening further ensures that the candidate has the necessary skills, qualifications, and experience required for the job, reducing the risk of poor job performance, which can lead to costly turnover.

Screening Process In HR

As an interview intelligence software, one of the things we're asked frequently: is whether the screening process in HR is different from the screening and selection process for recruiters.

During the pre-screening process (for the most part) we're all trying to accomplish the same thing- to decide whether or not this person has the basic qualifications to do the job. The key difference between recruiters and HR professionals when it comes to screening is that recruiters rely heavily on automated processes, such as resume reviews or assessments, while HR generally seeks input from multiple sources like personality tests and other assessments.

HR must take into account more than just technical skills; they might look at cultural fit, attitude, or potential leadership skills.

In short, recruiters typically use a far narrower approach to screening while HR may take a broader view of the applicant and look at softer skills that can’t be measured in an automated process. The candidate will often undergo team interviews after a recruiter has earmarked them for a role so it's less important that they take costly tests and more that they fit preset qualifications listed on a resume.

Screening Of Applications In The Selection Process

Today, we have application screening and selection processes that range from traditional paper applications to online forms and even video interviewing. At its most basic, applicant screening is the process of looking through applications (resumes, cover letters, etc.) to find the best candidates for a job opening.

What is Screening Process? 

The objective of screening is simply to identify the most suitable candidates for the next stage of the selection process. Screening also helps to eliminate unqualified candidates and saves time and resources.

Methods for Screening Candidates:

We've talked about these in the previous sections, but here's a less detailed description - There are several methods for screening candidates:

1. Resume Screening: This is most often done by technology and is rarely handled by individuals anymore. Either way, recruiters use this method to shortlist the most suitable candidates for the job.

2. Phone Screening: This method involves calling the candidates to ask preliminary questions about their experience, skills, and qualifications.

3. Online Assessments: Online assessments, such as the Enneagram, 16 Personalities, Culture Index, Predictive Index, CliftonStrengths Finder, and many others are used to identify candidates who meet the profile companies are looking for.

Once these steps have been completed, the evaluation process begins. Screening and evaluating candidates go hand in hand. After screening the candidates, recruiters evaluate the shortlisted candidates in detail. This evaluation includes reviewing the candidate's education, work experience, skills, and abilities. Recruiters may also conduct interviews, reference checks, and background checks to evaluate the candidate's fit for the job.

Why is Candidate Screening Important:

Candidate screening is important because it helps to identify the most suitable candidates for the job. It saves time and resources by eliminating unqualified candidates and shortlisting the most suitable candidates for the next stage of the selection process. Screening also helps to identify any red flags or discrepancies in a candidate's application, such as gaps in employment or inconsistencies in job titles, that may warrant further investigation. This process ensures that the most qualified candidate is selected for the job.

If you're currently looking for an efficient and effective screening process, book a demo of Pillar. We've created a hiring process that's helped companies like Wistia reduce turnover by 50% in the last 12 months. Chat with someone on our team to see how!