7 min read

How To Screen Applicants For Employment

Ryan Green
Ryan Green February 22, 2023
screen applicants

When it comes to hiring new employees, there are many important steps that must be taken to ensure that the right candidate is selected for the job.

One of the most important steps in the recruitment process is screening applicants. In today's modern hiring environment, there are a variety of methods available for screening applicants, including job skill tests and assessments.

In this guide, we'll take a closer look at these modern methods of screening candidates, their pros and cons, and why it's important for HR and recruiters to implement them in their recruitment process.

What does screening applicants mean?

screen applicants

Screening applicants is the process of evaluating job candidates to determine their suitability for a particular position.

This can involve reviewing resumes and cover letters, conducting interviews, and administering pre-employment assessments. The goal of screening applicants is to identify the most qualified candidates for the job, while also reducing the risk of making a bad hire.

Why is it important to screen job applicants?

Screening job applicants is an essential step in the recruitment process as it helps employers to identify the most qualified candidates for a particular position.

Effective screening methods can help to eliminate unqualified candidates, reduce the time and cost of the recruitment process, and ultimately help to ensure that the right candidate is selected for the job. In addition, screening job applicants can help to reduce the risk of making a bad hire.

According to a survey by CareerBuilder, 75% of employers have employed the wrong person, and these poorly selected hires can be expensive for a company. In fact, a study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that the cost of a bad hire can range from 50% to 250% of that person's annual salary.

How to screen applicants step-by-step

If you're looking to implement a screening process in your recruitment strategy, here are the steps you can take:

1. Minimum requirement checkboxes on the application form

One quick and easy way to filter out candidates right from the start of the journey is by adding checkboxes to your application form. Anyone who doesn't check all the minimum requirements are automatically rejected.

Remember to consider using blind hiring techniques to reduce bias throughout the process - this means details like name, gender, age, appearance etc. are hidden.

2. Administer job skill tests and assessments

Job skill tests and assessments can be another effective way to screen job applicants. Once you've identified a pool of candidates who meet the minimum requirements for the job, you can administer tests and assessments to help identify the most qualified candidates.

Once again, this will help you narrow down your talent pool early on so you can invest more time reviewing resumes and cover letters for the most capable applicants.

Here are some of most popular skill tests and assessments used:

3. Review resumes and cover letters

The third step in the screening process is to review resumes and cover letters to determine if you'd like to speak to a candidate and if they meet the basic qualifications for the job. This includes reviewing their work experience, education, and relevant skills.

Using your own application form can be a useful way to identify the information you need quickly rather than reading a CV which tends to have different formats and layouts.

4. Conduct initial phone interviews

Once you've identified a pool of qualified candidates, the next step is to conduct initial phone interviews. This can help you to assess a candidate's communication skills, work history, and motivation for the job. This can also be a good opportunity to clarify any questions you may have about their resume or cover letter and allow them to ask questions.

5. Work-related task

After the initial phone interview, it can be beneficial to ask the candidate to complete a work-related task. The task should reflect a key activity or responsibility that demonstrates skills needed in the role. For example, if you're hiring a graphic designeryou might ask them to design something using software like Adobe Photoshop. The task can be reviewed by the manager or team they'll be working in and the feedback can help screen applicants further. It also makes a great discussion point in the interview.

6. Assessment day

screen applicants using assessment days

An assessment day is a recruitment technique used by employers to evaluate job applicants in a range of different tasks and activities. These activities can include group discussions, case studies, aptitude tests, presentations, and interviews.

The aim of the assessment day is to give employers a more comprehensive understanding of a candidate's skills, abilities, and personality traits than they would be able to get from a traditional job interview alone.

Assessment days help employers to screen applicants for jobs in several ways. Firstly, they can provide a more objective and fair evaluation process than a traditional interview, as they allow for a range of different tasks to be completed and assessed. This can help to minimize bias and ensure that candidates are evaluated on their actual skills and abilities.

Additionally, assessment days can be an effective way to screen large numbers of candidates quickly, allowing employers to identify the most suitable applicants for further consideration.

Assessment days are typically best used when you have a large number of candidates to screen.

7. Conduct in-person interviews

In-person interviews help further assess skills and fit for the job. This can also be a good opportunity to ask more detailed questions about their experience and qualifications. You should opt to have candidates interview with multiple people to reduce bias and get different perspectives.

8. Check references

Before making a final hiring decision, it's important to check references to verify a candidate's work history and qualifications. This can involve contacting previous employers or colleagues to get a better understanding of the candidate's strengths and weaknesses.

9. Make a hiring decision

After completing the screening process, you can make a hiring decision based on the results of the interviews, assessments, and reference checks. It's important to select the candidate who best meets the qualifications for the job and who is the best fit for your company culture.

screening applicants using tests

In conclusion, screening job applicants is an essential step in the recruitment process. Modern methods of screening, such as job skill tests and assessments, can be effective ways to identify the most qualified candidates for a particular position.

While there are pros and cons to each method of screening, it's important to choose the methods that work best for your company and the specific job you're hiring for.

By following a step-by-step process for screening applicants, you can reduce the risk of making a bad hire and ensure that you select the best candidate for the job.

Don't forget that the onboarding process can be just as important as creating a positive candidate experience when hiring.

Ryan Green
Ryan Green February 22, 2023

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