Blog: What's the Best Approach to Screening Candidates?

What's the Best Approach to Screening Candidates?

It's important for organizations to have systems in place for fully reviewing candidates before making any job offers. This should start with information that a candidate presents on their resume and continue on after an interview is conducted.

A key advantage of having a system in place for this process is all candidates will be evaluated in a consistent manner. This greatly increases the likelihood of assessments being accurate and hires ultimately being the right decision.

Key Traits of a Candidate Screening System

The first trait that's useful for developing this kind of system is knowing the qualities of an ideal candidate. Once the qualities have been identified, they can be individually reviewed during the screening process. The next trait is choosing objective criteria that allows every candidate to be evaluated against the same standards and then consistently graded.

Another useful trait is taking the grades given to a candidate and then creating a composite score. This score can be combined with any notes about intangible traits or qualities a specific candidate may possess. Finally, it's a good idea to implement measures that will ensure candidates get equal amounts of evaluation time during the different stages of the hiring process.

Actionable Tips for Screening Candidates

Because thorough screening takes place over multiple stages, it's helpful to have specific processes and guidelines for each stage. This should begin with evaluating resumes. By knowing the kinds of red flags to watch out for, businesses can ensure they're not wasting valuable resources on candidates who simply aren't going to work out. Tips to follow include starting at the bottom of a resume, looking out for multiple short tenures, vague wording, sharing too much personal information and not taking the time to make the resume presentable.

For candidates who clear the resume stage, a phone screen generally comes next. This is the perfect opportunity to let a candidate address any potential concerns that may have come up on their resume. It's also a good idea to ask questions that provide an opportunity to evaluate a candidate's work style and soft skills.

The last step in this process is at least one in-person interview. An important thing to keep in mind is candidates who aren't naturally strong at interviewing shouldn't automatically be ruled out. Whether it's because they clam up or talk too fast, not every bad interview is a red flag. Hiring managers should make a point of trying to help candidates feel comfortable, as well as only weigh the interview as one part of a candidate's overall suitability for a position.

By creating a candidate screening system and following consistent guidelines during each stage in the screening process, businesses can efficiently screen candidates in a way that maximizes quality hires.

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