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4 Essential Elements of Applicant Screening

Applicant Screening

Hiring and onboarding new employees always involve some risk, but a robust applicant screening process can mitigate that risk. An applicant screening process gives employers multiple opportunities to assess candidates before making a final hiring decision.

Here are four elements essential to any applicant screening process:

Determine Eligibility

It’s a waste of resources to move forward on candidates who don’t meet the basic requirements for the position. These tips will help you evaluate resumes more efficiently:

  • Filter out the ones that don’t meet your qualifications. If the position requires a degree, weed out resumes for folks without secondary education. Getting this step right requires a solid job description and defined prerequisites. If success in the position doesn’t require a degree, you’re potentially eliminating folks that would be great in the job for the reason that doesn’t matter, so think this through carefully. 
  • Filter out the resumes with errors. Spelling mistakes, poor grammar, sloppy formatting, and elementary vocab don’t belong on a resume. While you don’t want to judge a book by its cover, a resume full of mistakes is an obvious red flag. 
  • Pay attention to experience. Has the candidate defined their roles and responsibilities clearly and succinctly? Is it evident from their descriptions that they understood their position with the organization and the contributions they made? 
  • Use an ATS platform. Many ATS platforms offer tools to help you automatically evaluate resumes so you can find qualified candidates from a pile of resumes quickly. 

Make a Phone Call

Once you have a handful of potential candidates, reach out to them with a personal phone call within a day or two of receiving their resume. This communicates to the applicant that you’re interested and gives them a direct point of contact, both of which will help you stand out from the competition. But this pre screening phone call also gives you a chance to make a very preliminary assessment of the candidate’s actual interest in the position, their availability, and their personality. Chances are, you’ll eliminate one or two additional candidates with a quick chat over the phone. 

Do An Interview. Or Two. Or Three. 

In-person interviews are still an essential part of applicant screening. An interview allows you to ask questions that assess the depth and breadth of a candidate’s relevant skills and determine if they will be a good fit in your corporate culture. You can do these interviews one-on-one, in-person, virtually, or in a panel format. 

Run a Background Check

Once an applicant has made it through the interviews and you’re ready to make an offer, it’s time to run a background check. World-wide pre-employment background screening allows you to get objective, third-party evaluations of an applicant’s employment history, education, criminal record, and any other relevant details you feel you need to check. A background check offers assurances about integrity and safety, two elements that are critical to making safe hires. 

Improve your applicant screening process with these four essential elements today. 

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