4 Effective Screening Tactics When Recruiting Talent

Bayt.com, Contributor
Jul 23 2019
4 Effective Screening Tactics When Recruiting Talent
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Many employers assume that in order for them to increase their chances of hiring the right candidate, they’ll need a bigger pool of job seekers to search through. The logic behind that was the more potential candidates they have, the more likely they’ll find the ideal and qualified one. But after gaining access to this large pool of candidates, the next task, which can be very time consuming if not done correctly, is screening. 

Whether employers have a vacancy that needs to be filled immediately, or if they’re just looking to increase the efficiency of their overall hiring process, they’ll need to apply certain practices to improve their talent screening process. 

Talent screening sounds simple, but screening effectively can be difficult. After acquiring a list of interested candidates, talent screening ensures that these applicants are qualified, suitable, and are a good fit to your requirements. To help employers screen better, recruitment experts from Bayt.com have listed four key strategies to making talent screening more efficient:


1. Determine what you’re looking for

Before you even think about looking at the CVs at hand, you need to determine what it is you’re looking for in your next hire. If you were to skip this step, a CV that looks good may turn out to be completely irrelevant and this ends up wasting precious time. It is recommended that you break down your needs to 3 different criteria:

Professional work experience
You can’t begin your screening process if you don’t know the type of experience your vacancy requires. For example, if your vacancy requires a candidate who’s in their mid-career, looking at CVs for managerial and junior level candidates won’t help. Managerial level candidates might be overqualified and their salary expectations would be higher than the one set for your vacancy, while junior level candidates would lack experience.

Technical & soft skills
Determining the skills your vacancy requires will help you in filtering out candidates that don’t qualify. For example, a sales position might require communication skills which falls under soft skills, and it might also require knowledge of excel for any form of data reporting as a technical skill. Other positions such as social media officers could require creativity as a soft skill, and knowledge of Adobe Illustrator & Adobe Photoshop as a technical skill. 

By pre-determining the skills your vacancy requires, you’ll be able to skim through CVs quicker, and look for the keywords that match your needs. 

Personality & culture fit
Even though it’s difficult to read someone’s personality from a piece of paper, you can still find a few details that will give you a hint about what the candidate’s personality is like, and how much of a culture fit they are. For example, if you’re an NGO, you’d be more interested in a candidate who has a lot of volunteering experience, and this would give you a clue about a candidate’s values and whether or not they align with your organization. But, if you were looking for a person who’s creative, innovative, and will bring something new to your organization, things like watching movies, reading books, and hobbies might give you a hint as to what a candidate is like in person.  


2. Create a screening chart

After determining the requirements you’re looking for, you’ll need to create checklist to help you assess and rank your potential candidates. A checklist can go a long way in helping you cut the time it takes to screen CVs, and you can also include a grading scale to help you give candidates an overall score, and tie their score to how relevant they are! Here are a few things you might want to add to your checklist:

  • Residence location - Does the candidate live in the same city/country where the vacancy is located? If not, are you willing to help your candidate relocate and cater to their needs?
  • Nationality - Will the candidate’s nationality affect their ability to fill your vacancy? Are there rules or regulations implemented by the government that you need to abide by?
  • Expected salary - Does the candidate’s salary expectation match the budget set for your vacancy?

Of course, depending on your vacancy, these points may change. But, regardless of the position you’re hiring for, you’ll need to create a scale that will help you assess your candidates. Think of the examples above as a reference for you to view before writing your own points. 


3. Phone Screening

If you’ve gotten as far as picking up the phone to call candidates, then you’re one step closer to making your next hire! Telephonic interviews are essential to the screening process. Think of the phone interview as an initial confirmation to the information you’ve read on a candidate’s CV. For example, a candidate could have stated their English language is excellent, and this is something you’ll need to clarify during the phone interview. Ask them to tell you more about themselves, their academic life, and their working experience and make sure they speak in English throughout the conversation.

As for the answers to the questions mentioned above, most candidates tend to repeat the same things that are written in their CVs. This isn’t totally bad, but a smart candidate would know you already skimmed through their CV, and based on that, they should go the extra mile in explaining their work experience in more detail, and talk more about the skill set they possess.


4. Email Interactions

After conducting telephonic interviews, many employers forget one of the most important screening steps and move directly to personal interviews. However, something that is very recommended by recruitment experts is sending out assignments to your candidates. Sending assignments can benefit you in two folds.

  • You’ll be able to see first-hand how your candidate responds to email and what type of professional communication they practice. 
  • You put your candidates’ experience and skills to the test with a simple assignment that will give you a clearer insight to how qualified they are. 

If you’re confused as to what your assignment should include, it really depends on the vacancy you’re hiring for. For example, if you’re looking for a Junior copywriter, asking for writing samples under a certain topic would be a good idea to help you assess their language and copywriting skills. If you’re hiring a data analyst, sending them a report that needs some data calculations and visualization would be a good start to see what they base their results and findings on. But, creating assignments for applicants takes time and with immediate vacancies you need to hire quickly.