Innovative Ways of Screening and Evaluating Candidates

When selecting the right candidate there is no one formula that can guarantee success. While personal interviews are an essential part of the screening process, there is more to finding the right person for a job than just resume screening and a face to face interview.  With the ever evolving technology, job seekers are becoming smart and therefore if you really want to find the right person for your next role, you need to evolve your hiring techniques. Here we will be elaborating on 5 innovative screening techniques that you can use in your next hire.

How to screen resumes from Job portals?

The first step to screening and evaluating candidates for a role is going through their resume and finding whether they meet the minimum eligible requirements.  While earlier this used to be a time consuming process, as it takes a lot of efforts to go through each of the 100s of applicant’s CV, with the advent of applicant tracking system, screening candidate CVs has become really easy. Applicant Tracking Systems are software that are preloaded with intelligent algorithms that can go through 100s of CVs at once to find the right candidate. The ATS scans the CVs for terms that match those used in the job description and filter out the rest. While ATS are not 100% accurate, they are still worth the investment considering the huge time saved.

How to Pre-screen Job Applicants?

Pre-screening candidates before asking them to come for an interview is essential as it will help you avoid wasting time and improve your hiring outcome. Pre-screening involves asking some important questions from the candidates regarding their career orientations, job preferences, cultural background, skills and abilities, experiences etc. While pre-screening does help in weeding out candidates who aren’t a good fit for a position, it is also important that you only give the pre-screening questionnaire to a candidate who actually meets the minimum eligibility requirements.  The most important benefit of a pre-screening interview is that you can extract some more information from the candidates that they didn’t list in the resume and accordingly make an informed decision regarding the candidature of the applicant.


How to phone screen job candidates?

The best way to pre-screen candidates is to phone screen them. Phone screening is a big time saver, highly convenient and also takes almost no resources. The important points to keep in mind while conducting a phone screening are:

  • Choose a time that is convenient to both you, and the candidate and communicate it to the candidate well in advance
  • Make sure the surroundings are free of any ambient noise while making the call so that you are able to clearly hear the answers of the candidate. It would be better to book a conference room.
  • Also keep jotting down the important points made by the candidate in his answers. If you will be recording the call, make sure to let the candidate know this beforehand.
  • Once you are done with all the questions let the candidate know about the next step.

Pre-screening interview questions

There are no set questions that you could ask to every candidate, as the questions must vary according to the job applicants and the job they are applying to. Also, there is no fixed length of the questionnaire; you can ask as few and as many questions. However, while making the questionnaire just remind yourself that this isn’t intended to replace a complete interview. Some questions you can ask in the pre-screen interview:

  • Are you comfortable with the job location?
  • What are you professional goals?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • Why are you leaving the current job?

These are only some of the questions that will help you analyses whether the candidate’s goals and expectations match with the organization’s requirements.

Methods for screening candidates

Here are some innovative methods of screening job applicants:

Use Video Introductions for screening and evaluating candidates

There is a rise in video interviewing in recent years. However, a video introduction can also be a great way of screening candidates. If the role demands good soft skills, presentation skills, confidence and personality, you may ask the candidate to send across a short video introduction.  This will help you save time in setting up interview for candidates who do not have the necessary personality for the role’s success.  Let the candidate know that video doesn’t have to be shot compulsorily by a high definition camera; they can also use their smartphones for the same as most of them do come with fairly capable video recording feature. Also, set a time limit, and a theme for the introduction.

Contests are useful for screening job applicants

Many tech companies use external contests as a method of not only screening but also hiring top talent. The most useful thing about having external contests as a screening method is that you will have a fairly good idea about the skills and capabilities of the prospects even before they have started working for you. Due to the competitive nature of this pre-screening method, you will also get help in finding candidates that are capable of performing under pressure. You can also announce a monetary award for candidates winning the contest for enhanced motivation.

Asking for Work Portfolio is a useful method of screening candidates

Some industries such as design, already use portfolios as a way of screening and evaluating candidates. However, this method can be extended to other industries as well such as content marketing, product management amongst others. Asking for samples of work to evaluate what the job applicant is capable of is quite useful way screening them for further rounds.