Candidate Evaluation: Effective Screening and Qualification Techniques for Top-Notch Candidates

Implementing Best Practices to Transform Your Hiring Process

Hiring for creative and technology jobs is no easy task. Tech sector unemployment is creeping up, but tech job openings continue to outpace quality candidates. It can be a struggle to attract and identify the best talent for vacant roles, and to develop a talent pipeline to maintain momentum of hiring. This often results in poor hires and high employee turnover. To develop a high-powered team, it’s critical to employ effective candidate evaluation techniques.

In this article, we discuss the most effective screening and qualification techniques that will help your company attract, evaluate, and retain top-notch candidates in your creative and technology jobs. These simple steps can deliver a more streamlined hiring process that delivers informed hiring decisions.

The Common Hiring Challenges Faced by Employers Today

There is no single challenge that you face when hiring creative and tech talent. However, there are a few common hiring challenges that companies must overcome. These include:

·      A lack of qualified candidates

Due to high demand for talent in creative and tech roles and a limited talent pool, it can be difficult to attract the quality of candidates you desire.

·      Uncompetitive job offers

There has been a significant shift in remuneration packages, and it is a challenge to stay abreast of current salaries, benefits, and perks offered. Consequently, many hiring companies are posting job adverts with non-competitive job packages – and therefore not attracting top-notch candidates.

·      Limited visibility

Companies may also lack the industry reach required to attract top-quality candidates. This might be because they fail to participate in industry events or lack presence on social media.

·      Difficulty in assessing candidates

This is where many companies’ processes fall down. They simply fail to assess candidates effectively, and hire candidates who are not suited to the team or company or lack the qualifications and experience needed to be productive.

The negative impacts of poor hires are significant. They include higher employee turnover, lower productivity, and higher costs. A poor hire can lead to a decrease in morale and reputational damage.

Therefore, it is crucial to develop a strategy to mitigate (and even eliminate) these common hiring challenges. The way to do this is to implement effective candidate evaluation processes that consist of screening and qualification techniques.

5 Effective Screening and Qualification Techniques

Effective screening and qualification processes help you to identify the most suitable candidates for your vacant roles. There are several methods to eliminate underqualified candidates, each of which will help to identify the very best candidates to move forward to interview. The first of which may surprise you:

·      Creating effective job descriptions, and job ads with competitive compensation

A job description must detail the role, its responsibilities and the duties involved. It should also be clear about the qualifications and experience required, and at least provide direction on compensation, even if it does not provide detail.

A well-crafted job ad will help underqualified candidates screen themselves out of the application process ─ and this will make your job much easier.

·      Resume screening

Resume screening can be done by ATS (applicant tracking systems), though using this technology can lead to placing great candidates on the slush pile – for example, by not understanding that the way you describe needs and requirements may not match how a candidate describes the same.

Therefore, hiring managers and resume reviewers should be trained to look for relevant experience, qualifications, and skills for the role. It’s also crucial to identify red flags – such as unexplained gaps in employment – and to work from a checklist of requirements, whether these be essential or ‘nice to have’.

·      Phone screening

A short phone interview can help to identify poor-fit candidates. Again, the interviewer should work from a script to ensure that each candidate is treated equally and fairly, and that an objective decision is made. A phone interview can be especially useful to test for communication skills, desire for the job, and as an initial confirmation of qualifications and technical skills.

·      Standardized interview process

While subjectivity cannot be eliminated from the interview process entirely (companies are, after all is said and done, a people business), employing a standardized interview process will help to ensure all candidates are assessed equally. This includes asking the same questions of each candidate, and providing coaching in a standard scoring method to all interviewers. By assessing all candidates on the same criteria and to a standard scoring formula, unbiased and objective outcomes are achieved.

As part of the interview process, you might include:

  • Behavioral interviews that help to determine how the candidate may act and perform in the role using past behaviors as an indicator.
  • Technical interviews that assess technical skills and experience.
  • Work samples or portfolios that showcase their work, experience, and achievements.
  • Skills assessments

Incorporating a skills assessment, based on a ‘real-life’ problem or issue that might happen in your company and involve the role you are hiring for, can be an effective way to assess required skillsets. These can be conducted online, over the phone, or in person as part of the interview process.

Best Practices for Effective Candidate Evaluation

When you are developing your screening and qualification strategies, it’s crucial that they are implemented consistently. We’ve identified several best practices that ensure candidate evaluation is successful:

·      Communicate clear expectations

From composing and advertising the job description to skills assessments, it’s essential to communicate clearly. This will eliminate confusion and surprises as you move through the hiring process.

·      Be objective

Objectivity ensures that bias is removed from the hiring process. When you employ predetermined criteria to evaluate candidates, and mark each candidate’s performance according to a standardized grading system, you gain a much clearer picture of each candidate.

·      Ensure a positive candidate experience

Delivering a positive candidate experience benefits you in several ways. These include enhancing your reputation as an employer, maintaining engagement of top-notch candidates, and greater likelihood of your preferred candidate accepting a job offer.

·      Continuously evaluate and improve your hiring process

No hiring process is infallible, and there is always room for improvement. Learn from mistakes and feedback, and use this knowledge to continually improve your hiring process.

When you design screening and qualification processes and implement them using these best practices, your hiring process will become more streamlined and effective in attracting and identifying the most talented candidates who will make a positive difference to your business.

Hiring Talent Is the Foundation of the Success of Your Business

To hire the best creative and technology talent, you must employ effective candidate evaluation processes. This will also help you to overcome the most common challenges when hiring in today’s jobs market. Failure to implement best practice in screening and qualification techniques can lead to poor hires, and all the negative consequences associated with them.

When you streamline and continually improve your hiring process, you’ll be more likely to attract the most talented candidates – the ones who will make the biggest positive impact on your business, and who will become the foundation for developing a high-powered team that will drive your success.

To learn how we work to present top-notch talent to our clients for their creative and technology roles, contact TECHEAD today.

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