Creative Staffing: How Long Should Candidate Screening Take?

A Walk Through a Successful Candidate Screening Process

In creative staffing, the importance of hiring the right candidate is crucial to a company. The best-fit candidate will increase productivity, improve team motivation, bring innovation to the table, and help to maximize your company’s potential.

Hire poorly, and you won’t see any of these benefits. Quite the reverse, in fact. A bad-fit candidate can cost 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings, though some estimates put this cost even higher. It’s not only the financial cost that you must consider. A bad hire will hit morale and output, as well as use up more management time.

Effective candidate screening should eliminate poor hires.

What Is Candidate Screening?

Candidate screening helps you find the best potential employees for your company. You can also use it to eliminate those candidates who would not be a good fit for the position or company culture – thus saving time in your hiring process.

Effective candidate screening will help you to hire creative talent that delivers from day one.

What Is a Candidate Screening Process?

A candidate screening process is a systematic hiring process that usually begins with a job posting and ends with a telephone interview or face-to-face interview. Along the way, candidate selection is carried out by analyzing and comparing information on resumes and application forms, as well as examination of social media accounts, testing, and interviewing.

Some of the most important factors that are looked at during this process include prior experience, skillsets, education level, and personality traits.

The Elements of a Candidate Screening Process

The elements of the candidate screening process are varied and can be confusing. It is important to be able to identify these elements and understand how they interact in the hiring process.

The goal of screening is to whittle a list of candidates down to a select few who you wish to interview for the role you need filled – those candidates who are suitably qualified and experienced for the role, and have shown some of the personality traits you wish to hire for.

In this way, the final interview with the hiring manager should allow him or her to focus on character, personality, and culture fit. Doing this will help you to hire someone who will fit in with your team and improve it.

What element should you include in your screening process?

The Resume

The resume is an essential tool in your candidate screening process. It provides a glimpse of the candidate’s skills and qualifications. But most resumes don’t provide enough information to get a full picture of the person. However, it should provide enough to decide whether to take a candidate to the next stage.

When checking resumes you should ensure that:

  • All information provided on the resume is accurate
  • All experience listed on your resume relates to the position you are advertising
  • All experience listed on your resume is relevant to the role

In essence, when reviewing a resume, you should ensure that the candidate possesses all the skills and experience that you consider essential for the role. Any that don’t, can be discarded.

The Application Form

The application form allows you to take a deeper dive into specific areas of interest, such as more descriptive answers regarding experience and achievements. If the candidate omits answers, or they don’t marry well with the information provided on the resume, this is a big red flag that will enable you to eliminate the candidate.

Social Media Accounts

Social media presence is gradually becoming more important to employers as they start to implement digital screening programs in their hiring process. This helps you to find the best candidates among the masses of job seekers who have been applying online.

It also allows you to screen out applicants whose online profiles tell a different story to the one they have conveyed in their resume and application form. This is, perhaps, the first real shot you get at discovering the personality of a candidate, and judging whether they could fit in your team.

Technical Testing

The goal of technical testing is to provide an objective measure of a person’s skillset. Some hiring managers use real-world tests that mimic the work the candidate would be expected to do in their role, to identify potential employees with certain skills.

Technical tests can be given online or in an office. Whichever method of delivery is chosen, it is important to ensure that the test is properly targeted and delivered fairly to all candidates. Once more, any candidates who don’t make the grade can be eliminated from the hiring process.

Screening Interviews

The candidate screening interview is different from the standard job interview. You should design questions that confirm how well a candidate may perform in the job, and to assess their desire to join you.

This interview can be conducted in person or by phone, and will encapsulate the positive and negative points raised during the screening process so far. This interview should last no longer than 30 minutes at the most. However, tailored to each candidate, it is quite possible that some of these screening interviews will last less than 15 minutes.

How Can You Reduce the Burden of Candidate Screening?

You want to find the right candidate. To do so, it is important to create a clear and consistent screening process. One that ensures you are not wasting valuable management time on interviewing applicants with insufficient skills or who are clearly not a good fit for your company and team.

Following the above screening process, you should deliver a handful of the very best candidates to the hiring manager.

An effective candidate screening process must be prepared and conducted comprehensively and without bias. It takes time to complete properly, but will result in far more successful hires.

When we partner with a hiring company, we work hard to learn about their needs for each specific role, as well as identify and understand their unique challenges and company culture. The result? We deliver only candidates who we have screened and found to be the best fit – reducing the effort and time you need to put into your screening and hiring process.

To learn more contact TECHEAD today.

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