Pre-screening is a sometimes thankless, yet always important step in the recruitment process. Here’s our guide to avoiding the most common pitfalls of applicant screening.
Whether for legal reasons or to save time for hiring managers, candidate screening is a seemingly innocuous first step that can ruin the hiring process. But fear not – avoiding these eight common screening mistakes will keep you on the road to success in hiring the very best talent.
1. Googling the Candidate
Googling someone is, in theory, a good idea, but search results often lead to the wrong person, especially if the candidate has a common name. Stick to trusted sources like LinkedIn for reliable and up-to-date information. Then, corroborate that info with other searches.
2. Disregarding the Over-Qualified
Sometimes, an applicant’s experience far exceeds a manager’s, but this doesn’t have to be a problem. Parents returning to work after raising kids and older candidates at the ends of their careers may be totally right for a job, in spite of their perhaps overly impressive CVs. Recruiting Blogs suggests that well-qualified workers could be the self-starters your company needs.
3. Failing to Follow up on References
Don’t let the volume of resumes get in the way of vetting references. It’s never a bad thing to touch base with a former employer to get a feel for a candidate's personality, strengths, weaknesses, and overall impact. Former colleagues will show you the human side that a cover letter doesn’t.
4. Believing Everything You Read
If that list of qualifications looks too good to be true, it probably is. As tempting as it is to say yes to the guy with the sparkling pedigree, do your homework first. According to Undercover Recruiter, 25% of recruiters don’t fact-check resumes, and they’re all likely to pay the price at some point.
5. Moving too Fast, or Slow
Rush through the screening process, and you’re bound to pass over something important. But move too slowly, and the best candidates get snapped up before your offer letter even comes off the printer. Forbes reports that AirBnB encountered this talent-in-limbo problem during a phase of rapid expansion – recruitment became a log jam, offer acceptance rates dropped to 50%, and the best hires were gone before anyone came to a final decision.
6. Not Considering the Organisational Fit
She may look like the next star hire, but if she can’t get along with her colleagues, she’ll be gone in a hurry – if they don’t beat her to the punch. Take time at the beginning of the screening process to figure out how everyone vibes. It can be done over the phone, but video interviewing can prove even more effective, since you’ll be able to pick up on nonverbal cues.
7. Forgetting the Candidate Is Also Interviewing You
Instead of just firing off questions, save some time to warm the interviewee up to the brand. Tell them a bit about the culture and explain why it’s such a great place to work. You want them as psyched about the role as you are about them.
8. Being Inconsistent
Even in busy departments where a whole team shares the screening process, there needs to be consistency. It’s hard to compare candidates when each one answered a different set of questions in their screening interview. Once again, video interviewing comes to the rescue here. A one-way video interview with pre-recorded prompts gives everyone a fair crack of the whip by allowing them to answer the exact same question, phrased the exact same way.
Did you spot the recurring theme here? Video interviewing is the ultimate tool for pre-screening. Before you buy their plane ticket, visual interaction allows you to read a candidate’s body language and tendencies, lending you a nuanced, personal picture of a hire.
And through LaunchPad Recruits’ video interviewing platform, interviews and invites all happen via email. Candidates participate when and where it suits them, allowing you to review and send your top picks to the recruiting manager at your convenience. No scheduling, no afternoons spent on the phone, and no worries about fairness or bias. Contact LaunchPad today to request a demo.