The importance of candidate screening

Candidates Featured Hiring Managers Recruitment Agencies
The importance of candidate screening

When companies post their job offers, they’re usually flooded with applications from candidates. It might not be practical for them to interview every candidate who submitted their job application. At the same time, it would not be prudent to randomly select candidates for interviews. Under such circumstances, candidate screening is the answer.

Also termed applicant screening, this is the process of reviewing candidates’ job applications, CVs, resumes and even cover letters to identify which job application best hints that a candidate is suited for the role. It distinguishes what’s ideal from what’s unfitting.

Candidate screening performs a filtering function that generally streamlines the recruitment process. It accomplishes this by significantly reducing the bulk of applicants that advance to the interview stage to a manageable number. This manageable number consists of seemingly quality applications.

Screening applicants is crucial to the recruitment process and should be done regardless of the position being applied for. This post highlights the importance of the candidate screening process.

It determines a candidate’s qualification

Each role in an organisation demands certain skills for proper performance. When organisations publish job offers, it’s natural for them to state the required skills. It’s easy to think that candidates without the required skills would refrain from applying, but humans can be bold!

They might want to try their luck.

A survey shows that 42% of resumes received by HR managers are from candidates who don’t meet the job requirements while 78% of workers admitted they would submit for a role when they don’t match all the qualifications.

So, when candidates apply for a role, it’s crucial to determine whether they have these much-needed skills. Candidate screening reveals whether the applicant actually possesses the skills required to perform the duties of the role they applied for. Checking their qualifications, skills, references and experience will tell you whether this candidate will be a good fit for the role or not.

The CVs and resumes that feature the skills you’re interested in will get your attention while you can disregard those that don’t brandish such qualifications. You can easily shortlist the applicants that purportedly have the skills that you’re looking for and invite them for an interview.

Candidate screening assesses the suitability of the applicant

Besides identifying the qualifications a candidate purportedly has, applicant screening also helps gauge their suitability. In this instance, attention shifts from hard skills to soft skills. CVs and resumes usually contain an applicant’s soft skills, strengths, references and experiences. This gives a good idea of their inclinations and the work environment they find suitable.

Most organisations have their core values and prevalent culture. Ensuring culture fitness and value fitness is essential as, without them, a new hire can prove detrimental to an organisation’s operations. Imagine onboarding a candidate who finds it difficult to communicate and collaborate on tasks just because they prefer operating solo. How about a new hire who has neither respect for people nor regard for hierarchy and chain of command?

Your company will be thrown into absolute chaos.

Screening applicants helps you identify whether they embody your company’s values. It also reveals whether their personality can match your organisation’s culture.

It generates questions for the interview

One other essence of screening applicants is that it provides questions for the interview. Besides the regular questions that each candidate for a particular role should be asked, personal questions should also be thrown into the mix. The screening process gives you a good idea of what to ask.

You can question them about unexplained gaps in employment or even about exceptionally short stays at previous companies. These questions give greater insight into the kind of person the applicant is and sheds more light on their journey, motivations, strengths and weaknesses.

Additionally, you can question them on the claims contained in their CVs. out of desperation, candidates can slip untruths into their resumes to seem ideal – statistically, 40% of people lie on their resumes. Ask about their experience in the institutions they supposedly attended or worked in. Question them on matters that are common knowledge to anyone who has attained the level they claim to have reached.

As a recruiter or employer with good knowledge of the industry, you should know what to expect. If they fumble woefully, red flag!

Applicant screening saves resources

Time and money are some of the most valuable assets in business.

What you don’t want to do is sit through interviews with all of these candidates when the majority of them might not be suited for the job. The screening process is exactly what the doctor ordered.

It helps you spot and toss aside applications that don’t contain the preferred skills. Besides pointing out those who seem perfect for the job, it also identifies those with nice-to-have skills. Such can be kept on file and invited over for an interview once the need arises. There won’t be any need to start hunting for talent a new.

Having to interview only a select few that have proven, at face value, to be competent is a good way to save time and money.

Candidate screening boosts employee retention

The ultimate goal of the recruitment process is to collect an appropriate and long-lasting team of employees. Screening your applicants separates the wheat from the chaff. It leaves you with the best available applicants and ensures that your company and these applicants are a good match for each other.

When such candidates are hired, there will be optimal performance and high employee retention. The employees will stay with the company for longer periods of time because the management system, company culture and work model, whether remote, in-office or hybrid, suit them.

The organisation won’t have to worry about spending time, money and other valuable resources in an endless loop of recruitment, onboarding and training. By the way, research indicates that the cost of employee turnover ranges from 33% to 200% of the departing employee’s annual salary.

Screening candidates ensures that the new hires are competent and are in for the long haul. With the company’s plans and ambitions in steady hands for a good while, stability and excellence are sure.

New hires can make or break a company. If they have the right qualifications, experience and personality, they can be highly beneficial to the company. However, if they lack the right values and skills, they can impede the progress of the organisation. The importance of the candidate screening process is couched in its ability to nip this problem in the bud.

Ensuring that only candidates who, at first instance, seem to possess the desired skills get to the interview stage saves the company from tedious and unproductive work. Also, it shields the organisation from the costs of a high employee turnover.

Thought leadership in your inbox

Subscribe to receive the latest recruitment and talent acquisition insights via monthly email.
* = required field