Candidate screening before scheduling interviews helps ensure that you short list the right people as you move closer to a final hiring decision. It can also reduce turnover, minimize the need for costly rehires, and contribute to improved employee engagement by ensuring that a new hire will be successful and fit well within your company culture.

It’s not an exact science, but there are some tried and true tips to effectively screen candidates. They include:

Craft effective job descriptions.

Be as transparent and detailed as possible when writing job descriptions. State not only the essential requirements, but also those which would be an added plus. However, be careful not to make your descriptions so specific that they deter potential prospects. Last but not least, be sure the language you use is gender neutral and inclusive to ensure you attract a diverse pool of applicants.

Avoid bias.

Despite your best efforts to be fair in hiring, sometimes unconscious bias can occur and influence decision making. For instance, an interviewer may give preference to an applicant because they attended the same college. One effective method for reducing bias is blind recruitment, which essentially removes any identifiable characteristics, such as age, gender or address, from the application process.

Screen for potential.

Screening and interviewing should be standardized processes. But take care to ensure you’re not so rigid that you overlook high-potential talent. View candidates holistically and consider soft skills like initiative, emotional intelligence, motivation and interpersonal strengths. They can be just as important as hard skills as indicators of future performance. Remember, technical skills can be perfected on the job, but potential – which often links to cultural fit – can be neither taught not bought.

Focus on an excellent candidate experience.

Recruitment is a two-way street. Potential hires are evaluating you just as you are assessing them, to see if the two of you would be a good match. Be sure you’re organized, professional and efficient – from a candidate’s first point of contact with your company through your final selection. Keep applicants in the loop through regular communication, so they always know where they stand, what to expect next, and when. This applies to rejection letters, as well. Remember, that candidate may be someone you want to keep in your talent pool for a possible future hire.

Why not leave the multiple steps and legwork involved in candidate screening to a team of specialists who will become your trusted partner throughout your hiring process? By working with PrideStaff Fresno, you can rest assured that you’ll see only the most qualified talent for your open jobs. We’ll work with you to identify your specific needs and then design a customized plan to help you get each new hire right, the first time around. Contact us today to learn more.

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