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What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Spending extra time on the screening process for new job candidates is worth the energy, according to a recent survey of 1,400 employers and 13,000 candidates by Allegis Group Inc.

Interviewing unqualified applicants is frustrating for everyone involved, so the time you spend following a documented process for screening candidates is easily recouped by restricting your interviews to only the most appropriate candidates. And there’s an even more important reason to invest time in screening—you can help avoid candidates who aren’t completely truthful.

More than two-thirds of hiring managers say they discovered a misleading or embellished statement on a resume and 43 percent say they discovered a new hire did not have the skills they claimed. Before you get too discouraged by those numbers, though, know that there are ways to screen out unqualified candidates—even those who present themselves as qualified.

Leaders follow a proven process during the screening stage. Here are some of the attributes that make them successful.

  • Clarity on the job description: Ensure that the job description is clear for both hiring managers and recruiters. Any ambiguity will make screening more difficult or less effective. Recruiters will be most successful if the screening questions are relevant to the position.
  • Align screening questions to job description: Develop screening questions for both hiring managers and recruiters based on the job description so that each group evaluates candidates on the same criteria.
  • Employ a multi-step screening process: Organizations that are most satisfied with screening and recruitment overall are more likely to use several screening tactics.
    • Peer-to-peer interviews: Potential peers are most likely to use the technical skills the new hire should possess. Therefore, peers are best positioned to evaluate their potential coworkers’ technical know-how.>
    • Formal reference checks: Formal reference checks are best performed when a candidate’s skills are verified with a former supervisor. Optimally, these reference checks should occur prior to sharing candidates with the hiring manager. While formal reference checks can be time-intensive, they have proven to be an effective screening technique.
  • Evaluate culture fit: Nine out of 10 employers say culture fit is important to deciding if a candidate is offered or accepts a position. With the rising importance of cultural fit, employers should use interview questions and/or assessment tools to help guide the decision.

When appropriate task-related screening, culture screening and reference checks are performed, hiring manager satisfaction increases 31 percent, according to the survey results.

Want to know more? Check back next week for Part 5 of 5, or access the white paper with the full results of the survey.