I have loved the term, “Work smarter, not harder” for a long time now. Not that I don’t appreciate hard work, but what I appreciate more is creating consistent and efficient processes that make life and work easier. I love when a task can be completed in less time and with fewer steps. That’s what working smarter, not harder is about.
This concept can be applied in so many areas of the recruiting process, but today we are concentrating on screening. The screening process can become disorganized and therefore inefficient rather quickly. When screening a large number of candidates, information and profiles will get lost in the shuffle. There is such a concentration on filling the position and getting the job done, that recruiters will often forget to assess their processes and find room for improvement.
Initial Screening Process
This is the step in which the recruiter screens the candidate resumes and applications to find out if they meet the minimum requirements for the specified position. At this point only qualified candidates should be moving on to the next round. The problem that often arises at the point in the process is that there is no feedback or measure of quality control. Companies should add a metric to the initial screening process detailing how many and how often misclassified or under qualified candidates make it through.
Room for improvement means nothing if no one recognizes it. If it is never addressed who slipped through the cracks and why, the misstep will go unaddressed. Once the recruiter realizes how and why this keeps happening, they can recalibrate their initial screening process.
The Next Round Screen
Now that the recruiter has the smaller pool of qualified candidates, the next step is to screen the person and bring the resumes to life. Phone screening is the obvious next step because it saves time, and the recruiter can get an initial sense of the candidate’s personality. The point here is to find out if this is a fit. A lot of different facts and ideas can make their way into this step in the process. Remember that at this point, they meet the minimum requirements, the recruiter must now decipher if the candidate will fit into the company culture. Those are the candidates who will advance to the interview.
Flaws at this point also have to do with a lack of success metrics. How many of the candidates who made it to the interview process should have actually been there? How many candidates did the recruiter end up interviewing that could have been screened more thoroughly? These numbers need to be documented and so does the reason for the misstep in advancement of the candidate in the hiring process.
Additionally, many recruiters aren’t using all of the tools at their disposal. Many recruiters are going straight for candidate profiles on various social media outlets to do some quick culturual screening. According to this Huffington Post article, one HR company found that 37% of hiring managers use social networking sites to research job applicants, and over 65% of that group are using Facebook as their go-to social site for screening.
Video screening is another quick and easy way to screen past the resume. Video screening and interviewing doesn’t even involve the candidate and the recruiter to be available at the same time. The recruiter can send the candidate a short, prerecorded round of questions and the candidate can send back their recorded responses. This allows the recruiter to store, study and compare responses to the screening.
And while you're at it, throw personal references out the window. These have proven to be a wasteful extra step. Paul W. Barada, Monster Salary and Negotiation Expert says, "How could your sixth-grade teacher, next-door neighbour, or golfing buddy comment on your management style, responsibilities or the quality of your performance on the job? The answer: They can't."
Efficient and effective HR processes start with addressing the issues that no one even knows are issues. Refining most processes is a numbers game. Assigning a number value to successes and failures is the first step. Documenting the reasons for those successes and failures is equally as important. Adding metrics and the proper tools to each step can help recruiters screen smarter, not harder.
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