The value of an effective screening process

Written by Sarah Tomlin

Screening job applications is crucial in the recruitment process and paves the way through the rest of the hiring stages. To screen candidates effectively involves a careful review and consideration of all job applications and can be one of the most time-consuming parts of a recruiter's role.

The process needs to be strong and every job application deserves a thorough review. Otherwise, employers can increase the chance of ‘missed talent’, rushed decisions and unfair treatment of potential candidates.

Often, the screening approach you choose is determined by the size of your company or the type of role you’re filling. However, there are a few tricks recruiters could all be using – no matter who we’re recruiting for – to streamline the screening process and get us to the holy grail: Better quality shortlists in less time.


Screening begins with clear communication and the support of everyone involved in the process. It is said that 80% of top performers, compared to only 45% of others, say their top three priority skills are clearly communicated by the employer and understood by the recruiters.

Communication also extends to the actual screening questions. When asking candidates, 73% agree that their questions match job definition requirements, compared to only 27% of others.

Make it easy:

The harder a process becomes, the less likely people are to comply properly with it. A smooth process and clear communication, as well as obvious next steps and action points, will keep your candidates assured and comfortable.

Essentially, a good screening can determine whether your candidates are being honest and truthful and often people can get sensitive when giving up personal information, so a positive candidate experience is important here.

Use clear language:

We want to avoid any confusion or misinterpretation when speaking about potential opportunities. It’s always advised to simplify the language and steer clear of jargon or catchphrases, as well as long sentences and heavy paragraphs. The clearer the instructions, the less room for error.

Most recruitment organisations admit that screening is an imperfect process but one worthy of continuous improvement. When done well, the right process, tools, and alignment among everyone involved results in a screening that predicts candidate success identifies potential issues and leads to great hiring decisions that keep the organisation moving forward.





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