job seeker

You’ve planned an in-person interview with a candidate. The resume they sent in was impressive, so you’re sure that they’ll do great in the interview. But once you start talking, you realize that they may have oversold their credentials, and they’re not a good fit for the job at all. You’ve wasted your time –and theirs.

Pre-screening your candidates is an effective way to prevent this situation. Here are six ways that you can do it:  

1. An Applicant Tracking System

You can use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to scan through your candidate submissions for keywords and key phrases. The submissions that meet your set standards will be prioritized at the top of the pile for your hiring manager, who can read through them to double-check for resume red flags and green flags. 

2. A Recruitment Agency

If you want the best of the best to join your workplace, you should turn to a professional talent agency for assistance with your hiring process. A professional talent agency will help recruit top-quality candidates in your field and direct them to your open positions. You can be confident that they will be good fits because they come with the recruiter’s seal of approval. 

A professional talent agency will do more than get you exceptional candidates for interviews. They will guide you through other steps of the hiring process, like onboarding your new hires so that their introduction to your workplace is comfortable and seamless. 

3. An Employee Referral Program

Another simple way to pre-screen your candidates is to set up an employee referral program at your workplace. This will encourage your current employees to suggest candidates from their personal networks for any open positions. Your employees will be invested in choosing top-quality candidates for you since they won’t want their suggestion to negatively affect their reputation in the office. 

Plus, it will be easier to onboard a candidate that already knows an employee! They’ll be comfortable in the new setting much faster.

4. A Phone Interview

Schedule a phone interview with a candidate before you book an in-person interview with them. A five to fifteen-minute phone call can give you a quick introduction to the candidate and get you both on the same page about aspects like salary range and remote work options.  

5. A Reference List

Ask the candidate to provide a list of references that you can contact. These references should include previous employers, mentors, and members of their personal network that can vouch for their experience and character. Contacting a reference can help you confirm that the applicant’s resume is factual and reliable.

6. A Portfolio

If you’re in a creative industry, you should ask your candidate to send a link to a digital portfolio or personal website. Their portfolio should have plenty of examples of their work throughout their schooling and career. 

Their portfolio doesn’t need to include work that is exactly what the job requires. Look for proof of skill and versatility throughout their samples, which they can apply to the job’s requirements. 

You can improve your chances of bringing in the right candidates when you properly pre-screen applications. After doing all of this pre-screening, you can be sure that you’ll have some excellent interviews lined up. 

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