Post contributed by Amitraj Tyagi

Today’s war of talent acquisition is far more challenging than it used to be a few years back. Social media tools like LinkedIn have increased the visibility of candidates, whether active or passive. With such transformation in the technology landscape, it is a lot easier to identify a promising candidate.  But it has also correspondingly become much tougher for recruiters to attract and engage such promising candidates. And as recruiters, we understand how valuable it is to get the right candidate.

attract-talentJust attracting a good candidate to get interested in an opportunity is not enough in today’s competitive market. Intelligent screening and accurate evaluation of a candidate’s skills are critical to be able to find a good matching opportunity in order to close the deal. We don’t want to miss out on a promising candidate just because we haven’t evaluated his or her competences properly. It is equality important to keep the candidate engaged throughout the interview process. Some candidates are stars in their areas of expertise, and can easily lose interest if not properly handled.

From a different point of view, we wouldn’t want to present a candidate who hasn’t been fully whetted to a client. A candidate may look good on paper, but may lack the experience for the position. Proper screening guards against such eventualities.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while screening a candidate:

Level of Awareness

How aware is the candidate about the company with the job opportunity? What is his or her knowledge about the requirements for the role? A candidate who displays a good sense for these things is more likely to be successful.

Candidate Engagement

Did you feel good while talking to a candidate? Why did you feel good? These are simple yet important questions to ask yourself. A candidate who interacts well with the interviewer, be it a recruiter or a hiring manager shows that he or she has a great personality, and will do well in a corporate environment. Interviewers are able to talk more extensively with such candidates, and the candidate is also able to build his or her perception about the job opportunity.

The Screening Checklist

Your checklist should be designed to cover all the prerequisites of the job description and should also cover the questions you want to ask about education, work experience, expectations on timings, benefits, career growth. Make sure you also provide a space to cover any red flags that you’d like to investigate later. An evaluation sheet for every candidate will help to note down all these details in a systematic manner.

Capture Data Points

In today’s technology-driven environment, decision making is increasingly done more on data points than through gut-level intuition. Data removes ambiguity, and we should strive to capture it to the fullest extent possible when evaluating a candidate. Some examples of data points could be:

  • Years of experience at a skill level
  • Level of expertise at a skill level
  • Number of skills matching job description requirements
  • Number of previous jobs held and duration of each job
  • Reason for job search
  • Any gaps between jobs with the duration
  • Number of trainings & certifications
  • Last position held

Use Candidate Benchmarks     

Compare the candidate before submitting the profile to the Client or the Hiring Manager with the last few candidates you have screened. This provides an insight about where this candidate stands compared to the other candidates.

Provide a 360° Overview

When you do a submission after considering all these factors, it is very important to provide a 360° overview of the candidate reflecting his or her performance in the competencies you are looking for. Missing out any critical information may lead to a rejection of a good candidate, and reflects badly on your ability to provide reliable assessments. At the other end, a good candidate is likely to lose your trust on being rejected, despite doing well through the interview process.

In conclusion..

We keep hearing about recruiters who submit many profiles to clients, but very few of those profile get shortlisted. As recruiters, we face this each day, but an in-depth screening based on data points defined by the job description can enable us to minimize the rejection rate. After all, once the candidate is shortlisted, it’s still just 50% of the work done.


 About the guest post author:

Amritraj recommends which offers a set of easy-to-use collaborative tools to streamline the process of finding and managing the best candidates.