Your Guide to Improving the Candidate Screening Process

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Automation and AI

Screening applicants can feel nearly impossible in high-volume recruiting, even when following hiring best practices. This stage of the recruitment process is extremely time-consuming, often resulting in frustration and burnout for talent acquisition professionals. 

Let’s look at how a hiring team can streamline their candidate screening process and keep candidates (and recruiters) engaged. 

Candidate screening: What’s involved in this hiring stage?

Job applicant screening is integral to hiring the most qualified candidates. This recruitment step refers to the process of reviewing an applicant’s skills and past experience to determine if an individual is a good fit for a role. 

Screening can be one of the most time-consuming parts of recruitment, especially in high-volume hiring. According to Indeed, a talent acquisition specialist looks at one resume for six to seven seconds. This may seem like a short period of time, but it adds up quickly when reviewing hundreds or thousands of applications. 

After reviewing applications, recruiters can end up wasting additional time reaching out to candidates who have accidentally provided incorrect information or are unavailable.

Screening steps

To thoroughly screen applicants, frontline recruiters typically complete the following steps: 

  • Application review: An initial check is done to ensure pre-determined requirements are met, including work experience, skills, and knowledge.
  • Phone screen: This stage looks beyond just the must-haves and dives a bit deeper into the individuals’ experience and personality. These soft skills are not necessarily a requirement of the job, but they are attributes that the hiring teams believe will help the individual be successful in the organization long-term.
  • Evaluation: The recruiter or hiring manager determines if the candidate is the right fit. As this is the final check on the screening list, the qualified candidate can then move to the interview process.

The difference between screening and assessments

It is common to assume assessments are part of screening. While these two actions are similar, assessments aren’t always a step in the screening process:

  • Screening: Evaluating an application to see if the candidate’s experience fits the job description.
  • Assessments: Tests and questions that determine whether the individual is a good fit.

While assessments aren’t always utilized for frontline roles in the screening process, skill assessments have become more common to evaluate candidates. 

Common roadblocks that slow down candidate screening

The importance of the candidate screening process can’t be overstated. Unfortunately, it’s common for inefficiencies to be a part of this process, causing delays in the recruiting timeline. 

Here are the most common challenges frontline recruiters face that slow down the screening step:

Resume trouble 

One of the most challenging obstacles for high-volume positions is that run-of-the-mill applications often require a resume. However, it’s uncommon for individuals in frontline industries to have been trained in building a formal resume. Unfortunately, this results in qualified and skilled individuals removing themselves from the candidate pool even before throwing their hat in the ring, therefore suffocating and limiting the candidate pipeline. 

Lack of candidate responses

It’s normal for some applicants to drop off throughout the hiring process. But, when a large number of candidates don’t respond during the screening process, it takes longer for talent acquisition professionals to reach out to engaged and interested candidates. This is a massive problem because hiring managers aren’t able to fill open roles fast enough. Talent Board found that candidate ghosting is regarded as a top challenge by 40% of hiring professionals. 

Time-consuming processes

Manually screening candidates takes time that recruiters could otherwise spend on more important steps of the hiring process. A large part of their week is spent looking through candidate information and making phone calls. This tedious work can lead to recruiter burnout and, even, resignation. Talent acquisition teams should be focused on utilizing their greatest skillset—building relationships with candidates and growing their employers’ brand. 

How to improve candidate screening

But, there’s a better way to screen candidates. Emi is a frontline recruitment automation platform designed to move applicants through the hiring funnel faster and more efficiently. 

Emi eliminates manual candidate screening by utilizing customized evaluation rules provided by the employer. These screening rules enable talent acquisition teams and hiring managers to filter the high volume of applications within minutes rather than hours. Additionally, Emi’s automation helps eliminate bias that can occur in manual screenings.

Through the familiar format of text communication, Emi's responsive AI chatbot utilizes SMS, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger to ask candidates questions that guide them through a simple, resume-free application.

How companies benefit from using Emi

Emi has helped hundreds of high-performing businesses like KFC, Burger King, and Walmart meet their hiring goals. 

Heineken, a leading global beer brand, struggled to keep up with high-volume hiring demands. The talent acquisition team partnered with Emi and saved their recruiters over 10,000 hours with recruitment automation. The team also experienced a 33% reduction in time-to-fill and a 20% decrease in total recruiter time spent per job candidate. 

Automate screening with Emi

Eliminate manual screening tasks from your candidate selection process by utilizing Emi to automatically evaluate applications. Automated candidate screening will allow recruiters to focus their time on individuals who meet the first tier of requirements vs. sifting through thousands of applications to find them. 

Is your company in need of streamlined candidate screening? Join the leading frontline employers like Walmart, Heineken, and Burger King in partnering with Emi for high-volume hiring. Request a demo to see Emi in action. 

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