How to Streamline Your Candidate Screening & Hiring Process

How can you streamline your hiring process and ensure the accuracy of hires? Skillsarena share their best tips for designing a better hiring process.

How to Streamline Your Candidate Screening and Hiring Process

Any recruiter, hiring manager, or employer should know the value of a speedy and efficient hiring process. The faster you recruit, the higher the likelihood of securing top talent, the more money you save, and, importantly, the easier your job is. 

Yet, hiring processes seem to get longer every year. A 2021 analysis by LinkedIn found that the industries with the shortest recruitment process were customer service (median: 34 days) and administration (median: 33 days) while the longest were engineering (median: 49 days) and research (median: 48 days). That’s a long time before a job offer; by that point, your top candidates have probably accepted an offer elsewhere! 

With a lot of candidates to evaluate and many steps in the hiring process, how can you create a recruitment strategy and process that keeps things fast, efficient, and streamlined? And how can you ensure that this allows you to hire the perfect new employee every time? 

Here are some key tips to help you design a better hiring process. 

Write detailed job descriptions with a realistic job preview

One way to streamline candidate screening and hiring from the very beginning of the process is by focusing on the job adverts you share on job boards, social media, and the company website. Effective job descriptions ensure that candidates understand the role they are applying for, bringing more clarity to the recruitment process and ensuring that people who apply for the job actually understand its requirements. 

This is a recruitment tool that provides a detailed and accurate insight into the day-to-day experience of working in the role, encompassing duties, work environment, and expectations. 

Instead of having to write this over and over for each separate job advertisement, the realistic job preview is a multi-format tool hosted on your company website which might use text, audio, and video to give a true overview of the company culture and employer values. 

An effective job description is both detailed and clear, providing an accurate insight into the duties and requirements of the role. It should list the required experience or skills clearly — this acts as a self-deselection tool, reducing the number of irrelevant CVs you receive. It should also clearly indicate what working in the role will be like because this ensures that only job seekers who are truly interested in the role will apply. 

RJPs can incorporate a quiz element where applicants can answer questions and receive feedback on how suitable they would be for the role. This allows an average of 45% of job seekers to withdraw from the application process, quickly and easily filtering out the less committed and unsuitable job seekers and leaving you more time to evaluate the remaining applicants. Reducing the volume of applicants using a RJP is a great way to save your time and ensure that your efforts are directed towards screening only the most suitable candidates for the job. 

One way to increase the effectiveness of job descriptions and attract the right applicants is by using a realistic job preview (RJP).

Moreover, in addition to speeding up recruitment, the transparency of a RJP or effective job description can benefit your company’s retention rate further down the line. Candidates who know what they’re getting into are more likely to stick around — you won’t have to hire their replacements any time soon. It’s even great for your employer brand because unsuitable candidates will often self-deselect in the early stages of the application process, meaning that they still have a positive candidate experience with the company and employer even if they don’t go through with the full application. 

Introduce skills tests to save time and increase accuracy

Manually poring over CVs and cover letters is perhaps one of the biggest time sinks in recruiting. Even if you use software or an AI tool to disqualify unsuitable applicants, reading the remaining job applications can be time-consuming. After a few CVs your eyes start to glaze over, you find yourself reading the same sentence over and over without comprehending, and you start to lose the will to live. Sound familiar?

Fortunately, there’s a simple way to slash the number of CVs you have to read through at this stage in the hiring process. Skills tests are a quick and easy way to weed out the unsuitable applicants immediately and push the best candidates to the top of your pile. 

How does it work? Modern skills tests or aptitude tests are easily administered online for candidates to complete at their convenience. First, pick out the most appropriate tests for the particular role. Depending on the role, these tests might be specific to a particular hard skill or they might be more general evaluations of soft skills. 

For example, when hiring a new accountant or finance professional, a sales ledger test or financial accounting test is an effective way to identify the candidates who are qualified for the role without having to scour a CV for qualifications. In other roles, health and safety skills might be essential, so providing an aptitude test to analyse these skills is an effective way to streamline hiring. 

But for other roles you might want to assess broader skills that are relevant to a variety of positions. For example, a literacy test can evaluate candidates’ literacy levels, a skill that is relevant to a wide variety of different roles. Or, a numerical reasoning test may help you evaluate candidates’ capabilities to work with numerical data such as tables, graphs, and statistics. 

After choosing the test or tests that are suited for this hiring process, all you need to do is send candidates the link. They’re free to complete the assessment online and you instantly have access to the data about individual candidates and their relative performance. You can use this information to make informed decisions about who should continue through the process and who should be rejected. Then, you can approach this much smaller pile of CVs and cover letters ready to pick out a few candidates for an interview. 

A note on skills tests: in addition to being a cost-effective way to streamline recruitment and speed up your time-to-hire, skills tests are also a great way to remove bias from hiring. As an objective measure of candidates’ skills, these ensure that you pick the most suitable candidates to continue through screening instead of relying on gut reactions to CVs. Helping create a more data-driven hiring process, there’s no reason not to include this step. 

Reduce the number of interviews using personality tests

So, you’ve reduced the number of applicants using your detailed job advertisement and realistic job preview. You’ve effectively filtered the potential employees using skills tests. Now, it’s time to interview — one of the most time-consuming aspects of hiring. You want to do in-depth interviews where you really get to know each candidate, but the list is long and it will probably take weeks to get through everyone. It’s just not going to happen. 

An effective way to supplement interviews and save time is by using personality profiling. Unlike skills tests that provide a measurable way of analysing a potential candidate’s capabilities, personality assessments instead focus on how the individual would fit into the team and company culture. 

There are a few different types of personality profiling tools that can be useful at this stage in the process. A character DNA personality profile is a handy summary which can give insights into the candidates’ strengths, communication style, and how they can add value to a team. There are also more specific types of personality assessments such as a remote worker character DNA test, which provides insights on how an individual works remotely — essential in any hybrid or remote workplace post Covid-19. 

While it’s never recommended to make hiring decisions based on the results of personality profiles alone, they’re a helpful tool to supplement your interview process. With these insights, recruiters don’t need to spend as much time on interviews and can gain a more accurate understanding of how a potential candidate would gel with the rest of a team. Furthermore, when a candidate is successful and accepts the job offer, the results of these personality assessments can help them better integrate into the organisation.

Ready to implement your improved hiring process?

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to design your better and more streamlined recruitment process. 

If you’re looking for support in transforming hiring, Skillsarena can help and has been using skills and personality tests to transform recruitment since 2001. In addition to a wide range of job-specific skills tests for every role from retail to legal and call centre to accounting, they also provide more general situational judgement tests and soft skills testing as well as personality profiling. Pick from tried-and-tested tests or create a bespoke assessment for your organisation.

Author Profile

Bhavna Tank
Freelance showbiz writer


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