The Talent Scout Episode 2: Screening Your Candidates
4 minutes | Posted 18 February, 2020

When it comes to screening your candidates, there are a myriad of approaches that people use. From the simple phone call to the more sophisticated screening questions powered by an Applicant Tracking System.

Which method you use will usually come down to what suits your organization and the role in question and nearly all methods can work in different situations except those pre-interview tests and assessments that some of the job boards like Indeed and LinkedIn have started to role out, those are absolute garbage!

I mean imagine the disrespect a candidate feels when they try to apply for a role with you, only to realize they have to complete a time consuming examination prior to completing your application process and submitting a resume and cover letter. That doesn’t exactly represent your company in a great light, and if you think it does I beg you to realize the error of your ways. Imagine expecting a candidate to spend an hour or more of their time applying to your company without them ever having received even a phone call. That’s an insane expectation to have.

Here at Scout Talent when it comes to screening candidates as part of our recruitment process we find the combination of screening questions and video interviews to be a real cornerstone of our recruitment process. It’s not the whole process, we do see the value in face to face in person interviews as well, but given the cost in time and productivity involved in an in-person face to face interview we feel it’s best that you save that only for your cream of the crop candidates.

Our starting point is screening questions. Most Applicant Tracking Systems like Scout Talent will allow you to ask applicants pretty customizable questions. There is a caveat to this. Respecting your candidate’s time. You’re going to want to restrict yourself to between 5 to 7 screening questions. I’d say as a rule of thumb you’ll want to ask a few yes no functional questions like ‘do you have x degree’ or ‘do you have 10+ years of experience’ before going on to a more open-ended long text question to give you a flavour of the candidate’s motivation and communication skills.

Between that information and the resumes you gather it should give you a pretty good insight into which candidates you want to interview and depending on your role that may be too many to invite in for a face to face meeting. Or if you’re in a remote location it’s likely too expensive to bring individuals in for a face to face meeting after just a quick review of written information.

This is where video interviews come into play and they’re something we’re really passionate about here at Scout.

Using free software like Skype you can have an impactful face to face conversation with a candidate that’s convenient for both of you in terms of time spent. I know a lot of people are married to phone screening because change is scary and wifi is unreliable in some areas. Sure, I get it. But give video interviews a go, I promise you won’t regret it.

When we’re thinking of candidates, which hopefully we always are to a certain extent. Video interviews are much more candidate friendly than face to face interviews are. With video interviews candidates don’t necessarily have to get time off of their work. We all have a smart phone now and candidates can easily step into another room or out to their car. Internally at Scout we seem to interview a lot of candidates in their car. But that 20-minute conversation in a car is much more preferable to a candidate than having to book half a day off of work.

We often forget the candidate effort that goes into the recruitment process. People invest a lot of time into applying for the jobs we put out and jumping over the hurdles of our recruitment processes.

Now overall I’m not saying replace your face to face meetings with video interviews, not entirely. You should still be absolutely meeting the person who is going to be working with you in person before hiring them. But use face to face interviews as a screening tool. Use it as a means of ensuring you only end up inviting the best of the best into your office to meet with a panel. Essentially use it as a way of ensuring no one’s time is wasted.

For those of you that have multiple levels of sign off, there are tonnes of screen recording tools that you can access online in order to record your interviews and share with a panel. Just make sure your candidate knows they’re being recorded or you can get into all sorts of nastiness.

If anyone out there is feeling a little bit too wary of change to take on video interviews by themselves then please do reach out to us. Video Interviews are something we do at Scout Talent every day and we’d love to help you learn more about the process.

When it comes to screening your candidates you deserve a refined process. Recruitment’s hard, we all know it. And interviewing people can be exhausting. At the very least when it comes to a video interview if the candidates really bad you can pretend your wifi cut out and just finish up there and then. That’s a joke. Mostly.

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To discuss candidate screening processes and how our products and services can enhance your current process, speak to a member of our team but clicking the button below or by reaching out to

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