Employers  / How to Screen Candidates

How to Screen Candidates

Stay Legal

Having a screening process with a few basic steps in place will help you to stay legal when reviewing applications for your vacancy and will ensure that you choose the very best candidate for the job. You should aim to review all candidates. If you know it’s going to be a popular vacancy, maybe have a closing date after a few days of going live or pause your Ad, so that you can properly screen the applications that come in.

Have a System

Divide up the applicants. Have a number of different categories such as;

  • Applicants that HAVE the advertised job qualifications, skills and experience required.
  • Applicants that LACK the advertised job qualifications, skills and experience required.
  • MAYBES, including those who have transferable skills that are relevant to the vacancy.
  • INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS, including applicants that left out important information.

Treat all applications the same way. Remember, do not hire or reject based on the 9 grounds of discrimination outlined in the Employment Equality Acts, 1998-2004, namely age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, family status, marital status, race, religion or membership of the travelling community.

Candidates with Transferable Skills

To widen your candidate pool you should consider including applicants that have transferable skills. For example, if you require excellent customer service and communication skills for an office based role, you could look at candidates that have excellent customer service skills in a face to face role, maybe in retail or the hospitality sector. People who have worked in busy face to face roles with a high level of customer interaction will have excellent customer service skills and will have the ability to deal with difficult situations.

In the job spec you can list the skills you ideally require and mention that you are accepting applicants from other industries at this time, because you will provide training on your products, services, internal processes, procedures and internal computer systems.

A lot of workers have been displaced recently due to the impact of the Covid Pandemic, so it’s a good opportunity for you to find very capable and competent employees from other industries, if you want to widen your search. The main thing is to identify which transferable skills are relevant to the vacancies that you’re recruiting for and to create a training programme to make up for any shortcomings. This way new hires can be seamlessly onboarded to their new roles.

Following up with Candidates

It is very good practice to reply back to every single applicant that has taken the time to apply. Put yourself in their shoes, it can be a very lonely place when you are seeking employment – leaving a person wondering without any feedback is not a very professional thing to do and remember it’s a bad reflection on your business. The person who you are rejecting today might be the perfect candidate for another role later, treating them with respect will be remembered.

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