Talent Connection Blog

The hiring process has traditionally adhered to the screening-out mentality. What does this candidate bring to the table that we don’t like? What problems do we anticipate if we hire this person? What are the negatives? However, this type of decision-making is causing us to focus on things that don’t matter as much as we think they do. Eliminating candidates before they get too far in the hiring process is often a missed opportunity.

The primary goal of any recruitment process should always be to identify the right person for the job. This is especially true in the current employment climate. As the pool of potential candidates continues to remain thin, it’s important to focus on screening IN candidates, instead of screening them out. This requires meaningful considerations into their behavioral traits and other factors that can provide insights on potential, job performance, and cultural fit.

But how do we mentally shift from screening OUT candidates to screening IN candidates? It’s essential to get clarity on what you’re looking for in your employee pool, and then implement strategies to find the right fit.

The first step to filling open roles should be the identification of all open positions across your company. You may find a candidate interviewing for one role is a better fit for another, either in the same department or a different division of your company altogether.  As you take stock of open positions, get clarity on the organization’s needs, types of individuals who excel, and corporate culture. Having a better understanding of these factors will make it easier to hire IN candidates who fulfill these requirements. 

As you assess your candidates and learn about their behavioral tendencies, be open-minded. Are they a fit with the organization but don’t have specialized skills that can be developed? If so, you can hire them IN as a strong match to your organization and later train them to meet the operational needs of the business. This is where an effective job description comes in. How much will the candidate need to interact within a team or department, and what kind of person would be able to both excel at the job and integrate smoothly with the other team members? Both of these things are much easier to identify when you prioritize creating an effective job description. 

If the open position is one that’s been previously occupied, make sure to incorporate into your search feedback from the former position holder, if possible, as well as the manager of the role and other team members who will work day-to-day with the chosen applicant. This information will help you get the whole picture of what’s needed from a candidate to be successful in the role – both in work expertise and personality.

Then, as you review resumes, develop an organizational system to keep track of candidates who possess the minimum skills and experience you identified in the first step. Whatever your non-negotiables are – education requirements, the experience of a certain length or in a certain industry, metrics, or special skills/knowledge – look for these things on resumes and in cover letters to screen IN the candidates who might fit. Be realistic about what you must have from day one and what an individual can learn on the job. 

To make the most of phone screenings, develop a list of a few, somewhere around 4-6, valuable questions to ask. Instead of focusing on the skills, they don’t have, focus on what they bring to the table. Based on the assessment, what are their strengths? What roles across your organization would be a potential fit? Spend time and get internal feedback when developing these questions, as they can pack a huge payoff when it comes to screening IN candidates. 

The questions you develop will vary depending on the role you’re trying to fill. Identify key phrases or types of answers you desire to hear from candidates and make note of all those who respond directionally the way you want. By the end of this phone screening process, you should be left with a selection of applicants you would consider hiring based on their strengths and natural tendencies – what they bring to the table. 

Consider starting your hiring process with psychometric assessments to develop meaningful insights for potential employees. Psychometric assessments can measure behavioral traits, cognitive abilities, soft skills, and more. By focusing on candidate strengths, you can screen out fewer candidates and screen in individuals who can bring something to the table.

Talexes provides a selection of proven assessments to help you screen in candidates and feel confident that your next hire will be the right fit for the job. Let the old ways stay in the old days. With new tools at a hiring manager’s disposal and more qualified candidates than ever, opt to screen in your candidates instead of screening them out, and see what a difference it can make in your success at filling open roles.