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March 10, 2023

Effective candidate screening is an essential part of hiring the best talent for the available positions in the organization. It helps organizations save time and resources by focusing on candidates who are most likely to succeed in the role and ultimately leads to more successful hires.

In this article, we will discuss the top effective methods that organizations should include in their screening process. By following these methods, recruiters can efficiently shortlist job applications, identify A-level candidates, and assess their fit for the job.

Let’s begin!

01. Screening resumes and cover letters:

The oldest and most used method during the hiring process is screening resumes. It enables employers to review everything about the candidate, such as experience, qualifications, and previous job roles.

In various organizations, resume screening is done manually, but with high-tech tools, these tasks are now automated, where the technology identifies the top-suited resumes that match the job requirements.

Various recruiters rely on resumes, but it is time consuming and in most cases, they are not credible as they are exaggerated. Therefore, to get a better understanding of the candidate, recruiters can request candidates to submit a cover letter along with their resume. Cover letters provide a great insight into the candidate’s written communication skills, personal presentation, and creativity.

02. Phone screening:

Phone screening is done after shortlisting resumes. They are conducted to further know about the candidates’ qualifications, work experience, location, salary expectations, and notice period, in detail.

In this step, recruiters should focus on applicants’ communication skills and how they are answering the question. This gives an overall idea of applicants’ ideology and capabilities.

Sometimes, phone screenings are also conducted to guide the candidate through the next steps of the hiring process, setting expectations, and promoting transparency.

03. Video interviews:

Today, video interviews are high in demand and are used by most recruiters. Zoom, Teams, Skype, or Google Hangouts are some of the best tools for conducting video interviews.

During video interviews, the hiring team can easily judge the candidate’s communication skills and personality. Furthermore, conducting a Q&A session in the video interview can help recruiters to know more about the candidate, such as their work knowledge and experience.

remote teams

Video interviews can be conducted multiple times to understand the candidates’ inside-out and judge if they are the right candidate or not.

04. Skills testing/ Screening assessment:

Skill testing is one of the best ways to find out if the candidate can do the job or not. According to the Harvard Business Review,  service companies, such as retailers, call centers, and security firms can save money and make better hires by using short, web-based assessments as part of the initial screening process.

Organizations can conduct various web tests for technical and non-technical job positions, such as:

  • Aptitude test
  • Writing test
  • Coding test
  • Quizzes

These tests provide recruiters with a better understanding of the candidate, before providing them with the offer. Furthermore, they reduce the search pool as only the best talent can pass such tests.

05. Background screening:

Background checks are conducted to learn more about chosen candidates’ professional and personal backgrounds. They are required regardless of how skilled or polite the candidate is to avoid any mishaps that could harm the organization’s reputation.

Once selected, recruiters can request the following details for a background check from the candidates:

  • Criminal history
  • Driving records
  • Credit reports
  • Verification reports (e.g. identity and educational certifications)

Additionally, depending on the job role, recruiters may also consider evaluating other factors, such as drug/alcohol addiction history.

To maintain transparency and trust, recruiters should inform the candidates about these checks.

06. Social media screening:

Recruiters frequently use social media for candidate outreach and screening. According to Small Business Trends,  90% of employers check a candidate’s social media profiles as part of the hiring process.

Recruiters collect more information from social media accounts than from resumes and cover letters. They get in-depth knowledge about candidates’ views, opinions, and interests.

Social media screening can also be misused, therefore recruiters should do their research on professional hiring through social media sites to main the privacy of the candidates.

07. Paid trial projects:

Paid trials are conducted for candidates to check their skills and day-to-day activities to assess their ability to work in the environment. To choose the most qualified candidates, modern recruitment practices may involve conducting challenging tests that last for several days or weeks and come with monetary compensation. This approach tends to attract candidates who are open to the idea of taking on short-term paid employment.

In the end, recruiters should remember to respect and acknowledge candidates’ time that they put in throughout the hiring process.


Recruiters or organizations should commence their recruitment process by implementing foolproof strategies and bearing in mind the aforementioned factors to select the most suitable candidate for the vacant positions. It is crucial to evaluate candidates based on their communication abilities, skills, and knowledge.