Unlocking the Hidden Potential: Why you should never skip the pre-screening stage in recruitment

Man drinking coffee on the phone

How many times have you interviewed someone for them to tell you they are looking for a fully remote role – when they applied for an office-based position?

How many times have you interviewed someone for them to tell you the salary advertised isn’t in line with their expectations?

If you had picked up the phone prior would you have already known this information?

Some employers might challenge that adding a pre-screening stage is an extra step costing time and money, but it actually saves both. 

The whole point of a pre-screening call is to evaluate a candidate’s motivations and iron out the essential details such as salary expectations, location, and necessary skills. It can also help you assess whether they will share your values. Going over the essentials in that first ten-minute call could save your whole process.

Hidden talent – not only can it alleviate uncertainty about the candidates’ alignment with the role, but it also allows you to dig deeper into their experience. The CV or application only tells you some information. The amount of times I call a candidate who might not immediately jump out and uncover skills/experience on the phone is astonishing. Not only does pre-screening eliminate unsuitable candidates early, but it also ensures that as a business, you’re not missing out on talent that at first glance might not seem like ‘the one’.

Improved candidate experience – pre-screening is beneficial for both parties, it  allows candidates to ask initial questions that could make the difference between them accepting or declining the interview invitation. It demonstrates your company culture, showing the candidate that the company is willing to spend time on the process and is committed to finding the right person for the role.

Communication evaluation – for specific roles, the initial phone call could be even more key. Hiring for a Sales person – you will probably want them to be great on the phone. Calls can provide great insight into candidates’ articulation, language proficiency, and ability to express concepts and ideas, these are skills that are an indicator for success in many roles

Commitment to the role – there’s no better way to reveal a candidate’s commitment (or lack thereof) when they can’t spare 10 minutes to chat about a role they claim to be extremely keen on. Like most things, you’ll make time if you want it bad enough! Sometimes the prescreening step filters out candidates without you having to do anything at all!

Improving efficiency, saving you time and money –  You’re likely to invite more candidates to interview without pre-screening first. Instead of a 10-minute chat, you find yourself spending an hour interviewing someone unsuitable, or worse still, you get stood up. Not only are you wasting precious time, but you’re also prolonging the process, which means losing the best candidates!

So where do we go from here?

If I’ve successfully convinced you to realise the huge value of pre-screening calls but you don’t know where to start and/or if you want us to help you implement an ATS if you don’t have the time, then give me a shout. I’ll be happy to help! 

Contact jenny@peasinapodconsulting.org.uk to get the ball rolling. 

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