Qualified Applicants - How to Find and Screen Them in 2023
Published on January 4th, 2023
It’s a new year with infinite possibilities to unlock. Your company’s business plan has taken good shape and you’re handpicking good talent to achieve your targets. As a recruiter or HR manager, you need to hire the most qualified applicants in the shortest time from an applicant pool, to keep the business running.
But, the market scenario tells a different story altogether. With junk resumes and redundant skill sets available in plenty, you need a foolproof system to cut through the clutter.
Here’s where laser sharp sourcing and screening come in handy. As a pioneer in disruptive hiring, we bring the expert how-to to the table. In this article, we will take you through crucial know-how and time-tested techniques that find and screen qualified applicants in record time.
Where are All the Talented Folks?
Your previous hiring experience tells you that only if you source 250+ resumes can you arrive at the top 3-4. However, this period can be cut short by changing the lens through which you see hiring. You can find top talent in places where there’s room to learn and grow. Be it industry forums, a skill university, or an engaging workplace: talent is everywhere and we just need to sharpen our search to find it. Let us look at a few common places to find talent.
The most common source of all, is the avalanche of applications you get when you post a job online. These people are either looking for financial, or career growth, or simply want to move to a better culture. You can also find candidates who are moving from a perfectly good job because of issues in the workplace.
You can find exceptional talent in active job seekers, but most consider you another run-of-the-mill employer, as active jobseekers apply to numerous jobs. Sometimes you might exhaust the entire candidate pool only to find that the chosen few do not fit your culture or role.
In that case, you will have to start from scratch, which only furthers the hiring cycle. What’s the solution? Look far and wide.
Passive Jobseekers - a Goldmine
People who aren’t exactly looking to move, but are open to talking new offers. If you persuade them to apply and convince them to join, they are more likely to research in-depth about your company, how you can make a difference to them, and ask pertinent questions about their growth. Since they already have a reasonable job at hand, they need a compelling reason to come work for you. But, if you do, and they pass all screening levels, they are sure to be an asset to your company.
Look where no one else is looking. Join in industry-specific forums, and social media groups and watch how people interact there. You may see many types of people: those who ask questions, and those who take time to research and answer them. You can also gauge professionalism, concern for others, effort to be better at their job, and the quality of grabbing every learning opportunity.
The forums are also a good place to network, establish your brand amongst others, and spread the word. If you’re participative and contributing to the programs, you can see people who are naturally gravitating towards your message, and your values and you can approach them. If someone has made a new discovery, or won a contest, or accomplished a difficult feat, chances are they’re competent and tenacious.
They may be a good prospect to have a hiring conversation.
Follow creators of your industry on social media, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Your benefits are twofold here: if you resonate with the creator’s messaging and the value they provide, you may consider them.
On the other hand, people who are connected to the creator, who comment and engage with the content are also a good choice, as they’re trying to stay updated, gather knowledge from the industry’s best, and upskill themselves.
Leave all this work to [Hire Quotient’s](https://hirequotient.com/solutions/sourcing) expert team with a complete talent solution. Reach a global network of active and passive candidates with mass outreach and witness an influx of qualified applicants.
Power of Referrals
If an employee loves your culture, job, and management, they’re sure to spread the word about your company. It’s wise to leverage the goodwill you have, to get good candidates. If you don’t already have a referral policy in your handbook, it’s high time to have one. Have a reward for every long-standing referral a person makes and employees will go far and wide to fetch the best of their connections for you.
When an employee posts a job on their social media and talks about your company, imagine the positive brand they’re putting out to the world. Leverage social media here, and ask them to tag your company in any job ad/story they post. This way, you direct traffic to your company’s page and even if the viewers don’t apply, you can convert them to customers.
High Employer Value Proposition
Resonate higher with the masses by showcasing you’re a people-centric, sophisticated, top brand on the growth track. Have employees talk about you on social, and give the audience a glimpse of who you are even before you share a job ad. 75% of candidates look at your brand and if you’re cool, interesting, and promising, before applying to you.
After they get in touch with you, your professional and courteous behavior, and respect for their time are important in them making an impression on you.
Contests to Fish Top Players
If you’re tired of finding top candidates through various means, it’s time to turn the tables and see who finds you. Host an interesting competition/contest in your company, preferably online. Be mindful of the timelines and rules, if working professionals are your target audience.
Frame the rules in such a way that the participants understand the glorious mission of your company and what you have to offer. Harness the power of gamification in creating excitement and curating intriguing contests.
This method gets you, candidates who can go above and beyond the routine to do something interesting, have the perseverance to not give up, and the competence to deliver their best. Engage with all your participants, as they’re your new candidate pool.
Make an irresistible offer along with the prize, to your winner. Your chances of landing the most qualified applicant are high.
Catch the Early Bird
If you’re open to hiring freshers, your avenues are plenty. Sign up in e-learning platforms as a user and engage in the discussion in the forum, internship aggregators, and be proactive on social media. Of the bunch of students who are waiting for jobs to reach them, you can find those who reach out to the industry, connect with industry veterans, create meaningful content, and make efforts to find the right fit for an employer.
You need these qualities in your employees. Catch them early, absorb them for an internship, assess their performance, and roll out an unmistakable offer. If your company already has outstanding interns, stay in touch with them as they may refer or join you if an opportunity presents itself. Make no mistake, they might turn out to be some of the most qualified applicants you get.
Hire Specialist Firms
If you’re hiring in large volumes, or for a niche skill, you might need support. Look for RPO firms that leverage cutting-edge technology, to accelerate hiring cycles, scout for talent amidst their global candidate pool, and line up the most qualified applicants in the shortest time possible.
Use their expertise to your advantage. [Hire Quotient](https://hirequotient.com/solutions/sourcing) offers AI-powered sourcing which allows you to reach thousands of candidates in minutes, swiftly move down the recruitment stages, and bring you the best for your business to interact with. We save your time, efforts, and money spent on sourcing and qualifying, so you can deliver a more personalized candidate experience.
Design a Bullet-proof Screening Mechanism
Now that we have aced the sourcing game, it’s time to filter the chaff to get to the wheat. You can save lots of time, cost, and effort by designing a stringent screening process that is valid, reliable, comprehensive, and time-saving. Here are the must-haves to screen and arrive at qualified applicants to associate with your company:
Simplify with Tech
A strong ATS can reduce your work in reaching and managing candidates. Go for an AI-assisted ATS that can be easily customized to suit your hiring process, can post your job ad in multiple portals, all at once, and notify candidates about updates from time to time, and is smart in allocating resources accordingly.
A good ATS can update candidate applications as they move through the recruitment funnel, throw insights on the hiring process, consolidate applications from all sources, simplify candidate calling and emailing, and store all relevant documents in one source of truth.
This is a non-negotiable in today’s fast-paced hiring environment.
Evaluate CVs like a Pro
CV is a form of self-report data, which a candidate generates and has a lot of scope for faking and defrauding. More often than not, candidates may lack self-awareness and present data on CVs which may not be true about them, or actively conceal information they cannot reveal about themselves. So, it’s all the more important to evaluate CVs carefully.
Frame metrics in your ATS or your system that categorize the applicants’ CVs based on how close a match the CV is to the work criteria required for the job. Read your job description thoroughly and come up with key metrics that differentiate relevant candidates. You can increase your chance of getting fair information by including a warning/disclaimer in your application form.
Score the CV on its merits: education, experience, achievements, and skills to cut through the noise. A quick scan will help you find specific characteristics from experience and achievements.
Look for superfluous words in the resume/CV, compare length of experience to responsibilities held, and condemn any CV with bloated experience or education.
For more insights on the candidate, go over their social media handle and see what type of content they share, the nature of their comments, and how they project themselves to their followers. You can also determine a few aspects of their personality, attributes, and work through social.
Screen over the Phone
This is the first direct interaction you have with the candidate, so do not repeat what’s in their CV. Establish a good rapport with them and ask questions on areas you are unclear about.
Look for minute details that reveal who the candidate is. The initial screening call is a great way to filter the candidates and avoid investing the recruitment budget on primarily unsuitable candidates. Do not disregard the phone call as a mere invitation to a further interview.
Evaluate the following:
- How is the candidate reacting to your call? If they are in their current workplace then, how do they manage to talk?
- Do they listen patiently? Do they have a know-it-all attitude?
- How professional are they? Do they communicate well?
- Are they free to express their availability/unavailability for the interview?
- Do they hesitate to answer your questions?
What do People Say About the Candidate?
References and testimonials are a good way to know if a candidate is genuine, but they can also be misleading. Oftentimes, candidates give references of a friend, or ex-colleague, professor or manager whom they had a good rapport with. Also, people show different sides of themselves to different people, so an account from a few references may not indicate the entire personality of the candidate.
In this case, you need to have an objective questionnaire to share with references and remind/clarify ambiguous aspects on call. Asking them to rate the candidate’s skill or traits on a rating scale has proven effective. Also, check Linkedin for any endorsements or feedback the candidate has received.
Assess A-Z of Candidates
Number of people who learn new skills and broaden their knowledge and increasing, ever since the lockdown situation. This has led to a lot of enhanced resumes that look good on paper. But, the extent of skill has to be tested and cannot be taken on face value.
Everyone possesses conscious competence (things they’re aware they know), conscious incompetence (things they’re aware that they don’t know), unconscious competence (things they’re unaware that they know), and unconscious incompetence (things they’re unaware that they don’t know). Everyone has a combination of the above and an intelligent assessment platform like Hire Quotient brings out the surface and hidden abilities of the candidate, for you to make an informed decision.
General Mental Abilities
It’s well known that cognitive ability, or general aptitude is a good predictor of their job performance, job-related learning, and capacity to acquire and process new information. Choose an all-around basic screening test, or aptitude test to weed out misfits in the initial stages itself and pick only qualified applicants.
More than education, or experience, what a candidate brings to your table is important. Assess their skill level, by deploying innovative, role and level-based assessments that are tailor-made to test different aspects of the skill, gauge the extent of successful skill application, and capture accurate results.
Worried about finding the right assessment for your niche? Worry not. [Hire Quotient](https://hirequotient.com/) has hundreds of skill assessments in its vast skill library, to give challenging, competitive questions to your candidates and see how skilled they actually are. Combine our expert-curated questions with your own, give real-life problems to solve, and offer job simulation exercises with Hire Quotient to filter the most qualified applicants effectively.
Once you have arrived at a list of candidates who excel at what they do, you need to know them as a person. Their personality is responsible for any emotional, cognitive, and behavioral responses they have at work and can profoundly influence others’ emotions and behavior at the workplace.
Based on personality, the potential employee finds different job elements interesting, takes pride in them, or turns fearful. This, in turn, affects how they perceive the job and how they spread the word around, thus affecting your employer's brand.
So, it’s essential to determine the personality of your qualified applicants, using the most advanced, accurate methods possible. [Hire Quotient](https://hirequotient.com/) is your trusted personality assessment partner with research and data-backed, scientifically designed assessments that capture different elements of personality, use questions to counter-check candidates’ answers, and bring you the best fits.
### Interview the Best
Now that you have successfully found, screened and curated a list of promising candidates, it’s time to meet with them and find out your most promising hire. With a calm and pleasing demeanor, thoughtful structured questions, patient listening, and an interactive experience, the interviewer can get all the vital information to make the decision and choose ‘the one’ for your company.
Finding and screening qualified applicants is a long game that needs to be played thoroughly. With expert tools like [Hire Quotient](https://hirequotient.com/), you can now find, screen, assess, and place the perfect candidate with minimum effort and maximum [ROI](https://hirequotient.com/roi-calculator). Let’s begin the search for the unicorn, shall we?
Thomas M. A.
A literature-lover by design and qualification, Thomas loves exploring different aspects of software and writing about the same.
Never Miss The Updates
We cover all recruitment, talent analytics, L&D, DEI, pre-employment, candidate screening, and hiring tools. Join our force & subscribe now!
Stay On Top Of Everything In HR