What are employers looking for when screening job candidates?

By Bec | Changing Your Job or Career Path

What are employers for your screening job candidates?

Wondering what employers are looking for when they are screening job candidates? We explore this topic in this post - read on!

The significant changes in technology have left a huge impact on the way employers are recruiting. With various platforms for sharing open positions such as job boards, social networks, and more, hiring managers are likely to receive tons of applications. This puts them in a more challenging position. Employers have to pre-screen each candidate for them to identify the most suitable one for their job position. 

More...

What is Pre-Employment Screening?

Before proceeding any further, let’s first understand what a pre-employment screening is. What pre-employment screening job candidates means is that after job applications have been sent, the employer reviews them based on qualifications, education, skills set, and more. This is just to make sure that not only are you qualified to perform a specific task, but you are also capable of integrating with their organizational culture.  

As a job applicant, you want to be the lucky one to be considered for the position. Therefore, make sure that before sending in your resume, you have what it takes to qualify. Also, learn more about the company beforehand. The employer might see you as the best fit during the pre-screening procedure.

Steps in Screening Job Candidates 

There are various processes involved in candidate pre-screening, including the following:- 

1. Resume and Cover Letter Review 

Immediately after sourcing candidates, the employer will review job applicants’ resumes. Note that some employers have pre-screening tools that base their reviews on keywords search. Make sure your application aligns with the job description.  

During this process, the employer will keep an open eye on your educational background, qualifications, and job experience. They will also look at the job duties that you were involved in in the past few years (probably 3-5) to ensure you match the job description. 

Your career progression is also a determining factor in pre-employment screening. The employer will also want to know if you were hopping from one job to the other more frequently and the level of gaps in employment.  

2. Skills Test 

Sometimes employers feel that resume reviews are not enough in finding the right talent. In this regard, they conduct skills tests to ensure that the candidate they will hire has the right skills to perform a specific task.  

Aptitude and personality tests may also be offered by the employer to gauge your personality and level of intelligence in specific roles. This can be a useful tool in screening job candidates. For instance, a candidate applying for a developer job may be given coding skills tests to measure their performance on coding tasks.  

3. Pre-Screening Interviews 

Once resumes have been reviewed, the employer will schedule interview meetings. A pre-screening interview allows the employer to learn more about job applicants in order to make informed hiring decisions.  

Interviews can be conducted either via phone call, one on one, or video calls. Either way, the employer will want to verify if you are active and available to begin working within a specific time if you get hired.  

Excellent communication skills is essential in any job position that involves handling clients frequently. Therefore, the employer will use interview questions to gauge your communication skills, which is crucial in keeping clients comfortable in any business.  

4. Background Checks 

You do not expect an employer to fully believe the information you provide them in your resume. For this reason, they will want to verify that you are honest and can be trusted. Conducting background checks when screening job candidates is the only way to get the information they need. 

Background checks confirm your job history, educational background, driving record, and more. In most cases, employers conduct reference checks. But depending on the position you are applying for, extra checks may be done.  

Qualities Employers Look For when screening job candidates 

Screening and evaluating candidates is an essential procedure in any recruitment. Not only do employers look for suitable and competent individuals to effectively perform specified tasks. They also want an enthusiast and passionate individual. More features employers look for in a candidate are:- 

  1. Ability to stay in the organization for a more extended time to avoid frequent hiring.  
  1. Ability to work under pressure. This means that you must be willing to showcase your skills and stay motivated in order to achieve organizational results.  
  1. Although you are hired to perform specific tasks on your own, there will likely come a time when you are required to work as a team. Simply put, employers look for a team player. 
  1. Being ambitious is also another quality of being considered as an employee. You must be willing to go above and beyond to ensure that your assigned tasks are completed successfully. 
  1. Employers also expect a loyal employee. They do not want to hire someone who will be sharing confidential organisational information with their competitors. 
  1. Ability to interact with fellow workers and customers. Employers also expect you to be respectful and polite with your words since you represent their company or business.  

First impressions are essential in a job interview... 

whether it’s video, audio, or on-premise. Therefore, as soon as you have been scheduled for a pre-employment screening interview, prepare yourself for it. Make sure you have excellent communication skills and be keen on your body language. Also, arrive at the meeting early and dressed to impress in order to qualify to be on the considerations list.

Wondering if career coaching is right for you? Well, in this post I am sharing a little more about what it's like to coach with me - let's chat about how I can help you get ahead in your career! - Pop Your Career
Wondering if career coaching is right for you? Well, in this post I am sharing a little more about what it's like to coach with me - let's chat about how I can help you get ahead in your career! - Pop Your Career
Want more super cool career advice, freebies and updates?
Sign up to the Career Club today!
Want to become more employable? Try these actionable tips! - Pop Your Career
Should you take an online course? - Pop Your Career
The Dreaded Group Interview and How You Can Ace It - Pop Your Career

About the Author

Bec McFarland is an experienced HR practitioner, manager, career coach and the creator of Pop Your Career. She delights in sharing practical, straight to the point career advice, spending time with her family and eating Mexican food.