How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee Series: Candidate Screening

How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee Series: Candidate Screening

Initial Screening

Welcome to our series How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee: The Ultimate Guide. In today’s post, we describe how to do candidate screening with ApplicantStack.

Before we continue, let’s review where we are in the series:

Everyone wants to find the perfect hire. But finding that perfect person in a pile of applications can be daunting.

Manual candidate screening is one of the most difficult parts of hiring. How do you review hundreds of resumes and applications? How do you find the perfect applicant before your competition does?

What Are The Challenges of Manual Candidate Screening?

  • Creating effective scoring criteria
  • Isolating a pool of qualified candidates quickly
  • Keeping track of applicants from multiple job boards
  • Tracking each applicant in the hiring process
  • Filtering out unqualified candidates
  • Collaborating with your hiring team

Scoring applications with ApplicantStack is ridiculously efficient.

ApplicantStack shines a spotlight on the best candidates by automatically scoring them.

Manage Applicants in a Central Dashboard

All applications come into a central dashboard. ApplicantStack scores the applications based on your criteria. Immediately.

No more printing and sorting. Everything is digital and accessible wherever you and your hiring team are.

With ApplicantStack, you won’t have to:

  • Print resumes and applications
  • Sort through stacks of paper applications
  • Worry about losing track of candidates
  • Waste time on unqualified applicants
  • Duplicate processes among your hiring team

Sort Applicants By Score

In the applicant dashboard, sort the applicants by score to see the highest scoring candidates at the top and the knockout candidates at the bottom.

Review The Applicant’s Summary and Resume

Select the top candidate on the list to review the candidate’s summary, source (where they applied from) and resume. You can also see how the score was calculated.

Move Applicants Quickly Through The Hiring Process

If the candidate is a fit for the job, send them to Manager Review. If not qualified, mark the candidate as Do Not Pursue. A candidate can also be fast tracked. Continue through the list to process all candidates.

ApplicantStack Auto Notifications

You can set up automatic emails to candidates as well as internal team notifications.

How Does ApplicantStack Expedite Candidate Scoring?

  • Create questionnaires with custom scoring criteria
  • Knockout questions eliminate unqualified candidates
  • Identify a pool of top applicants quickly
  • Assign tasks to hiring team members
  • Checklists show where each applicant is in the hiring process
  • Manage applicants from multiple job boards from a central dashboard

In our next post in the series How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee: The Ultimate Guide, we will show you how to schedule interviews.

Take a look at this entire series as an infographic!

My Personal Journey to ApplicantStack

My Personal Journey to ApplicantStack

How did I get here and what was my journey to ApplicantStack?

6 min read

Journey to ApplicantStack

When I began my job at my last position at a help desk company, one item I was tasked with was researching a better way to recruit new employees.

I was surprised that a technology company’s recruitment process comprised manually posting jobs on sites such as CareerBuilder, Indeed, local job boards, and some colleges.

The instructions to apply consisted of an email address that “organized” the resumes into Outlook folders based on the job they were applying to. Then we spent time weeding through, in some cases, hundreds of resumes to find candidates that were worth pursuing.

The candidates that weren’t a fit were never sent a “Thank you for applying email” because frankly, that was just too much work. This resulted in more emails, calls, and the occasional pop-in-the-office to find out their status.

“Worthwhile” resumes would then need to be printed and another sheet would be stapled to the resume that included fields to be filled out. “Date Resume Received”, Date Email Sent, Phone Screen Date & Time, etc..

The candidate would then be contacted along with a list of dates & times for a phone screen.

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And that’s when the real chaos began…

Human Resources Valuable Time

Endless emails back and forth trying to set up dates and times. Once a time slot was taken, I would need to turn down appointments letting them know that the week’s slots were taken with a new list for the following week.

The phone screens consisted of a series of questions and answers that would need to be manually typed.

Most of the time I needed to disclaim that I can’t type as fast as they would talk so there would be some silence during the call as I caught up.

If the candidate did not pass the phone screen, they were emailed letting them know we appreciated their time, but we were pursuing another candidate.

The candidates that passed the phone screen round were emailed with technical test session id’s and/or personality assessments. If they passed, they were sent another email with yet again a list of dates and times for their first in-person team interview.

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The coordination required for gathering available times across multiple candidates was painful, to say the least.  

Prior to the candidate’s in-person interview, their resume, the phone screen interview sheet, the results of their technical and personality assessments, and a sheet of paper with all the interview dates and times were all bundled into a paper file and labeled with the candidate’s name.

The candidate would arrive in the office and be brought to an available conference room where they needed to complete a hand-written application for employment, which would be added to the folder.

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Don’t Let Qualified Candidates Slip Through the Cracks

Fast forward the second round of in-person interviews, the offer was finally presented to the candidate. Sometimes the amount of time that passed from when the candidate applied to when an offer was extended could be upwards of two months.

By that time most candidates lost interest or took another job at another company.

Who could blame them! 

Yes, we tried to be more organized and create excel spreadsheets to track some of this information. We also ran reports letting our CEO know how many candidates were received and all the stages of the interview process they completed.

But this was extremely time consuming and redundant.

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Hence my question: “why use an applicant tracking system?”

It was clear that the answer was I needed help and so began my quest for an applicant tracking system (ATS).

I evaluated several products based on pricing and ease of use.

One product offered a potentially cost-effective onetime setup fee, but we would need to map out our entire process up front.

If that process ever changed, we would need to re-setup the entire product and pay the setup fee again!

Since we were a relatively small company with high turnover and a need to constantly evolve our recruiting process, that option just wasn’t going to work for us in the long run.

After hearing about ApplicantStack from several other companies, I decided to take a chance and test it out.

After all, they were offering a free trial, and if I didn’t feel it met my organization’s needs, I could take my data back and continue with my ATS evaluation.

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I decided to test it out with our most hard to fill, immediate need job on a Friday.

It was very easy to create a new job and ApplicantStack offered multiple resources to me for assistance if needed.

I was also able to create custom workflows to match our current process. I posted the job on Friday and it was instantly available on my public job board and within several hours the job was posted to CareerBuilder, Indeed, LinkedIn, and other job boards.

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By Monday morning, I received over 50 new applicants who all received an automatic email letting them know that if they were a match for the position they would be contacted.

This immediately cut down on those emails and calls about whether we received their resume.

Going through the resumes was also quicker, but at that time I didn’t have any screener questions set up.

Once I added basic screener questions with scoring the initial review process became much more efficient.

I could easily knock out candidates who didn’t meet the basic criteria for the job.

At that time the candidate scheduling feature now offered by ApplicantStack wasn’t available, and I can only imagine how much more time it would have saved by allowing the candidates to select available phone interview times on my calendar!

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Data Driven Recruiting

What was also extremely helpful was that I no longer needed to create reports in Excel.

I was able to use the pre-built standard reports found in ApplicantStack to show me information such as sources of applicants so I could easily see where my candidates were coming from.

This helped me focus my recruiting budget on the best sources.

The analytics for my CEO was also a time saver since it provided all the information he was looking for.

We were also able to determine our bottlenecks in the recruiting process and adjustments needed at no additional cost.

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By this point, it was clear that ApplicantStack was the right choice for our company and we decided to start by paying for it month-to-month.

Eventually, we were so pleased with the results and ease of use that we switched to an annual plan.

 

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You might be asking yourself, “So Jennifer, how did you wind up working for ApplicantStack?”

My passion for helping companies find the best solutions to make their jobs easier and more efficient set me on a path that eventually brought me to ApplicantStack where my background in recruiting, human resources, and technology have allowed me to provide direct input into making ApplicantStack the award-winning product it is today.

We listen to our customers’ feedback and continue to evolve in the ever-changing human resources world.

The way I see it, every day we are improving the lives of thousands of recruiters and human resource professionals by helping them to be more efficient and to hire the best candidates.

 

 

Top 5 Non-Traditional Interview Questions all Hiring Managers Should Ask

Top 5 Non-Traditional Interview Questions all Hiring Managers Should Ask

Ever hired someone only to realize six months later that not only were they mediocre (at best) in their job performance, but the complete opposite of what you expected them to be as workers and team players? Some applicants have almost “mastered” the interview process giving perfect, well-rehearsed answers to job-related questions to land the position, but no indication as to what they’ll really be like after accepting that offer of employment.

Even though some applicants are able to provide these almost perfect, well-rehearsed answers, hiring managers should be working to uncover some possible lacking qualities that are essential to most positions like:

  • interpersonal skills
  • management style
  • honesty and integrity, and
  • the ability to work with others

So how can you learn more about your candidates during interviews?

When interviewing it’s important to have a mixture of traditional and non-traditional questions to give you a better snap-shot of skills, personality, and attitude. Here are the top 5 questions non-traditional questions you should ask during the interview process:

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Question 1: What are the first three things you do when you get to work?

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A candidate’s answer here will paint a better picture as to how organized they are and their work ethic.  While everyone handles their workday differently, you’re looking for an indication that they can complete tasks at hand timely and efficiently. Inadvertently, this is also a good opportunity to learn more about their knowledge and skills related to the job.

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Question 2: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

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While not job-related, a question like this gives you the opportunity to learn things about a candidate’s personality that might not otherwise be revealed during the interview. A good candidate will take every question you ask seriously and answer to the best of their ability. You want someone that is easy to work with, so candidates who shrug the question off can signal a red flag.

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Question 3: How do you define success?

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Hiring someone is a company investment, so this question will give you a better idea of who you should invest in. Goals and aspirations are important qualities to have in a candidate. Someone who visually lacks interest in their position doesn’t necessarily have goals lined out ahead of them, which could mean they are just looking for a job, not a career (resulting in churn). Look for someone who has an idea of where they want to go with their job. However, keep in mind that there are individuals that love the industry they work in, so while they might not have a clear understanding of where they will be in five years, if they show passion in their answer and interest in learning new aspects of the business, that is a good thing and should be noted as positive.

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Question 4: How would you describe your personality?

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Fan of the “strengths and weaknesses” question? This is another less obvious way to get a candidate to talk about their abilities while learning more about their personalities. Perhaps they say they are really outgoing, but get discouraged easily. This answer could tell you that they are confident, but need more recognition. The more you know about their personality, the better you’ll be able to determine their fit within the team.

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Question 5: What kinds of people bother you?

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Working well with others and part of a team is important in every organization. This question will give insight into just how well the applicant will fit into the team. While it’s perfectly OK to be honest and divulge some pet peeves, applicants who mention multiple traits that bother them, and those who say nothing (or nobody) bothers them – are both red flags and should be noted.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your questions. The goal isn’t to stump your applicants, but to get a better sense of who they are and the true fit they’d be for the position, and the company.

 

 

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About ApplicantStack:

ApplicantStack is a leader in applicant tracking and employee onboarding systems. Using our 30+ years combined experience in human resources, we’ve developed an efficient hiring software system that enables recruiters and managers to attract top talent with ease, and manage all their applicant information in one place.

 

Free 15 Day Trial!

ApplicantStack is a complete applicant tracking & onboarding system for HR professionals. Post jobs online, recruit via social media, communicate with applicants quicker and much more!

Start a Free Trial!


 

Online Recruitment Tools

Online Recruitment Tools

Online Recruitment Tools for the Modern Recruiter

2 min read

Online Recruitment Tools

Key Features of Online Recruitment Tools to Make Recruiting Easier:  With low unemployment and strong competition for qualified candidates, there has never been a better time for online recruitment tools.  Implementing online recruitment tools to not only work more efficiently but also to save valuable time in the recruiting and employee onboarding process is now easy thanks to full-featured applicant tracking systems such as ApplicantStack.

Here are just a few key features of online recruitment tools:

Automate screening by using pre-screener questions

  • Setting up pre-screener questions is a fantastic way to save time
  • Add scoring and knockout questions and focus on only the top-rated candidates
  • See Save Time with Pre-Screening Questions for more detailed information on pre-screener questions

Rediscover candidates you already have in your database that might be a fit

  • Use search and reporting tools to find candidates that match certain skill sets
  • Use advanced Boolean search options to only focus on candidates that match the current job requirements
  • View a candidate’s profile where key data is stored such as resume, cover letter, and applications along with any past feedback

Provide automated communication and scheduling flexibility

  • Set up automatic email responses to candidates letting them know you received their resume and application
  • Easily use our scheduling feature that integrates with most calendars
  • Allow candidates to also choose available times on your calendar eliminating calls or emails
  • Enable all team members to arrange candidate interviews without your assistance

Collecting and managing Manager feedback

  • Centralized data in one spot makes collaboration simple
  • Use the standard feedback forms or create your own
  • Score/rate candidates so you can focus on the top-rated candidates in one convenient place for your team to review and make quicker job offers before your competitors do
  • Build your own phone screen templates and reference check forms to store feedback and notes

Reporting on all the progress

  • Use our standard reports to see which sources are providing the top candidates
  • See how long it takes to fill a position and see if there are any bottlenecks that require attention
  • Run EEOC reports to stay compliant
  • See job workflow and candidate summaries, and so much more

Take advantage of the online recruiting tools for the modern recruiter to save time and hire the right candidates faster!

 

Online recruitment tools are also known as cloud recruitment software and recruitment tracker.

To learn more about ApplicantStack, Click here to request a Free Trial!

Human Resources Valuable Time

Human Resources Valuable Time

Human Resources Valuable Time

Addressing Human Resources Valuable Time:

Recently, I had an email exchange with a Human Resources Manager who indicated she was too busy to evaluate an applicant tracking system (ATS).  As a former technical recruiter and someone whose colleagues are former HR professionals, I get it.  The hundreds of resumes sitting on your desk and in your inbox, the mounds of paperwork, the countless email exchanges back and forth trying to schedule interviews with the candidate and team members, the feedback forms that require attention, the progress reporting to management, the thousands of other tasks that fill an already busy day…no wonder there isn’t any time.  Most human resource professionals do not have a second of their valuable time to find the tools that can assist them.  The amount of time it will take to research all the different options available, implement and learn a new system, and justify the expense are all items that I am sure my recent contact has been grappling with.

If knowing that taking out 30 minutes (a guesstimate at the amount of time it takes to initiate a free trial and post your first job ApplicantStack Getting Started Video [4:49] could potentially save hundreds of hours in the long run, why wouldn’t you do it?

Here are just a few of the problems that could be solved with an ATS

Problem 1:  The hundreds of resumes sitting on your desk and in your inbox

  • Save time by having all your resumes and applications organized and centrally located and easy to search via multiple criteria
  • Use screener questions and scoring to focus on the top candidates
  • Set up automatic email responses to candidates letting them know you received their resume and application
  • Easily move the candidate through your recruiting process – workflows can be set up to mimic your current process

Problem 2:  The mounds of paperwork

  • Store all new hire and employee onboarding paperwork electronically
  • Never worry about having out-of-date forms in different systems…it’s all stored and managed centrally
  • Easily see what forms applicants have completed
  • Create checklists to streamline the entire process
  • Enable new hires to sign all state and federal forms, elect health insurance, view employee handbooks, watch training videos, and more before their first day of work

Problem 3:  The countless email or phone exchanges trying to schedule interviews with the candidate and team members

  • Easily use our scheduling feature that integrates with most calendars
  • Allow candidates to also choose available times on your calendar eliminating calls or emails
  • Enable all team members to arrange candidate interviews without your assistance

Problem 4:  Collecting and managing Manager feedback

  • Again, centralized in one spot
  • Use the standard feedback forms or create your own
  • Score/rate candidates so you can focus on the top-rated candidates in one convenient place for your team to review and make quicker job offers before your competitors do
  • Build your own phone screen templates and reference check forms to store feedback and notes

Problem 5:  The reporting on all the progress

  • Use our standard reports to see which sources are providing the top candidates
  • See how long it takes to fill a position and see if there are any bottlenecks that require attention
  • Run EEOC reports to stay compliant
  • See job workflow and candidate summaries, and so much more

Problem 6:  The thousands of other tasks that fill an already busy day:

  • You might have some time in your day to get to these now

 

Find out more about ApplicantStack by starting a free trial here.