Five ways to successfully vet job candidates


Regardless of size or location, in today’s changing labor market, attracting, and eventually retaining, talent is employers’ No. 1 internal stressor, according to C-suite members from Europe, Latin America, Asia and the U.S. who participated in a recent Conference Board survey.

Finding potential applicants is just one of the issues companies face. Once they have a number of seemingly qualified candidates in mind, to successfully screen them, employers need to rely on much more than just intuition.

They have to know the best way to reach job candidates; what strategic interview questions to ask — and how to handle various other aspects of the interview process.

The following guidelines can help your organization strengthen its approach:

Ask what candidates have done in the past — not what they might hypothetically do

Behavioral interview questions — ones that probe, through specific examples, how a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses came into play in a previous role — will provide a more comprehensive view of the job applicant’s abilities than asking how the person might handle a situation. (For examples, view our blog post on three behavioral interview questions to ask.)

Recognize some candidates may not perform well in video interviews

Although 38 percent of Americans said in a Yoh survey they’d prefer a virtual interview, a number feel they pose limitations and may not offer the best impression.

Sixty-two percent of workers would rather be interviewed for a job in person, if given a choice. Thirty-seven percent think a virtual interview would limit the connection they’d have with the interviewer; 17 percent are concerned about technical difficulties occurring.

Check references

Although it can add time to the screening process for hiring, with data from Checkster indicating 78 percent of job applicants misrepresent themselves, talking to former employers and colleagues can be key. Senior managers remove roughly one in three job candidates from consideration after checking their references, according to a survey from Accountemps. Managers say they’re specifically interested in learning about applicants’ strengths and weaknesses and past job responsibilities and work experience.

Choose the best method to communicate with young jobseekers

When corresponding with Gen Z candidates about potential positions, recruiters say email and social media have offered the best response, according to Monster research. That varies, somewhat, by region. In North America, recruiters say email and social media have been the most effective way to contact Gen Z candidates. In Europe, social media has provided the strongest results.

Consider incorporating tech tools

In addition to emerging types of technology — such as facial recognition software that analyzes candidates’ expressions in an interview, which four percent of employers used as of 2017, according to SHL’s global survey — 40 percent of organizations utilize  employee assessment software to help with hiring decisions, according to Challenger, Gray and Christmas research.

Thirty-nine percent use the functionality to determine if a candidate would be a good overall fit for the company. Thirty-five percent use employee assessment software to decide if a person will be a good fit for a specific role.

More than half of the companies that utilize assessment software said their organization takes the results very much into consideration when hiring a candidate. Seventy-five percent of hiring managers who use the software, in fact, have rejected a candidate who otherwise seemed to be a good match for both the role they were trying to fill and the organization.

For more help with enhancing the interview process, view our blog posts on why companies are aiming for deeper insight in recruiting, 4 interview process steps you should never skip, several common recruiting problems that can cost you top candidates, avoiding interview bias — and 3 ways big data can help with hiring.