Why Candidate Selection is Just as Important as Sourcing

By Beth Kempton,
May 31, 2018

Sourcing quality applicants is key to building a great team, but it’s important not to overlook candidate selection steps in your hiring process. A strategic sourcing plan can help you attract top candidates by helping you focus only on applicant sourcing channels that drive results. But no matter how strong your sourcing strategy is, sometimes certain candidates only look good on paper and don’t have the required skills for your open roles.

Up to 85% of job applicants lie on their resumes. And without effective candidate selection tools in place, your business risks making bad hires. Below, we’ve pulled together a list of several candidate selection tools you can use to help build your best team.  

Prescreen Surveys

Your HR team and hiring managers likely spend a significant amount of time reading through resumes, cover letters and other applicant information for each job. To avoid spending time manually reviewing applicants who aren’t a fit for your team, and instead focus time and resources on quality candidates, follow a standardized hiring process that includes prescreen surveys. With prescreen surveys, once an application is submitted, the applicant will receive an automated survey that can gauge his or her fit for the role.

Hireology data has found 40 percent of applicants don’t even bother to complete the survey – meaning only the most engaged candidates who truly want to work for your business take the time to fill out the survey. Once complete, the surveys are then automatically scored, so only the strongest applicants get moved to the candidate stage of the hiring process.

Interview Guides

Use an interview guide to ask all candidates the same questions for each open role. Interview guides will ensure you’re completing fair, compliant interviews and evaluating all candidates in the same way to see if they’re likely to be a fit for the open role. During interviews, dive deeper into each candidate’s background to determine whether or not he or she has the skills required for the open role. If candidates aren’t prepared with answers to simple questions such as why they want to work for your company, or hesitate when asked questions about the role’s primary responsibilities, this is a sign they might not be a fit for the job.

Beyond learning more about each candidate’s background, ask questions that gauge whether or not the candidate would be the right culture fit for your business. Using interview guides, ask each candidate the same questions related to your company’s core values, the candidate’s ideal work environment – does he or she prefer collaboration or solo work? – and how the candidate would respond to a problem or challenge in the role. How the candidate responds to culture-related questions can have a significant impact on avoiding bad hires and finding the perfect fit for your team.

Skills Tests

Since many candidates aren’t fully truthful on their resumes, skills tests give you the opportunity to assess whether or not candidates have the required skills to succeed in a different role. For example, a candidate might say he or she is proficient in Microsoft Excel or simple mathematics on his or her resume – and even in the prescreen survey – but the only way to test their knowledge is through an assessment that prompts candidates to apply these skills. This helps you weed out candidates who don’t have the required skills for the role and only focus on those who pass the skills test.

Personality and Work Style Assessments

Not only do your hires need to have the skills required of your open roles, but they need to be a great fit for your team when it comes to personality, work style and motivation. Using a Caliper Assessment, you can measure each candidate’s job performance potential. The assessments can be tailored to each role or job description and test for each candidate’s role fit, abstract reasoning and problem solving skills. Once a candidate submits the assessment, the Caliper team of psychology professionals automatically reviews the results, which are then available to your team in a private portal. Ultimately, the results will help you determine which candidates are likely to succeed on your team from a personality and work style standpoint.

Background and Reference Checks

Even if a candidate has aced the interview, skills test and work style assessment, don’t jump at extending an offer right away. Your business needs responsible and trustworthy employees, so it’s important to run background and reference checks before making an official offer.

Background checks should come back clean and reference checks from former colleagues – especially managers – should instill confidence in your decision to hire. If any red flags show up on a background check – such as a suspended driver’s license for a candidate applying to a role that requires driving – you can instead move forward with another candidate who has a clean record. An accurate background check report will provide peace of mind that each prospective employee has a history free from negligence or other activities that may put your customers – and business – at risk. And if you’re not confident in the responses to a reference check, it’s likely a red flag that the candidate you’re considering would be a bad hire.

Candidate selection is critical to hiring employees who will succeed on your team. Interested in learning more about how to follow a proven hiring process and build a great team? Read our resource, “The 9 Elements of a Well-Oiled Hiring Process.”

About the Author

Beth is the content strategist on Hireology’s marketing team, responsible for creating compelling blog posts, eBooks, marketing materials and other content. Her background includes five years of experience at a B2B digital marketing agency, where she crafted content for a variety of clients, including several in the HR technology space. Before beginning her career, Beth attended Loyola University Chicago, where she studied advertising and public relations.