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Ways to Conduct Candidate Screening Outside of Interviews

Evaluating a candidate through a multi-round interview process provides only a small amount of interaction, potentially leaving many important factors unknown. By including both face-to-face and behind-the-scenes candidate screening tactics in your process, you can fill the gaps and find the right hire for the position and organization. What are some ways to integrate candidate screening outside of interviews? Consider the examples below, while consciously blending ways to evaluate both hard and soft skills. 

1. Creativity within the Interview Process

Tactics can be woven into the interview process such as changing the location, choosing the number of interviews, changing interviewers, or requesting a one-way video. Each tactic could apply to specific role functions. Does the position require in-person networking, or providing virtual demos? What about entertaining clients, or working with multiple departments? Customize the process to fit the characteristics of the role. 

Pros: Gather better insight on how the candidate will naturally fall into the functions of the job they are applying for. 

Cons: Time commitment for coordinating the availability of all parties and locations.

2. Case Study

Give the candidate a case study or conduct a situational role-play activity either inside or outside of an interview. Choose whether you will notify the candidate ahead of time or introduce the exercise on the spot. 

Pros: Test the skills and responsibilities needed for the duties listed in the job description. 

Cons: The activity could catch the candidate off guard, and perhaps not provide you with what you’re in search of if the exercise is not properly communicated. 

3. Test Hard Skills

Many traditional candidate screening tactics will test hard skills, including reference checking, requesting a portfolio, asking example questions within interviews, asking for a written response to a situation, or specific job function tests. 

Pros: Understand their knowledge and experience with the required job functions.

Cons: Investment of time or money in processes or platforms to gather quality results.

4. Soft Skills Assessments

Out of all the qualified candidates with the knowledge and expertise, which ones will be the best fit? Use a tool that will measure soft skills through a systematic, data-based platform, such as Cangrade’s Pre-Hire Assessment tool.

Pros: There are many benefits of including pre-hire testing for soft skills in your candidate screening process, including narrowing the talent pool to those with the potential to be great employees with lasting longevity. This small tactic can improve your overall long-term company performance and employee satisfaction and longevity. 

Cons: Some assessment results may be skewed depending on whether the candidate responds accurately or tries to match the responses to the job description. Other times, tests can prove to not be valuable if the assessment taker’s stress is detected. 

5. References

Requesting a list of references from candidates with requirements for the relationship history between the candidate and each reference.

Pros: This allows you to gauge the candidate’s credibility through outside sources and provides an opportunity to ask open-ended questions regarding the candidate’s hard and soft skills.

Cons: This step requires time and follow-up unless you employ an automated solution.  It takes time to call or email, and then follow up on a response if the reference does not answer immediately. The responses could potentially be biased, due to the candidate providing notice to the reference that they will receive a call for a potential position of interest.

6. Cover Letter

Request a cover letter in the application process. The request can be as generic or specific as you’d like and is an opportunity for the applicant to share open-ended responses.

Pros: You can learn more about the candidate, view their writing etiquette, and evaluate their tone within their writing. Do they sound timid? Overconfident? Professional? Direct? Long-winded? Do they show personality, or is it dry? This can be a preview of the person’s soft and hard skills.

Cons: The time it takes to read through the cover letters of all the applications received. 

Amongst all of the candidate screening tactics, make sure the ones you choose give measurements for both hard and soft skills. Learn more about how Cangrade can support your candidate screening efforts so you hire the right fit every time.