Online Candidate Application Screening

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What is candidate screening?

Candidate screening is a process by which candidates are evaluated against set criteria to determine their suitability for a role. Candidate screening can be undertaken by interrogating the candidate's CV / resume or by questioning them directly using an recording the answers.


In a web application like Recruit Online the recruiter is able to design a suite of questionnaires (called a screen) which can be applied to any job they advertise. When the candidate clicks on the apply button they are taken to a page which asks them to complete the answers to the screen questions.


What does candidate screening achieve?

Better candidate relationships

A well designed screen can help the Recruiter communicate the requirements of the role. This has the benefit of setting the levels of expectation the candidate should have regarding the position.


If, for example, the position requires "Medical Sales Experience", and the candidate lacks such experience then they can be advised and not feel that they are left wondering about the likelihood of securing an interview.


Conversely if the candidate is suitable for a position then the screen might give them more confidence and better preparation for the interview process.


More relevant candidate relationships

All candidate databases then to accumulate a percentage of applicants who do not fit into the needs of the company. Whilst this is benign in some cases in others it can lead to Recruiters feeling that the signal to noise ratio of irrelevant candidates hinders their ability to fill jobs.


By fencing off your candidate databases with a set of screens that suit your company's hiring needs to ensure those that arrive in the database are people you may be able to find work for. This allows you to target your communications, newsletters and recruitment drives to add value a relevancy to your candidate relationships.


Saves time

Having your recruitment staff poring over 1'000's of irrelevant resumes each year is a time consuming and costly process. By using effective screens you can manage and limit the amount of applications you are selecting for further review.


Candidate's value their time and Recruit Online screens help them utilise it efficiently as well.



Better process for line managers and Human Resources departments

Often screens can be used by Human Resource professionals to pin down line managers to a set of realistic hiring criteria that unsure that the line managers are only interviewing candidates who meet their criteria but still permit the Human Resource departments to control the implementation of the strategic recruitment plan agenda.


A set of screening questions can demonstrate that the criteria desired by the line manager are too specific or too broad. One great feature about using this method is that the information and screen can be used in subsequent applications and jobs. This gives the organisation the opportunity to develop better and better screens to meet their hiring needs. Just as importantly the process can be amended for the changing dynamics of the candidate market.


Better fit ratio

Probably the best example of the benefit of screens is that they ensure candidates applying for a specific job have a better fit to the criteria of that specific role. Internal and external clients both benefit from the recruitment function focusing on smaller quantities of better candidates. By doing so the Recruiter can either spend more time on each role (with the aim of improving or adding value to the process) or working on more jobs at one time.


Scoring candidate responses to screening questions

What is a score in Recruit Online and how is it used?

When a question is created in the Recruit Online screen system is can be set to be and 'Evaluated Response'.


If 'EVALUATED RESPONSE' is chosen as 'Response Type' and the 'Type' is:

  • 'Multi-Select', or
  • 'Select'

Choose from:

  • Have Any
  • Have All


If 'EVALUATED RESPONSE' is chosen as 'Response Type' and the 'Type' is:

  • 'Number'

Choose from:

  • Equal To
  • Greater Than or Equal To
  • Less Than


Each question is given a score for a correct answer. For example if you wanted candidate's with "Sales Experience" (Yes/No) but you rated "Medical Sales Experience" (Yes/No) higher you could use two questions and rate the score for the "Medical Sales Experience" to "5" but the "Sales Experience" set to "2". This technique combined with other questions can give you a clear spread of resulting scores for your candidate applications.


Question # Type: Correct Answer: Candidate Answer: Points per correct answer: Candidate Score:
Q1 NUMBER > "6" "7" 2 2 2 x 1 points for correct answer
Q2 SINGLE-SELECT "Engineering" "Computing" 1 0 0 points for incorrect answer
Q3 SINGLE-SELECT "Yes" "Yes" 3 3 3 points x 1 for correct answer
Q4 MULTI-SELECT "Typing, Accounts, Data Entry, Payroll, Reception" "Data Entry, Payroll, Reception" 1 3 1 point x 3 correct answers
Q5 MULTI-SELECT "Trains, Planes, Boats, Buses" "Trains" 2 2 2 points x 1 for one correct answer
Total points scored by candidate: 10


Whilst the scoring is set at the question level, the whole screen itself uses the total score to decide the potential outcome. This is discussed later in this document.


How does the candidate pass or fail?

Firstly you can have a screen where none of the questions have evaluated responses. In other words every applicant will 'pass' the screen. This may be useful in circumstances when you want to use a screen for information gathering purposes only.


If a candidate answers 100% of the questions correctly then the have passed. From there on the candidate screen result may be assigned the outcome of 'Fail One Or More" or "Fail All". These screen results are evaluated against a corresponding attribute of the screen itself. This is called the screen policy:


Screen Policy

A policy that dictates if a candidate will be accepted or rejected if they fail some or all of the questions.


The "Screen Policy" is how you:

  • PERMIT
    • Regardless of if the candidate passes or fails the criteria set, permit them to apply to the job.
    • The "Permit Text" (as specified by the user) will appear on this screen.
  • ENFORCE-PERMIT
    • If the candidate fails to meet the criteria set, permit them with the opportunity to apply to the job anyway
    • The "Fail Permit Text" (as specified by the user) will appear on this screen.
  • ENFORCE-DENY
    • If the candidate fails to meet the criteria set, deny them the ability to go further with their application
    • The "Fail Deny Text" (as specified by the user) will appear on this screen.


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