Limitations of Candidate Screening Techniques

Limitations of Candidate Screening Techniques

Candidate screening can be time-consuming. When you think about what most firms do, they tend to manually scan resumes and cover letters for relevant experience and personal information. This method is time-consuming, and may only really test how well your applicant writes. Reference checks are similarly problematic, as it’s practically impossible to measure the objectiveness of their previous employer, if indeed you’re able to reach them at all.

Existing automated solutions within Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) often rely on finding keywords to look for specific qualities the company wants. Yet such a precise search leaves out candidates who may be a great fit simply because they didn’t use the right term. It also means the process can easily be gamed if an applicant is aware of which keywords your ATS is looking for.

Other solutions include social media checks and phone calls, which are not only time-intensive but arbitrary, leaving a large amount of room for personal biases based on irrelevant criteria to influence decision-making. Maybe they have a certain taste in music or political view, or they have a high-pitched voice or a stutter, but each of these is unlikely to have anything to do with how well they will perform and add value within your firm.

Another popular option is a pre-interview skills test. This is meant to measure an applicant’s ability before an interview even takes place, however even if the test is relevant to the role, the nature of this test as a single, short occurrence is likely to reveal very little about their true performance over time with longer tasks and projects.

This is especially true if the test is outsourced to a third party specialising in them (as is often the case), meaning over time previous applicants will likely have learned how to game the system and published this information online for others to read and take advantage of. Despite the popularity of this option in recent years, it is ultimately no more relevant or useful than the others.

None of this is to say that the above methods don’t reveal any relevant or useful information at all, only that a persistent problem among them is a mixture of a lack of efficiency and objectivity. Using a combination of these methods can certainly be useful in short-listing the best individuals, but the most effective solution to these problems is one that is both faster and more objective. We at CASE have that solution.

To learn more about how we do it, see our Methodology page.