Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

4 Ways to Screen Applicants Faster (And Better!)

Attempts to streamline job applicant screening sometimes gets a bad rap (“They only look at my resume for HOW long?”). However, we all know that speeding up the hiring process is in everyone’s best interest. Candidates get answers faster, and employers spend less time with a vacant position. How to reconcile these two opposing ideas? No one trick will solve all your hiring problems, but luckily, we have four. Here are 4 ways to screen your job applicants faster and better.

Video Interviews

You had to know this one was coming, right? Seriously: video interviews are a faster and better way to do applicant screening.

  • Why it’s faster: One-way video interviews, used as a replacement for traditional phone interviews, can cut your per-applicant screening time from 30 minutes to 30 seconds. How many times have you known in the first 30 seconds of a phone interview that a candidate wasn’t going to work out? With a video interview, just stop watching and move on.
  • Why it’s better: Change your mind? Want another opinion? Share a video interview with other stakeholders to get a better opinion on a candidate. Also screen their body language and presentations skills ahead of time.

Job App “Easter Eggs”

“Easter Egg” in this context is my assessment of the idea, but basically do this: include a quirky instruction or request in the job application. For example, ask a candidate to include his/her favorite color in the application. The people who do it get to move on to the next round; the people who don’t get crossed off the list.

  • Why it’s faster: One criterion makes it easy to weed out several applications quickly.
  • Why it’s better: One hiring manager says, “In all of my companies, noting the details and following instructions are a must. If they can’t follow instructions in a job ad, it’s improbable that they’ll be a good fit for us.”

Check their Social Sitch

This is a good trick for applicant screening during a later stage of the interview process. Video interviews have gone well, but you’ve still got a few more folks than you’d like to invite to the home office? Check out the way they express themselves on their social media outlets.

  • Why it’s faster: You’ll get an immediate feel for a candidate after only reading a few tweets or Facebook status updates.
  • Why it’s better: You get a great glimpse into what a candidate is really like. If s/he spends all their time swearing and yelling at people, you probably don’t want to hire them.

Automated Applications

These often get a bad rap as well, because they’re impersonal. However, fill-in-the-blank style applications can have their advantages.

  • Why it’s faster: Boolean-style answer fields mean candidates can be kicked out for not having specific qualities like enough experience or education.
  • Why it’s better: A candidate filling out this kind of application should be able to assess his/her likelihood of getting the position almost immediately. If s/he is checking a bunch of “no” boxes, it should be pretty clear that the job won’t be a good fit. Plus, employers get more specific answers for their applicant screening process.

Do you know other ways to screen job applicants faster? Let us know in the comments.

The 5-Day Crash Course to Video Interviewing

Kristin Anderson

Kristin has a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, with an emphasis in creative writing. In her free time she enjoys long walks, kitchen adventures, and making puns.