Screening has become a vital ingredient of modern-day recruiting. Today, employers focus more on creating a candidate-centric approach to their screening process. This radical approach is a paradigm shift from the past recruitment processes, wherein, companies more or less controlled the recruitment process and devised their methods for selection of the candidate.

Today, the market is more even and competitive. The power balance is now equally shared between the employers and the candidates. Candidates, today, share equal space in the hiring process. And, companies strive to boost their employee experience during the screening process itself to enhance their chances of attracting a candidate towards their company. So, let us check how a company can boost its employee experience while the screening process is on.

Eliminate any kind of bias

Subconscious bias

Unconscious or subconscious bias is the most commonly observed problem in the screening process. Most of the time, interviewers unknowingly judge the candidates on various factors that are unrelated to their work. For instance, they prefer a candidate who shares the same industry experience or has attended the same graduate school.

Interviewers with similar perspectives and backgrounds could also end up displaying bias, subconsciously, into the screening process. For instance, a qualified candidate with an elaborate work history could be selected for the job of a new entrant programmer.

Furthermore, gender bias also influences various hiring decisions, especially for roles that are historically female or male-oriented, e.g., nurses or truck drivers. Any kind of hidden and small biases would, eventually, determine the shape of the employer-candidate relationship.

Role of the employer

Bias is a critical issue and employers should give it the attention it deserves. Because reliance on bias can heavily limit the employer’s ability to retain as well as attract the right talent.

It has been observed that only 45% of employers actively avoid several steps to prevent subconscious bias during the screening and interview processes. Furthermore, 89% of the highest performing recruiters and hiring companies, employ various initiatives to eliminate any kind of bias during the screening process. Even among the high-performance workers, 37% of them strongly agree to the fact that their employer took several right measures to eliminate any potential bias from the recruitment process.

Fighting bias

Employers can enhance various steps in their interview process to effectively fight the problem of subconscious bias. Firstly, employers should consider what kind of candidates would participate in the screening and interview. Rather than solely relying on the decision-making skills of the interviewer, employers can expand their horizons by inviting different stakeholders to participate in the decision-making process.

Furthermore, you must include people from diverse backgrounds, this will provide you with an even perspective on the candidate.

Sometimes, the interview structure itself induces various types of bias in the screening process. However, by establishing a consistent and specific set of questions you will be able to simplify the process. This ensures that all the prospective applicants are evaluated as per their respective core competencies.

A creative approach to assessment could also help to eliminate any bias. For instance, employers can employ gamified assessments to test the core skills of the candidates with the help of an interactive tool. The evaluation can be similar for all candidates, plus, the results will be objective and can be measurable. Gamification will also boost employee experience, making them more interested in the company.

It is also good to allow candidates to speak up. Encourage the following for better employee experience:

Asking questions

A healthy interview process is when both parties get a chance to ask questions and seek answers. Even as candidates answer the questions asked by employers, recruiters must also provide ample opportunity for candidates to ask them questions or doubts, and also provide them with necessary answers.

It has been observed that only 43% of employers allow candidates to ask questions or to clear their doubts. Whereas, 75% of high-performance hiring companies are more likely to engage in equal Q&A sessions. They make it a point to address the candidates queries. And, 39% of high-performance employees strongly accept that their new employer did answer their queries and doubts conclusively.

Moreover, if a recruiter has some doubts about the qualification of the candidate, then the applicant should be allowed to clarify the doubts. Only 25% of employers share their doubts with the candidates. While 67% of high-performance hiring companies share their doubts with the candidates and give them time to respond.

Salary discussion

Discussion about salary is another key feature of an interview process. Transparency about the salary enhances the relevance of the job description. Transparency and fairness while negotiating the salary, during the hiring and screening process, greatly helps in forging a trusted employee-employer relationship.

Only 34% of employers employ fairness in their salary negotiations. Whereas, 68% of high performers apply complete fairness in their negotiation process.

These results reinforce the opinion that candidates should be given an equal opportunity to voice their doubts and concerns. Giving such an opportunity to the candidates does not mean that an employer is bowing to their requests. Rather, this is an indication that the employer treats its employees as equal, and gives them equal opportunity to voice their thoughts and ideas.

Although it is a subtle gesture, it can create a wonderful employee experience for the candidate.

Benefits to employers

Overall, it is important to allow your candidates to voice their doubts or questions. Employers will find ample chances to enhance their relationship with the candidates by being clear about the requirements, being honest while expressing concerns, initiating a transparent and fair discussion about salary, and including different stakeholders in the screening process.

These measures signify commitment from the employer, which lays the foundation for a sturdy, engaging and productive relationship with the prospective employee.

Employers can implement various measures to streamline and enhance the overall experience of the candidates during the interview process, as well as, reduce the effort and the time taken by the recruiter. For instance, consider interviewing a candidate on the days when multiple interview rounds could be possible within one day, including the screening assessments and company introduction.

This not only makes the process efficient but also saves time and effort of the recruiters a well as the candidates. Employers can also apply various new methods, such as virtual assessments and video interviews to screen candidates before the final round.

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Shalini L

One of the prime contributors for this blog, Expertise in Staffing and Recruitment, Content Strategist by Profession. A Music Lover & Traveller by Choice.

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