5 Tips for Identifying Top Candidates in Screening

By Gregry Livingston

Apr 15, 2024

Recruiting top talent is crucial for the success of any organization. The screening process is the first step in distinguishing potential star employees from the larger pool of applicants.

Here are five effective tips for identifying the best candidates during the screening phase.

1. Use One-Way Video Interviews with Wednesday

Incorporating one-way video interviews, like those offered by Wednesday, can significantly enhance the initial screening process.

Candidates respond to preset interview questions on their own time, providing hiring teams with the opportunity to observe critical soft skills and communication abilities before advancing them to the next stage.

Wednesday’s platform automates this process, enabling recruiters to efficiently manage and review responses, which speeds up the decision-making process and helps identify top candidates quickly.

Recruiters can quickly identify which candidates demonstrate the qualities needed for the role based on how they articulate their answers and present themselves, making it easier to shortlist the top talents for further assessment.

2. Leverage Skills Assessments

Skills assessments are invaluable tools for verifying the competencies listed on a candidate's resume. Tailor assessments to the specific requirements of the job to test relevant skills.

This method ensures that only the most capable individuals move forward in the recruitment process. Coding tests are already popular for software developers using tools like Coderbyte or HackerRank.

For content creators writing tests and other activities can provide tangible evidence of a candidate's ability to perform essential job functions. A graphic designer might be tasked with creating a design piece under time constraints.

These assessments help ensure that only candidates who genuinely possess the necessary skills advance in the recruitment process. They reduce the risk of qualification exaggeration and enable a more objective comparison of applicants.

The results of these assessments can provide a standard metric that can be useful throughout the organization for various hiring campaigns.

3. Utilize Behavioral Interview Questions

Behavioral questions help predict a candidate's future performance based on their past behaviors.

Incorporating these questions during the initial screening can provide insights into a candidate’s problem-solving and teamwork skills.

Questions like, “Can you describe a time when you overcame a significant challenge at work?” reveal more about a person's approach to real-world problems than traditional interview questions.

Wednesday's Video Interview screening software includes premade behavioral questions for a wide variety of jobs and circumstances.

4. Check Social Media Profiles

Social media can be a window into a candidate’s personality and suitability for your company culture. A quick review of profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, or even Facebook can provide clues about their professional demeanor, personal branding, and how they interact in social contexts.

Social media can reveal how candidates present themselves to the world, their communication style, and even their interests and hobbies, which might align with the company’s community involvement or culture.

It’s essential to conduct this review with a clear understanding of ethical boundaries and privacy considerations. Tools like Manatal can help you do your social media due diligence in a fair and efficient way.

The information gleaned should be used to complement a holistic view of the candidate, not as the sole criterion for evaluation. It's also crucial to ensure that any social media screening is consistent and non-discriminatory.

5. Ask for Work Samples

For many positions, especially in creative and technical fields, work samples can be a direct indicator of capability, style, and fit.

Requesting samples early in the screening process allows recruiters to assess the quality and relevance of a candidate's past work, ensuring their skills align with the company’s needs.

This can be particularly telling and often provides a reliable benchmark for comparing multiple candidates.

Analyzing work samples allows recruiters to evaluate whether a candidate's previous work meets the company’s standards and if their style aligns with the company’s branding or technical needs.

It also provides a basis for discussion during subsequent interviews, where candidates can elaborate on the context and outcomes of their showcased work.