The Importance of Pre-Interview Screening

The costs of poor hiring decisions can be devastating for a workplace. In order to better operate a smooth and consistent working environment, as well as avoid toxic employees; recruiting departments need to address questions of fit and compatibility with prospective hires. Proper and diligent use of pre-interview screenings can help staffing departments avoid many of the problems of poor hires before interviewing begins.

Costs of Poor Screening

According to the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law, replacing bad hires can be 1.5 times as expensive as a given position’s salary and benefits. Poor hires often cause significant problems for their employers before being replaced. McKinsey Quarterly reports that 66% of workers report decreased performance after being treated poorly at work. Furthermore, 38% admitted to intentionally decreasing performance after uncivil treatment. Customers also report that they are less likely to purchase from companies that they witness engaging in uncivil conduct. Calculating for the increased liability for hostile workplace lawsuits that uncivil employees carry, it becomes abundantly clear that a candidate’s personal disposition needs to be considered carefully.

In addressing questions of civility and disposition, recruiters need to exhibit practical diligence. Recruiters commonly use pre-interview screening to interpret a candidate’s qualifications. But the usefulness of screenings doesn’t stop there. Recruiters can use screenings to measure candidate personality traits such as civility. Asking structured behavior questions can also help recruiters find potential areas of concern. Personality tests or questions about a candidate’s personality can also help recruiters draw out a fuller portrait of their candidates.

Recruiter Initiative and Diligence

Proactivity and thoroughness can also apply as recruiters check candidate references. Asking former employers about a candidate’s work and professional history is a necessity in determining qualifications. Going a step further and asking about a candidate’s personal demeanor and behavioral history can further flesh out a candidate’s personality. Recruiters can also perform their own research, asking and interviewing beyond the provided references. An initial investment of initiative before an interview can bring impressive dividends during future interviews. The modern workplace is a culturally diverse and professionally polished environment. Actively searching for candidates capable of joining the modern workforce will lead to much better hires.

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