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Implementing Screening Processes that Net Top Candidates

No business purposefully hires the wrong employee and willingly wastes a significant amount of money, which begs the question—how do so many employers get stuck with bad hires? Many organizations may not realize that their candidate screening processes are allowing unfit candidates to make it through to the hiring stage.

Roth Staffing Companies can explain the harmful effects of unfit hires and how recognized “best to work for” employers establish consistent hiring philosophies that jive with their core values and that are then integrated into their screening process, ensuring they recruit top candidates who are committed to accomplishing their business goals.

The Cost of a Bad Hire

The expenses incurred from hiring an unfit employee are significant.  Roth Staffing Companies’ research has found that the average cost of a bad hire can range anywhere from $25,000 to roughly $220,000 depending on the position of the unfit candidate.

A good estimate of how much it will cost your workplace to hire the wrong employee encompasses:

  • The employee’s salary
  • Lost productivity while the position remains open
  • Time spent interviewing applicants
  • Candidate training
  • Online advertisements and job postings
  • A human resources professional’s (or manager’s) time completing the hiring and on-boarding processes

In addition to the factors above, there are less objective costs to consider such as diminished workplace morale and damaged company reputation.

The Screening Process

There simply is no sense in testing, previewing or assessing behavioral traits of a candidate if you don’t have a clear hiring philosophy in place.  We first want to discuss the overwhelming importance of establishing a solid and consistent vision for “who to hire,” so that you can ensure it remains the focus as you complete the steps of the entire selection process:

  1. Determine a target candidate audience.
  2. Learn how this target audience looks for jobs (social media, online or physical job boards, magazines, local publications).
  3. Create a job description and publicize it.  If you need help with creating great job postings, ask us about Roth Staffing’s white paper about “Best Practices for Creating Job Postings and Online Applications.”
  4. Select key criteria to focus on when screening resumes.
  5. Conduct pre-screen phone interviews.
  6. Assess skills and conduct work previews.
  7. Pick finalists to interview in-person.
  8. Conduct in-person interviews.
  9. Check references.
  10. Present an offer.

Generally, the screening process encompasses steps four through seven.

Selecting the Best Candidate Begins with a Hiring Philosophy

Having a hiring philosophy in place is tangible to your potential candidates; although it exists for internal purposes, it ends up helping you attract and appeal to ideal candidates.  An applicant can “feel” what it’s like to work for your company when philosophies and core values are in place.

“Even if your department or organization does not have a written or expressed hiring philosophy, you likely have informal criteria that could be easily made into your companywide creed,” says Pam Sexauer, Executive Vice President of Roth Staffing Companies.  “For instance, at our organization, we are committed to hiring only the best coworkers for three reasons: (1) to meet the demands of the role with excellence, (2) to bring value to the client, and (3) to be builders of great culture.  That commitment stems directly from our Promise, ‘We love to create remarkable experiences… every person, every time.’®”

Standardizing Your Company’s Philosophies as Part of the Screening Process

Ensuring that all hiring managers and department directors are on the same page regarding their organization’s hiring philosophies requires several elements in place.  For instance, everyone must agree on and internalize the organization’s stance on hiring.  As a group, senior leaders and hiring managers should brainstorm their most important candidate traits and the purpose of hiring candidates who possess these characteristics.

“The best candidates will notice that everyone they encounter is consistently aligned with this philosophy, and new employees—regardless of their roles—will align with the values and vision of your business or department if they connect with those core philosophies from the very first touch point,” states Roth Staffing’s Regional Vice President Corey Miller.  “And when top performers are on board with your organization or department’s core Mission, Vision, and Values, a ‘Best Place to Work’ environment is the natural end product.”


How to Scan Through Resumes

Before setting aside another afternoon aimlessly wading through paper, consider the following resume scanning tips.

  1. Check for elements deemed necessary by your organization, such as a bachelor’s degree.
  2. Analyze the candidate’s objective or skills summary.
  3. Review results.  Promising candidates typically display a track record of success.
  4. Skim for proper grammar and spelling and consistent formatting.

How Pre-screen Phone Calls Can Save You Time

Phone interviews provide hiring managers and department heads the opportunity to gather more information about elements mentioned in a candidate’s resume, as well as discuss the workplace culture and judge whether the candidate’s personality will mesh with your team.

When conducting phone interviews, be sure to ask a mix of elucidating behavioral, situational, motivational, and open-ended questions such as:

  • Why do you want to leave your current position?
  • What unique experience or other qualifications separate you from other candidates?
  • How do you typically tackle projects?  Give me an example of a past assignment.  What was your role?  How did you handle it?  What was the outcome?
  • Describe the best boss you have ever reported to.
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

Skills Assessments and Work Previews as a Trial Run

“Skills assessments are just as critical as reference checks during the candidate selection process,” explains Phil Bruno, Market Manager for Roth Staffing.  “They are a straightforward and objective way to determine whether a candidate’s abilities fit the position requirements before investing a significant amount of time and money hiring, on-boarding, and training that person.  On the flip side, skills tests and work previews provide candidates a glimpse into an average day on the job, allowing them the opportunity to gauge their interest in the position.”


Skills assessments should be used with an established strategy for analyzing results, so be sure to benchmark the scores and results of your top performers.

Work Previews

Give promising applicants a task similar to what they would be completing in the position—or even a project that an employee accomplished in the past. Let them run with it and analyze their method, results, timeliness, and communication.

Pre-Screen Techniques to Weed Out Unfit Candidates

Before arranging an in-person interview, consider a virtual interview using a program like Skype.

Even better, take advantage of Roth Staffing’s VideoSelect™ video interviewing technology, which enables organizations to view pre-recorded, three-minute video clips of quality candidates.  Candidates describe their experience, skills, and their ideal workplace.  It’s like interviewing dozens of candidates in minutes, and at your convenience.

Establish the Infrastructure to Support Successful Screening

As the lifeblood of your organization, employees should be your department or organization’s first priority.  With the correct screening processes in place, your business increases its chances of hiring the ideal candidates to further your professional goals and establish a “best to work for” culture.  For more information about how to implement screening processes that net top candidates, contact Roth Staffing Companies and any of its specialized business lines including Ultimate Staffing Services, Ledgent Finance & Accounting, Adams & Martin Group, Ledgent Technology & Engineering, and About Talent.