How an Applicant Tracking System can help you Prescreen Candidates

Frustrated by reading a lot of resumes of unqualified candidates?  Is narrowing your qualified applicant pool taking up most of your recruiting time?

You are not alone!  Most of the prospective customers I talk to ask if our applicant tracking system can assist with prescreening applicants.

It’s no surprise that as an employer in today’s job market, with relatively scarce jobs and large numbers of available candidates, you are inundated with applicants who don’t meet your requirements. You may have to sift through hundreds of resumes to find qualified candidates for a job.

While the applicant’s cover letter may include a well-crafted overview of their most relevant work experience and their resume may reflect the skills, experience and buzz words listed in your job posting–anyone can look good on paper!

So if the candidate has represented themselves pretty well on paper, your next step is probably going to be a telephone screen.  This stage in your process can take days just to connect by telephone or email delaying your process and adding additional expense to your company.  Now on top of everything else, you’ve got a frustrated hiring manager!

Why not consider an automated step before you ever get to the prescreening methods mentioned above?  During the application process, online prescreening questions can be used to filter through unqualified job seekers, enabling employers to spend their time looking at a short list of the most qualified candidates. If executed properly, prescreening can save recruiters and hiring managers as much as 30% to 50% of their time.

If you’re fortunate enough to have chosen an applicant tracking system that has this functionality, you can develop a list of questions that include the “must have” experience for the job.  They can be yes/no, multiple choice, or text answers that can actually be scored.  You can give value to different answers and even add knockout scores!

Customer feedback about the ApplicantStack pre-screening feature includes comments like:

  • “Eliminates undesirable or unqualified applicants”
  • “Dramatically reduced our time to hire”
  • “Allows our recruiting staff and hiring managers to spend their time focusing on the most qualified candidates”
  • “Reduced our cost of hiring by eliminating extra hours spent conducting phone and personal interviews, using costly assessment tools and doing unnecessary  background checks”
  • “We were able to communicate more quickly with applicants who didn’t meet minimum qualifications, reducing phone calls to check on their status”
  • “Reduces legal liability because all applicants for the same position are asked the same prescreening questions”

Don’t ignore this valuable feature of your applicant tracking system.  Once you get comfortable with creating appropriate questions and scoring the answers, you will be amazed at the benefits!

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