Screening Applicants the Modern Way

Screening Applicants the Modern Way

There are few joys greater than offering an amazing job to the right candidate.

Unfortunately, getting to that point can be incredibly time consuming. Managers and recruiters can spend hours sorting through cookie-cutter resumes and interviewing so-so applicants before finally finding someone who appears to be the perfect match.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Thanks to technology, there are lots of new methods to help hiring professionals pre-screen applicants so they can save time and energy for the strongest candidates.

Here are a few ideas to help modernize your hiring process.

1. Text Messaging

Struggling to get applicants to pick up the phone? Texting could be the solution.

More employers are trying out texting apps to screen candidates in early-stage interviews, according to The Wall Street Journal. Restaurant booking service OpenTable and staffing firm Aegis are both using a messaging app called Canvas for text-based job interviews.

This strategy could especially help hiring managers targeting younger applicants. Only 12% of Millennials prefer to use phones for business communications and 45% are more inclined to text, chat online, or use email, according to research.

Companies looking to stand out while attracting younger candidates might consider meeting them on their terms. Plus, texting can speed up the pre-screen process—why spend 20 minutes on a phone call when you can send a quick text whenever it fits into your day? It’s a win-win for both sides.

2. Social Media

Screening someone through their social accounts isn’t new. In fact, 70% of employers admitted to using social media to learn more about applicants before hiring them, according to a CareerBuilder study.

By now, any candidate with self awareness will have strong privacy settings and hold off on posting inappropriate pictures for all to see. That means recruiters need to change up how they analyze the information that’s available to them on someone’s social profile.

For example, hiring managers can read beyond pure content and think about a candidate’s tone. Are their posts overwhelmingly negative or angry? Do they respond to other people or just shout into the abyss? Either case could make or break a candidate.

Keep in mind that social media isn’t just a tool to cut applicants from the shortlist; it can also support a candidate’s job qualifications. Looking into who people follow on social media can tell you a lot about a candidate’s ambitions and interests. If they follow organizations or personalities with similar values to your company’s, that could be an indicator of a good cultural fit.

3. Video Applications

Not to be mistaken for a video interview, this is usually a short video submitted alongside a traditional application where a candidate may answer questions posed by the employer. It’s still a relatively new screening method, but it’s becoming increasingly popular, especially for companies hiring creative or client-facing roles.

The benefits of this approach are numerous. For one, a video allows recruiters to get a better sense of someone’s personality compared to the traditional resume-and-cover-letter combo. It’s also a great way to filter out the less enthusiastic or tech savvy applicants.

Anybody can upload a few documents and hit submit, but taking the time to film a video shows dedication and passion. While this screening tactic may result in less applications overall, the ones that are submitted are usually of much higher quality, which saves time and resources in the long run.

4. Talent Communities

While this is more of a long-term strategy, creating a professional talent community for your company can be a helpful way to recruit quality applicants and build your employer brand at the same time.

But what is a talent community exactly? They can take many forms—a Facebook group for former volunteers, a Slack community or LinkedIn forum for professionals in your industry—but they all aim to build connections with external audiences.

Companies that take the time to build talent communities have a ready group of familiar faces that can be approached the next time they need to fill a role. However, in order for it to be successful, it’s important to create a space that is mutually beneficial for your community as well as your company. It should be a thriving place for industry discussions and networking, not the social media version of a job board.

The Right Tools Save You Time

At the end of the day, all the technology in the world can’t replace the keen eye of hiring manager or experienced recruiter. But tools like texting apps, social media, video applications, and talent communities can speed up the hiring process by turning a mountain of resumes into a much more manageable molehill.


Let Authentic Jobs bring you your next great hire.