Why the Time to Invest in Candidate Screening is NOW

Anete Vesere (1)

Anete Vesere

Content Marketer

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Well, when you’re the hiring manager, head of talent attraction or recruiter for your company and you don’t conduct candidate screening before bringing candidates in to interview, are they any good or not? 

My question is: how would you know?

It’s no secret— struggling to find the right talent is a big challenge in today’s recruitment. Candidates are more empowered than ever and seeking new options, your competitor organizations are ramping up hiring, and there’s a looming threat of automation. 

But there are a few things you probably have misunderstood.

Talent shortage? Actually, not really

Imagine a situation where you’ve been on the hunt for the right person to fill a desperately needed position for months. Now, you’ve even began doubting whether there is a right person out there for the job – the perfect culture fit, with the right skills and knowledge necessary to do the job. 

If there is – why haven’t you found them yet? Perhaps you should settle for someone competent but not quite right? Or perhaps you should review all the candidates you rejected once again? Just in case?

There is no such thing as talent shortage, your candidate screening methods are likely just flawed and you are missing out on good candidates as a result. 

If any of the following situations seem familiar to you, it might be time to begin investing in proper candidate screening methods.

Situation 1. Personality tests are everything when hiring.

We think that personality tests help us get to know a person in a short amount of time, even without being in direct touch with them. And yes, personality tests do offer some insights into the preferences of candidates regarding task completion and their working style. 

However, results from scientific research have a different opinion about whether they can be used as a hiring tool:

  1. Low validity when it comes to predicting future job performance
  2. Involve dangers of self-reporting and social desirability
  3. Endlessly trainable
  4. Involves vague statements
  5. Provides you with broad and generalized insights (think of it as a horoscope 😉 )


That’s not even all – even both companies have a disclaimer on their website stating that the scores obtained from the test are not recommended for pre-employment screening. (DiSC Profile; MBTIOnline).

Situation 2. Believing education and job experience are crucial to on-the-job success.

Education and job experience are by far two of the most important aspects of any CV. Yet, low and behold – when it comes to the correlation between these two aspects and job performance, research findings actually prove that they do not predict on-the-job success at all.

Situation 3. You struggle to keep candidates engaged throughout the hiring process.

A whopping 60% of applicants have quit an application in the middle due to its length, and complexity and because it’s been too stressful… 

This is most definitely not ideal considering the war for talent is higher than ever and the last thing you’d want is that one candidate running away to your competitor because they prioritize candidate experience.

Situation 4. You simply do not have enough hours in the day to go through all the piles of CVs.

An average job opening receives 250 resumes and up to 88% of them are considered unqualified. This means you can spend up to 23 hours screening resumes for a single hire.

Reality is that we only have two hands, one pair of eyes, one brain to process everything, and 24 hours in a day. So although you might try your best to be as efficient, objective and fair as possible, it’s likely you won’t succeed. Unless you have unlimited amount of time to carefully and thoroughly read through every single CV you receive. 

Situation 5. You hire solely for hard skills.

Hard skills. It’s something most companies still (desperately) rely on when hiring someone because it feels like the safest indicator of hiring success. Or maybe it’s just because we’ve always done it this way. And as we all know, old habits are very, very hard to come back from.

The problem here is that in most cases we just tend to focus solely on hard skills – a developer’s programming language, an analyst’s financial forecasting skills, etc. And that doesn’t just impact the size of your talent pool, but it also often leads to bad hires. 

What goes wrong here – if you hire solely for hard skills, and end up firing for lack of soft skills. OR missing out on most of them by rejecting them based on work experience they are simply not able to have (for example: when it comes to Elixir, some companies ask X amount of years of experience in Elixir while Elixir exists only for a couple of years).

Situation 6. You spend your time interviewing candidates who you thought were the high-potentials, while they actually weren't.

Although lots of companies won’t have the luxury of needing to deal with a large candidate pool, the ones who did become attractive to a larger audience can easily find themselves in a situation where the next job opening is attracting not 20, but 200 people. 

  • Now, you not only need to scan 200 resumes, but you also need to interview 50 people.
  • If the average interview length is between 30 to 45 minutes, you’ll end up spending 1500 to 2250 minutes just interviewing candidates. 


How does that work for your calendar? That’s just where it begins: next up is a 2nd interview, a technical interview and then you need to make a hiring decision. Now, imagine if, during the technical interview with this person, you realize that they are not at all what they initially seemed like. 

All that time and money wasted.

TLDR: It's time to move on & here's why

It’s up to you to embrace change to eventually become the leader. That’s why the time to invest in candidate screening is NOW!

You may ask yourself, ‘Why bother investing in screening when we can’t find people to hire?’

We think we don’t have the right applicants when we actually just don’t know who we need. And that’s when proper candidate screening methods can really make a big difference.

You’ve probably seen that headline on a bunch of articles about recruiting. “Invest in candidate screening,” they say and you’re most definitely asking yourself, “Should I?”

Here’s a reality check for you. Let’s say you spend on average 70% of your total costs on personnel.

This is an enormous percentage and probably your largest cost category, asking for highly responsible decision making when it comes to people-related decisions.. On top of personnel costs, there’s also the costs of a mishire, which you’ve probably made a few times. In Europe, the average cost of a mishire is around 50,000€. Ouch.

70% of your total costs. And risking another €50,000 per mishire. When being really honest to yourself, that’s not the part of your business where you can just play around on your instinct, right?

If you care about your teams (and the success of your company) as much as you say you do, invest and prioritize measurably better long-term solutions when building teams. 

Make better hiring decisions now by using assessments

Assessments are a great candidate screening method — they’re an awesome opportunity to improve the way you hire. But if you are not so familiar with all the ins and outs of it, you might be feeling a little hesitant about assigning a budget for it. After all, nobody likes to spend money on something new that isn’t sure to deliver benefits, right? So, here’s a few benefits that’ll hopefully convince you:

  1. Allows you to gather crucial insights.
  2. It reduces bias.
  3. It improves diversity in your pool of candidates.
  4. Protects your organisational health.
  5. Assessments will save you money, not cost you money.

Equalture’s game-based assessments to help you hire for senior roles objectively

Our game-based assessments can help you objectify your hiring practices to build the best possible teams. And this won’t be a surprise: we do so by enabling you to make hiring decisions based on data & science rather than gut feeling. 

Now you might be wondering: why are games better than traditional cognitive ability assessments? There are four main reasons:

  1. They provided you with data-backed and objective insights that’ll allow you to start hiring for potential.
  2. Gamified cognitive ability tests reveal both conscious and unconscious behaviour.
  3. No room for social desirability bias since candidates often don’t know which traits are measured per game and the only thing they can do is play.
  4. Gamified cognitive ability tests are more immersive. They make a candidate forget that they are assessed, thus reducing feelings of anxiety.


And by doing it this way, we make sure that you are able to act on data throughout the entire hiring process, not only the final step – resulting in much better hiring decisions.

Try a game!

One last thing before you close this tab: times are changing, and you need to change with them. The way we are recruiting is changing and the CV amongst other traditional recruitment methods won’t help you get the best talent anymore. 

We see many successful companies (big shoutout to our customers) already switching to other ways of recruiting, so not choosing to embrace change now would be the most foolish decision you could make!

It’s time to open your eyes to what is happening and invest in candidate screening before it’s too late.

Cheers, Anete.





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