Three Questions to Ask to Improve the Pre-Screening Experience for Candidates

FindWRK Team

Categories: Talent Acquisition

November 21, 2022

Pre-screening questions are a great way to gather more information about candidates to save you time from reaching out to unqualified individuals. The problem is, this can deter some candidates from applying if the screening questions are too tedious or irrelevant. It’s a tough balancing act, and with limited capacity, it may not be on your radar. That being said, is the additional information you’re collecting worth the decrease in your candidate pool? Here are some questions to consider when evaluating which questions to include in your application process.

Do I already have access to this information somewhere else?

Many application systems require candidates to upload a resume and immediately re-enter their experience information manually. As helpful as it may be from an efficiency standpoint, this can be extremely time consuming and frustrating for a job seeker. 

In the current labour market, applicants aren’t going to be spending 5-10 minutes per application when there’s a simpler option. They can turn to another company who will likely give them an interview or job offer on the spot—without applying. 

Asking a candidate to indicate how many years of experience they have, combined with a quick 10 second resume skim, can save the candidate several minutes of their time. This changes their first impression for the better. 

Do I absolutely need this information or is it a “nice to have?”

Creating pre-screening questions for candidates is similar to creating a customer survey. You want to have enough questions to get as much detail as possible, but you don’t want it to be so long that it deters people from completing it. 

Questions like, “Have you been let go from a job before,” probably aren’t crucial to your hiring decision because chances are, even if someone had, they would likely not disclose this information. Additionally, it impacts their trust in you and the tone of the interview. Asking a question about the amount of industry experience they have and then a second question about their experience in the specific role might seem repetitive.

If you have five pre-screening questions on your application, challenge yourself to either merge two together or remove a question entirely and see if it negatively impacts your ability to make effective hiring decisions. It may be that some questions are “nice to have” but aren’t essential at this stage in the process. 

Is this information deterring certain candidates from applying?

Volume of questions aside, the relevance of questions is an important consideration. If candidates feel they’re answering irrelevant questions, they may wonder if this will translate into irrelevant policies or tasks on the job. 

Asking questions like, “Can you confirm you’re able to do this job?” may provoke a candidate and cause them to drop their application. Employers may include this to reduce people mass-applying without reading the job description, but in the candidate’s eyes, they wouldn’t be applying to the job if they didn’t think they could do it. 

An alternative strategy to accomplish this same goal can be to ask the candidate to confirm that they meet a specific requirement within the posting (e.g. have Smart Serve/Food Handlers, or are available at certain times of the week). This comes across as more relevant to the candidate while still accomplishing your goal, as an employer.

Paving the path forward

Hopefully setting aside time to reflect on these questions will help you improve your candidate experience and by extension, your retention rates. If you’re looking to save time with pre-screening altogether, the FindWRK platform lets you filter detailed candidate profiles with answers to your burning questions. Candidate profiles include location, availability, certifications, vehicle access, vaccination status, and more. Interested in learning more? Schedule a call with our team to see if the FindWRK platform can be of help to you.