Is Phone Screening During The Hiring Process Still Valuable?

What is phone screening and can you still use it for your recruitment?

phone screening tool

Phone screening has always been a popular step in the recruitment process. It’s an opportunity for recruiters to distinguish genuine candidates for a position from unqualified ones and chancers. You might spend less than 10 minutes on a call or much longer with someone who sounds like a better fit.

A phone screen can help you find out the answers to various aspects like:

  • Availability
  • Reasons for applying and interest in the company
  • Salary requirements
  • Qualification details
  • Skills and experience
  • Willingness to relocate

But now we have LinkedIn, Facebook, and other platforms where you can check candidate info. Should you just Google your candidates or rather call them? Is a phone screen necessary?

In this article, we’ll look at when you should consider this recruitment step and highlight the value it has for recruiters.

The Value Of Phone Screening For Recruiters

Here are some instances where this recruitment technique may be beneficial:

There Are Deal-Breakers to Get Through

Someone might look great for a role on paper. But there could still be potential deal-breakers to get through. For example, their location may show up as a potential issue. You want to be sure the person can work or move to the area, amongst other things. This way, you can save interview time for deeper questions and discussions between the hiring manager and the best candidates.

phone screen checks

The Candidate Looks Suspiciously Overqualified

While HR professionals can use social media to screen candidates, how can you be sure a social media profile is not just a veneer?

If you aren’t sold on the candidates’ details on paper or social media, give them a call and ask pointed questions. Speaking to them about the minor details of accomplishments, references, and experiences can help you gauge how legitimate the claims are.

There Isn’t Enough on Social Media to be Sure

Sometimes, going to a candidate’s LinkedIn or social media profile might not get you the insight you need into their background and experience. Not all people share their life’s details online, after all.

You can use a phone call to chat to them about their experience and learn more about them before calling them in for an interview.

You Want to Check for Specific Skills

You may be recruiting for a service position or a role with client-facing duties. In that case, you will definitely want to see how responsive candidates are, even if it is only on the phone. Even for other roles that require less verbal skill, you can also tell a lot about their attitude in general. It’s an excellent test to see their response and how they engage with you on the phone.

communication through phone screen

When They Need Information From You

Sometimes you need to tell candidates about aspects of the job and let them think about it and get back to you. You may have updated the list of requirements for the role since you posted the job advert. Phone screening gives you a chance to share the new job description with candidates so they can respond.

You may also need to take them through the hiring process step by step if it’s going to be more complex. Use phone screening to do this and to iron out potential snags along the hiring process.

You Have More Good Candidates Than Expected

If you happen to have a relatively good pool of potential new employees, you might be tempted to start interviewing them all. But that can be a mistake. Rather, phone screen some of the ‘maybe’ candidates to narrow down the final interview list.

You Want to Test Their Knowledge and Skills

A phone screen helps you do this quickly when you have only a few candidates and less time. Take the chance to evaluate listening skills and motivation levels.

If you have lots of candidates, you can include an evaluation task before the phone screening step. You can test knowledge and skills by asking candidates to complete a job-related task. From those who do well at the task, you can then move to a phone screen to engage their knowledge verbally.

verbal phone test

There’s Something Missing or Unclear in Their CV

It’s ok to ask candidates about gaps or frequent job changes in their CV. Perhaps they took time off to have a baby or to care for a sick family member. You won’t know this unless you speak to them, of course. This tells you something about their lives and their personal nature, which can be useful.

You can also gather valuable details by asking for clarification on past roles and achievements.

Closing thoughts

Phone screening is still a valuable stage in the hiring process for many roles. You can use it to clarify details about the candidates, share more information about the position, and whittle down your hiring shortlist.

It’s worthwhile talking to candidates before you meet them in person just to check that they really are a good fit.

If you need more help with your recruitment process, contact &Team today!