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Recruiting & Hiring

Flip the Switch on Your Candidate Sourcing & Screening Tactics… Now!

September 20, 2016
7 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged


We’ve already discussed the benefits of using competencies to evaluate candidates in the 5 Unique Benefits of Competency Based Recruitment and Selection, but what about using them internally to evaluate each other?

After all, to source quality candidates effectively, recruiters and HR professionals must know enough about those skills to speak to candidates and understand whether or not job seekers are qualified for the position.

A survey found 80% of companies frequently had trouble recruiting skilled IT professionals because they lacked knowledge in the industry and necessary resources. Another study shows that 95% of recruiters believe recruiting will continue to get more competitive, but only 26% of them say their recruiting team size has increased significantly.

CC-Click-ToTweetBird-01.png95% of recruiters believe recruiting will continue to get more competitive.

With the growing pressures placed on recruitment teams to recruit more competitively, combined with the lack of knowledge, resources and minds how are recruiting departments supposed to get the job done?

Use the following competencies that can be used to evaluate your recruitment team:

The recruiter is driven to find quality candidates and has done so in the past.

You’ll want to see how the recruiter has used past successful examples to influence their future actions. If the recruiter shows they can apply winning formulas to their process and get rid of the ones that haven’t worked so well, they portray this competency positively.

Example: A recruiter struggled with retention issues during her first year in the college recruiting function. After she was notified of the issue, she changed her initial consult to a more complex interview and soon saw results.

Download our Candidate Experience Checklist for excellent candidate experience every time:


The recruiter is knowledgeable in the industry being recruited for.

Does the recruiter have past work experience in the industry? Are they digesting news, research and related information to stay in the know? If you were to ask them right now who the industry competitors were, would they know? Do they know the unique value proposition of the company they’re recruiting for, whether it’s your company or a client’s?

Example: Your mySQL recruitment guru has never coded a day in his life, but he knows his way around the language, what communities developers hang out in, and when to triage a coding assignment up to the hiring manager for review. He keeps up on any new courses or certifications and his hires only realize he’s not a programmer once they’ve been hired.

The recruiter is clever.

It seems like a broad competency, but it takes a clever, intellectual recruiter to engage a high-level candidate. Whether it’s busting out boolean or constructing a witty outreach email to grab the candidate’s attention, let’s face it; a certain je ne sais quoi is needed. You either have it or you don’t!

Example: Your latest hire went through all the recruitment outreach and realized one of the links in the InMails was broken, your career site button would have a 10% increase in CTR if moved to the center of the page and your passive candidate pipeline was abandoning the application by page 3, all in the first week. That’s a clever recruiter.

Flipping the switch on your sourcing process by evaluating those doing the sourcing can bring a whole new perspective and reasoning to the success of your methods. Changing up the way you screen candidates can as well. Take a look...

Competency Based Candidate Screening

Assessing applicants before inviting them to interview is one of the most critical portions of the hiring process. If you disqualify someone who would have turned out to be an amazing long-term employee, you’d never know, but it’s the what-ifs that can really get a recruiter messed up. Like picking a life partner, certain behaviors in the applicant need to be analyzed. Screening candidates’ resumes for the necessary skills and experience needed for the job has almost become a natural thing to do. After all, how could you invite someone to interview without deeming them even worthy of it? But what many recruiters fail to forget is that they should also be disqualifying applicants based on certain characteristics needed for the job.

CC-Click-ToTweetBird-01.pngLike picking a life partner, certain behaviors in the applicant need to be analyzed.


Like we discussed in Competencies in Job Ads Determine Candidate Quality: Here’s How, you’ll want your recruiting team to have candidate personas in hand to know what kind of employee fits best into the role. By doing so, you’ll reduce that applicant-to-interview ratio so later on down the road the candidate-to-hire ratio is one you can be proud of! Take a look at some of the best competencies you can use to screen candidates:

Ask: “What is your ideal job?”

Listen for: Things they want that you can not provide in the specific role or the organization.

Ask: “Why did you apply?”

Listen for: Someone who connects their reason for applying to the position with their first answer to what their ideal job is. They should be able to align their goals and ideals logically. Also, look for someone who applies knowledge or research about your company to their answer.

Ask: “What can you attribute to our company?”

Listen for: Specific examples of similar tasks performed in a previous role that relate to the one the job seeker is applying to.

Ask: “What attributes are you looking for in a team/employer?”

Listen for: Specific attributes that portray the team the candidate will work with. If they list of a bunch of qualities opposite your current team, they probably won’t be a fit.

But can’t this be handled in the interview? Why, yes it can! But with video interviewing, you can set up pre-recorded questions and have candidates answer them. Their answers are then sent to your recruitment team so they can extend an interview invitation to the best ones!

We’re full of ideas for talent acquisition pros interested in changing ineffective hiring processes. From sourcing to extending that offer, building out a competency-based management approach can truly give you the insight you need into the qualities and behaviors behind each candidate so better hiring decisions are made!

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