What Is Compromised In the Recruitment Screening Process

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If you’ve ever applied for a job personally or recruited for a role professionally, you will know that the overall process can be excessively time consuming.

Timeline from Vacancy to Filled

Human Resources experts will tell you that it takes 6 months on average to hire someone: from the initial identification of the vacancy to getting them through the door.

That’s a long time — but why does it take so long?

For several reasons; perhaps internal barriers delay certain steps, or an influx of applications takes longer to get through.

However, the main reason why recruitment can take half a year from start to finish is that it comprises several screening techniques that are used to find the right person for the job.

That is the point, after all.

Recruitment can be an expensive game and no business wants to go through it twice by hiring the wrong person due to a lack of sufficient screening.

When put like that, 6 months probably doesn’t seem that long a period any more.

When you know what the screening techniques are, you’ll be amazed that the process doesn’t take longer.

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What the Recruitment Screening Process Comprises

(and How to Identify the Best Applicants)…

CV and Cover Letter

The first stage in the majority of recruitment drives is the submission of a CV and a cover letter, though the latter is often optional.

Anyone applying for a role on a jobsite will be able to see just how many others have applied for the role, a statistic that could be in the tens.

A good CV will be tailored to the role in question, making clear that the sender has the experience and skills which your advert or job description prescribes.

A cover letter provides applicants with the opportunity in which they can explain their suitability for the role further; applicants that haven’t bothered to attach a cover letter might not be as serious about the role as those that have.

Needless to say, spelling and grammar must be exceptional.

Application Form

The application form may be the 1st or 2nd stage in the screening process.

Either way, a good candidates should complete it with as much detail as possible, including postcodes and phone numbers for schools or ex-employers, the correct employment dates and explanations of any gaps in their employment history.

Anything over 2 months ought to be investigated as a matter of course.

Applicants should confirm on the form or online that all of the details submitted are true, if they’ve fibbed, you have the right not to progress.


More commonly referred to as employment screening, obtaining evidence of previous work experience doesn’t only help prove that an applicant possesses the requisite skills or professional qualifications, but also confirms that they weren’t spending time on other, less-salubrious endeavours, i.e. serving time at HM’s pleasure for fraud.

Double check all the details stated on the CV / application form – maybe enlisting a 3rd-party referencing service – and check that the individual has the right to work / live in the country.

You should always obtain written (or emailed) consent prior to seeking references.

Clearly, those who have good references are preferable candidates.


The final recruitment screening stage is the interview, though this in itself could comprises 2 or 3 meetings plus a test, if needed.

Interviews should be the same for each applicants, using scripted, competency based questions which relate to the role.

Applicants that have prepared and can provide impressive examples of the skills you ask them to demonstrate are the ones worth bringing back again.

Try to be objective and remember you can’t read a book by its cover; that said, someone who has made little effort may not truly be engaged and perhaps isn’t worth a second interview.


As you can see, the screening process is very thorough, but done correctly, it can help businesses find the very best person for the role; someone who could make a really positive contribution to your company.

What Are Your Thoughts??

  James brings focus to only some of the basics processes compromised in the recruiting process — what other points can you add from your experience?

  Technology is quickly changing the landscape of of HR, including recruiting — with the timeline shrinking just as quickly. Do you believe the basic process will change? Or will it remain the same?

  What recruiting processes can The HRIS World help you with? Perhaps we need to focus in on the changes as well as the basics?

Please share your thoughts with us and our audience in the comments section below! Or you can reach us directly from our contact page.

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James Scholten is a student pursuing a post graduate course in human resource management in the UK and likes to keep himself updated with everything related to human resources. In his spare time, you will either find him reading or writing articles about various aspects of HR that inspire him. You can reach James via email or by leaving a comment below...

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