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On the whole, we know that as many as 50% of candidates don’t work out through no fault of anyone involved. Some jobs just aren’t the right fit. However, it benefits both employers and prospective hires to find out if it is a good fit as early as possible in the recruiting process.

Candidate screening is the process by which recruiters sort prospective workers in an attempt to end up with the very best mutual fit. Candidate screening in staffing can vary by position, and different recruiters might take different approaches based on their available time and resources.

Staffing agencies are best equipped to perform this role precisely because of the level of time, resources, and experience they have to work with.

In this article, Steve McNamara of nTech Workforce, walks us through candidate screening for a staffing expert, including what the difference is when it comes to screening for top talent.


Why Is Candidate Screening Important? What Should You Look Out For?

Candidate screening is the crucial step in which you determine which candidate might be the best fit for your organization. According to Steve McNamara of nTech Workforce, “a thorough screening process can help to minimize the risk of hiring the wrong person, which can be costly and time-consuming for both the client and the staffing firm.”

One of the big reasons many recruits don’t work out is that the candidate doesn’t match the company culture. Ultimately, a workforce is a team, and to build a successful team, coaches don’t add in players arbitrarily – it takes thought and planning.

According to Steve McNamara, these are some of the key qualifiers to look out for:

  1. Relevant Experience: One of the first questions to answer is whether this person has experience that is relevant or related to the opening. That being said, sometimes it is still helpful to think outside the box in terms of experience screening.
  2. Skills and Qualifications: While many positions come with some degree of training, throwing someone into the deep end of a new job when they are not sufficiently qualified can immediately tank the likelihood of successful retention. Ensure that prospective candidates have the necessary technical skills and certifications.
  3. Education: Similarly, depending on the opening, candidates should be able to match the requirements with their education or level of experience.
  4. Employment History: Rather than the types of jobs they’ve had, look into how long they stay with their jobs and why this might be. Frequent gaps or job changes can be understandable while in university or during other finite stints, but a long-lasting trend of frequent job changes can be a red flag.
  5. Personal Qualities: There is a reason why people say to hire for attitude and train for skills. A positive attitude and an engaged mindset can’t easily be taught, and these traits can be infectious for the rest of the team, for better or worse.

How Does Staffing Agency Candidate Screening Differ From In-House Screening?

Staffing agencies and HR departments are likely to take similar approaches, but candidate screening with staffing agencies will have certain considerations added to those listed above:

  1. Access to a larger pool of candidates
  2. They have recruiting and screening specialization
  3. More in-depth screening and pre-employment testing
  4. Faster turnaround

As well, staffing agencies will look out for all of the typical qualifications, as well as a few more.

A candidate’s track record of success, flexibility, and cultural fit are important indicators for the long-term retention of work, so as a result, a staffing agency recruiter will pay more attention to experiences, personality traits, and beliefs that can point to a good match.


How Does the Process Differ for Screening Top Talent?

Recruiting top talent in your workforce is, of course, the goal, but how do you recognize it?

Top talent will have certain traits and aptitudes, which are also qualities that they will bring with them into new positions, and these include:

  • Increased Productivity
  • Improved Innovation
  • Enhanced Company Culture
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Increased Profitability

As McNamara notes, by “screening candidates carefully and looking out for these key factors, staffing firms can ensure that they are presenting the best possible candidates to their clients.”

Whether your company is looking for contingent workers or recruiting permanent top talent, the staffing experts at nTech Workforce can help.