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The Importance of Candidate Screening

Screening candidates can be one of the more time-consuming parts of the hiring process, but it is also one of the most important. Failing to invest time and effort into your screening process can end up being costly, and even open your business up to legal liabilities.

In many cases, hiring a staffing company to help ensure you are doing a thorough vetting of applicants can bring peace of mind. They will look at each applicant and complete the background screening, saving you time, and the hassle of making a hire that might not work out in the long run.

Ultimately, the careful evaluation of job candidates can help you build a diverse team that can drive success, foster innovation, and make sure your workforce has the right skills and qualifications.

Why Screen Candidates?

Screening allows you to evaluate whether applicants have the right skills and qualifications for the job. It can also help identify any red flags they don’t mention on their resume or in the interview process.

Verify Information

According to a study by the HR Daily Advisor, over 40% of resumes contain fraudulent information. In addition, 60% of education verifications contain falsified information and 10% of background checks bring up at least one serious red flag.

Verifying the information you are presented in written communications, and also verbally, is an integral part of the interview process. You can accomplish this by calling references, conducting background checks, and checking education transcripts.

Skill & Qualification Alignment

By carefully reviewing resumes, conducting in-depth interviews, and administering assessments, you can ensure the selected candidates have the expertise that will allow them to do their job effectively. It can also reduce the risk of underperformance or skill gaps.

Beyond looking at skills, screening can also identify whether the candidate’s work ethic and personality traits fit in with the existing team and overall company culture.

Employee Retention

Effective applicant screening can contribute to better employee retention rates. By thoroughly evaluating candidates during the interview process for technical skills, fit with company culture and values, and understanding of their previous experiences, you can increase the likelihood of hiring people who will stick around. It can also lead to higher job satisfaction and a lower chance of early turnover, which reduces recruitment costs and promotes stability within your company.

Screening Basics

The screening process for every company is different, but there are some basic items that are usually included in an applicant screening. If you use a staffing agency to make your hires, they will complete these steps for you.

  1. Criminal and civil background checks to look for red flags.
  2. Driving records, if relevant to the position.
  3. Identify gaps in employment and discuss with the candidate.
  4. Complete assessments or tests for skills and competencies essential for the position.
  5. Check the applicants’ references to validate their work history and ask about performance, work ethics, and gauge for suitability for your role.
  6. Verify any credentials or degrees listed.

An initial pre-screening interview helps you gather information not included on their resume, assess their communication skills, and gain an initial impression of their fit for the role. Then you can decide if they should move on in the interview process. Conducting an in-person interview, or virtual if appropriate, with consistent questions among applicants, can help you develop a short-list and easily compare applicants. You can also ask behavioral-based questions to see how they would handle certain situations.

If you need help navigating candidate screening and hiring the most qualified staff for your business, Smart Staffing Solutions can help. Contact us today to learn more.


  1. HR Daily Advisor. Thinking of Skipping That Background Check? – HR Daily Advisor. Accessed July 11, 2023.



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