Recruitment Workbook: Part 2 – Prescreens

4 mins read

This article is written to provide you with an understanding of what a prescreen is and to provide you template to work from.

The initial conversation a company has with an applicant for a vacant position is called a Prescreen in the HR function. Before bringing candidates in to meet with the hiring manager, it would be a benefit to speak with the applicant first to gauge if they would be a good fit for the company culture and team.

Common practice is conducting prescreens over the phone or since the global pandemic via Zoom Video conferencing, where the recruiter will personally engage candidates in a conversation. It is however, becoming more common for companies to conduct prescreens via video recording where the candidate will record their prescreen and the recruiters will review the video at a later date, rather than engaging in a one-on-one conversation.

For those businesses with high volume recruitment, video recorded prescreens might be appealing as less time is spent over the phone, when you could just watch a video. However, this method does take away the personable side of connecting with others. Prospective employees are generally more inclined to want to work with a company that treats them as human beings rather just a number. If you want to have a positive and engaged work culture, it all starts before new hires are onboarded with the company, which is why we recommend conducting prescreens by engaging with the candidates either over the phone or by Zoom video conferencing.

Prescreens take approximately 15 minutes to conduct and are intended to gauge if the candidate would be a good fit for the role, the team, and company culture. When you are speaking directly to someone, you are exposed to their personality and it also says a lot about your company’s culture when you take the time out of your schedule to talk. Recording a video may not provide you with a deeper level of understanding of the person especially when asking questions where the recipient hasn’t had time to rehearse their preferred answer.

In addition to seeking the right person to fill a position, the recruiter may want to ask some technical questions, however, it is always best to leave those questions for the actual interview.

Always be courteous of everyone’s schedule, not only yours. Provide them ample time to prepare, as this will help them shake off any of those nervous or excited vibes, they may have about being selected. We recommend giving them at least 1 day to prepare for the prescreen.

When it comes to conducting prescreens, we suggest preparing a standard template in advanced with a set of general questions that you will ask all candidates. This is important, as you want to ensure everyone prescreened will have equal opportunity and will be asked the same questions.

For an example template of questions that a company may want to ask their candidates when prescreening, download tab one of the Recruitment Workbook – Prescreen. Keep in mind that these questions are general questions that are asked and can be revised based on business needs and requirements.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series when we release and discuss the second tab of the Recruitment Workbook, Interview.

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