Screening tests: definition, process and automation
Screen tests assess a candidate before or in between interviews to determine their technical competencies or soft skills. A screening test should be given to all applicants equally to ensure a more accurate and fair hiring process.
Screening tests are usually included in the toolkit of modern HRM systems where an entire hiring team can evaluate the candidate's answers. This helps to evaluate candidates at any stage of the hiring process.
When one needs to decide between two candidates at the final stage of recruitment, or to determine whether the applicant has the skills required for a given vacancy, it is necessary to perform a screening test. What questions should be included in such an assessment?
Here are some examples based on several competencies:
1. Please give an example when you had to explain to your supervisor a problem you encountered while working on a project.
2. Tell us about a successful presentation you made.
3. Describe a time when you had to convince a colleague of something.
4. Explain how you resolved a conflict between colleagues.
5. Describe a time when you had to work cross-functionally with several teams or departments.
1. Provide an example of how you organize your day.
2. Do you always meet deadlines?
3. How do you manage your schedule to avoid feeling overwhelmed?
4. What tools (trackers, task managers) do you use to manage your schedule?
1. Tell us about your experience in project implementation
2. How did you help your department/division at your previous place of work to develop?
3. What ideas do you have about our project?
4. What would you like to change about our project?
As you can see, you first need to identify the key competencies - e.g. communication, time management, initiative, leadership, adaptability, etc. that are required for this position, and then highlight the key questions for each of them.
Prepare a questionnaire template for different positions and levels of candidates so that you can quickly respond and send screening questions if needed. Ask candidates to briefly describe their answers and then invite the hiring team to review and evaluate them.
You will need to select employees who will be able to contribute to the evaluation of candidates and review screening tests. Ideally, in addition to an HR specialist and manager, this should also include experts who can fact check the answers.
To decide on the evaluation scale you will need to calculate the number of points to get a reasoned answer as to which candidate suits you best.
It often happens that a screening test remains the only option to make a final determination between two candidates. This is the right approach to avoid favouritism and unnecessary subjectivity during recruitment. Use screening tests that do not take much time, it is best if they are conducted in the HRM system as an organic part of the job funnel.
An HRM system can automate screen testing from templates to final results and implement this experience in the job funnel. The most convenient function in this case is to connect the hiring team to a quick assessment. All you need to do is go to the candidate's answers and put down markers so that the system calculates the average result.