How to use resume screening to narrow your candidate pool

With millions of people currently unemployed, some companies are facing a glut of candidates for jobs. It can be a challenge to manage a crowd of job seekers, but technology can help. From resume screening technology to artificial intelligence, here’s what you should know about weeding that stack of resumes, and the most effective methods for screening candidates.

Use AI and automation

Artificial intelligence, among other things, can help you screen out the least relevant candidates and schedule interviews with the good ones—saving you time. If you’ve been dragging your feet on the right technology, it’s time to get on board. Chatbots, for instance, can handle the resumes that get through your system and act as the gatekeeper before applicants get to a real interview process. (They can also handle applicants who have a lot of basic questions.)

“Chatbots can be an effective way to try to gather information and perform resume screening, particularly for companies hiring large volumes of candidates into relatively similar positions,” says Matthew Spencer, co-founder and CEO of AI recruiting network Suited.

Try resume screening technology

Resume search tools can allow you to refine your searches and get email notifications when a well-matched candidate enters the database. SearchMonster, for instance, offers advanced filters like military status, qualifications, willing to travel, security clearance, and years of experience to help recruiters quickly drill down to the appropriate pool of candidates. A match rate (out of 100%) displays on each candidate’s tile view, so recruiters can quick gauge fit level, with the ability to star their favorite candidates.

Consider skills assessment tools

Once a candidate gets through the resume screening process, you can still vet their skills before you even have a conversation.

“We are developing, on an industry-by-industry basis, custom assessments that look to add to the information that’s traditionally on a resume—things you typically wouldn’t be able to capture until deeper into the interview process,” Spencer says. “We look to add elements of personality, values, stress management style and cognitive ability to get a better understanding of who the candidate is.”

Make sure you have a top-notch ATS

An Applicant Tracking System (or ATS) is software that, among other things, can collect, scan and sort thousands of resumes, screening for the qualifications and skills you really need. A majority of large companies use ATS systems, and different recruiting software works for different firms. If yours isn’t getting you the best results (and making your life easier), scan the market for better tools.

Conduct video interviews

When you can’t be face-to-face, video interviews are not only the next best thing, sometimes they’re even better—especially if you have a lot of candidates to screen in the first round. You can have them answer pre-recorded questions and share the answers with colleagues as well as your feedback.

Even if you’re doing real-time video interviews, the process may be more efficient than in-office visits. “Video interviews don’t need to be that different from regular ones,” says Nelson Sherwin, manager of HR and regulation compliance firm PEO Companies. “At the end of the day, the conversation you have with the candidate is the same, but I would advise hiring managers to pay extra attention to the candidates and try to gauge what kind of person they are.”

Improve your job descriptions

To make sure your ATS is working as hard as it can for you—and to weed out applicants before they even press “apply,” make sure you’re creating the most effective descriptions possible. “Write better job descriptions, and you will eliminate a lot of unqualified candidates,” says Catherine Byers Breet, a career consultant at Arbez. Check out Monster’s pre-written job description templates for inspiration.

Nurture the candidates you can’t hire

Cultivate your talent pipeline by staying in touch with qualified candidates. If you find someone who’s great—but not great for the role you’re filling—you’ll save yourself a lot of time if you keep them on file for the next open position. Regular communication via phone call or email can keep the lines of communication open for the future.

Whatever you do, it’s smart to stay on top of what’s next for resume screening. Monster adds new features regularly, so sign up for Monster hiring solutions to learn more. Or click here to schedule a SearchMonster demo.