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Years ago, all you needed to do to apply for a job was to have a well-written cover letter, a concise resume and a few stellar references. Nowadays, you have to beat the algorithm to get yourself in front of a hiring manager.
Many companies use software to weed out employees before their applications are even seen by a human. If your profile doesn’t make it past the software, there’s little chance that you’re getting hired.
And it seems like the market for the software will only be getting bigger in the future. Research shows that the market will double between 2022 and 2028.
Read below to understand how pre-employment screening software works, why it matters and what businesses need to understand before relying on it.
What is pre-employment screening software?
When you apply for a job online, you usually have to fill out an application form on top of submitting your resume or cover letter. If the company you’re applying to uses pre-employment screening software, your application will run through a filter to determine if you’re automatically rejected or passed along to the next round.
Research from Jobscan has found that almost 100% of Fortune 500 companies rely on screening software as well as “66% of large companies and 35% of small organizations.” If you’re applying for a job, there’s a good chance that your application will be screened.
Why is pre-employment screening software important?
According to talent acquisition manager Scott Schaffer, screening software can be most helpful when you’re hiring for volume. If you need 200 warehouse employees in the next couple of months, you don’t have time to weed through applications personally.
But it can be less effective when you’re hiring for a singular candidate, especially at the highest level. In that case, it may be better to have a human touch throughout the process.
“When you’re looking for more executive, C-suite or higher touch candidates, it’s less efficient or less effective,” he said.
Another potential problem is if the position you’re looking for doesn’t have one singular title. That can make it easier to accidentally eliminate people who are completely qualified.
“If you’re looking for a project manager, most titles will have the word ‘project manager’,” he said. “If you’re looking for an application developer or a coder, those have so many different titles so then it’s probably not going to be applicable.”
What should businesses know about pre-employment screening software?
While recruiting software can be useful, it is often only as good as the information inputted by the people in charge.
For example, let’s say your company is based in New York City and wants to only hire local workers. In this case, you might set the parameters to exclude any applications where the subject is not from the five boroughs.
However, this may be a shortsighted approach because you’ll be removing anyone from New Jersey or Connecticut, people who routinely commute to New York City.
“It can be too restrictive at times,” he said.
Some employment screening can also come with background checks. This prevents you from going through the hassle of interviewing someone just to find out they have a criminal record.
If the employer is looking for a specific set of soft skills, they may even include certain types of assessments within the application. The software you choose can collate this information so you can have it on hand. Then, you can also set the software to reject anyone who scores below a certain threshold or doesn’t have the traits you’re looking for.
Screening software is almost ubiquitous at this point. Still, companies should know what they’re sacrificing by using a tool instead of a dedicated HR or talent acquisition team.
“The tool is never going to be perfect because it’s never going to be fully customized to fit your requirements but it could save you time and make your recruiting teams more effective by weeding out people you would never look at,” he said.
How to pick the right pre-employment screening software
When picking between different software, one of the most important considerations is the cost. Some will charge a fee based on the number of recruiters who use the product, while others will charge a flat fee. Do the math to see which will have the lowest cost per use.
You can also talk to others in the industry and see what software they rely on. If you work in an industry that has a strict compliance requirement, make sure to use software that takes that into account.
“For example, if you’re going into healthcare you want things that are HIPPA compliant,” he said.
Also, some software will automatically flag – but not reject – employees who don’t meet all the criteria. Then, a hiring manager can go through and review those candidates just to be sure they shouldn’t go through the next round.
For more tips on planning for your 2024 and many other tools to help your recruitment marketing efforts, visit our marketplace now. Happy hiring!