A lot of employers and human resources (HR) managers would agree applicant screening is a total nightmare. It’s a bummer when you only have a few candidates, but it’s even worse when there are hundreds and thousands of them. The process of going through a stack of resumes is time-consuming and tedious – and yet you learn nothing about the candidate’s actual skills. Their education and work experience, yes. But how important are they these days with people switching careers, reskilling and upskilling more often than ever?
As the job market changes, the processes of applicant screening and employee picking are in desperate need of refurbishment. For a lot of entry-level positions, using online courses can be a great innovative approach.
Moving the hiring processes online
While it’s definitely not uncommon for HR specialists to use the Internet for applicant screening, the results have been far from perfect up to this point:
- 70 percent of employers google potential candidates and review their social media accounts. However, this practice is deemed as controversial, as taking the details of the applicant’s personal life into consideration might become a reason for discrimination.
- 63 percent of HR managers have used software such as Skype or Zoom to conduct video interviews. It’s especially convenient in cases when the position would require the person to relocate. Unfortunately, even the best impression can be easily damaged by connection issues or poor sound quality.
- Almost 40 percent of employers use special applicant screening software that goes through the resumes and picks out the ones that seem like the best fit. Their actual usefulness is highly debatable. Most of these programs rely on keywords: this can mean a great applicant will not be picked simply because they used a synonym.
Moreover, just like CVs, these methods do not reveal the level of skills a candidate has. You might ask questions during a video interview to discover how much knowledge they have on the subject… But that’s about it. How do you make sure the applicant is capable of actually doing the job?
Using online courses for applicant screening
The job market of today is incomparable to the one we had a decade ago, and a lot of people are gaining new or additional skills to be able to keep up. One of the more popular options is online courses that allow you to complete lectures on your personal device at any convenient time. Now, employers are starting to use them for a new reason – applicant screening.
Imagine you need a junior PHP developer. Screening their CVs will be of no help: no actual work experience or special education is required for a job like this. However, you can ask the applicants to complete a beginner-level PHP course and then complete an assignment. This way, you would easily weed out the unmotivated ones and be sure that the actual candidates have the basic knowledge and skills needed for the job.
Although this practice is a perfect fit for positions in the tech sector, you could also use online courses for areas like business or marketing. Compared to the more traditional methods of hiring, it can save you a ton of time and money you would otherwise spend. According to The Society of Human Resource Management, the average time-to-fill a position is 36 days – why not make it quicker and more efficient by picking the right hiring tool?