As you put together a list of viable candidates for interviews, remember that phone screening works as one very helpful part of the process. Consider it as an integral connection between looking at resumes and cover letters, and bringing people in for in-person interviews. When done correctly, phone screening helps cut down on time and costs of hiring so you can get to your core of finalists more quickly.
Phone screening allows an HR person or hiring manager to speak with the candidate to hear more about the person behind the paper, so to speak. As the saying goes, you’re not hiring the resume; you’re hiring the person. Once you have compiled your short list of candidates, speaking to them on the phone lets you know if their experience and qualifications truly fit the position and your organization. And the whole conversation can be had at the hiring manager’s desk if preferred — no waiting for someone to come in, no arranging a conference room or displacing anyone else. Plus, if you’re looking at a candidate who isn’t local, it saves everyone time and money with regard to travel and hotel expenses (especially if the candidate turns out less satisfactory than you had hoped).
When on the phone, both the interviewer and the interviewee have to carefully consider their words, which has its benefits. The interviewer can focus solely on the responses and not fall back on unintentional biases of age (often difficult to determine on the phone), ethnicity, or general appearance. It also allows the candidate to feel a bit more relaxed when giving answers – he doesn’t have to worry whether he’s fidgeting too much or his tie is crooked – and he may well respond more fully as a result. On the other hand, the interviewer who has a list of carefully chosen and possibly probing questions can still get a good read of how the candidate thinks on his feet, thus assessing verbal communication skills, especially since many candidates may not expect detailed questions at this stage. This also allows you to see who’s truly interested in the position and who may have the experience but not the true desire.
Using phone screening to interview has become more common, and it’s a technique that has various benefits. In particular, you can focus the in-person interviews more thoroughly once you’ve taken the measure of your top contenders, paving the way for a better hire and a better match for everyone.
For more interviewing and hiring strategies, read our related blog posts or reach out to the experienced Miami recruiting team at Creative Staffing today!