The Guide to Automated Candidate Screening

The Guide to Automated Candidate Screening

Candidate screening is an important part of any recruitment process. But it’s often time-consuming, especially if you’re hiring frequently. This blog gives you 4 simple ways you can start saving time and effort, by automating your screening process!


Think of any task or job. If you could do it and achieve the same results (if not better) whilst saving time and energy –you would do it, right? The same is true of recruiters when screening candidates. 


It used to take 93 minutes for a Ford car to be assembled. Today, modern factories produce over a hundred an hour. The cars are still as safe, they’re still painted as well.


But now they’re made faster, with less effort and are more competitive in the market. All things a recruiter needs. 


Automated candidate screening is one of the many tools recruiters can use to achieve those goals. But before we get into what candidate screening actually is, let’s explore why it’s needed.

Ford factory assembly line
Workers at the Ford factory

Manual processes

61% of recruiters spend more than 6 hours a week on manual processes. Part of the reason it takes so long, is the candidate screening process. For recruiters that don’t use automated candidate screening, they have to do everything manually.


That means sending individual e-mails to candidates. To do that, a recruiter would have two choices.

  1. Use a one-size-fits all template.
  2. Send individually written e-mails for every candidate.


One method would be personable but time-consuming. The other would be fast but not personable. You need a combination of both.


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The problem is that in a manual process you rely on a person’s memory and time. And those two things are likely to change.


Let’s say a recruiter is particularly overworked one day and they don’t get around to responding. Or maybe they’re stressed, and they forget. What happens? You lose candidates.


For some recruiters, spreadsheets and software systems like Excel help them keep track of the process. They can input what stage a candidate is at. But there is a much easier way than having to update excel.


What is candidate screening?

Candidate screening is a process that screens candidates to make sure they’re qualified for a job. It’s a process that involves CV grading, interviews, background checks, and more.


It may even include some practical/mental assessments. This is important because statistics show that 3 out of every 4 applicants will apply to a job even if they aren’t qualified. This is even more true for men than it is for women.


That means recruiters get a lot of applications from a lot of applicants that just aren’t qualified. That’s why candidate screening is so important and often so time-consuming.


What are the benefits of automated candidate screening?

The two major benefits of automated candidate screening are saving time and effort.


That’s because an automated process replaces the human need to do many of those important but automatable tasks.


Let’s look at an example. Look at the image below.

Automated candidate screening

Let’s say we have two candidates who apply for a job at Keygroup. After applying, occy’s automated screening tools analyse both applications. The hiring manager at Keygroup receives the application of candidate one – as they meet the criteria.


It then goes into a database of candidates ranked from most relevant to least. occy rejects the application of candidate two, as they do not meet the required criteria. 


The benefit here, is recruiters getting a list of qualified candidates they didn’t spend hours finding


They’ve achieved the needed result but with much less time and effort.  Faster hiring processes mean candidates stay more engaged. That means the more candidates stay engaged, the bigger pool you can choose from. It’s a win-win.


How can I start automating my screening?

The first thing you can do is use an automated recruitment system. Depending on your specific needs, you want a system that’s tailored for your hiring needs.


If you work in corporate white-collar recruitment there’s plenty of systems out there for you. 


But if you work in an industry where your hiring is recurring and involves lots of admin, you have a lot less choice. In which case you’d want to choose a system designed with your recurring/volume needs in mind.  

a robot doing lots of tasks

Below are four examples of screening features you can expect from a recruitment system made for recurring/hourly paid roles.


There are of course others, but these four below all play an important part in the process and are something that we offer here at occy.


Smart filters

Smart filtering involves filters such as ‘killer questions’ and ‘overseas filters’. It might ask in the application if you have an HGV license, or at least 2 years’ experience, for example.Only those that qualify pass through.


Smart filtering allows you to customise your own application form.


That’s important, because an application form you need for an HGV driver, will be different to that of a warehouse supervisor, for example.


Having a customisable application form lets you filter much more accurately for the job you’re recruiting for.  


A lot of recruiters in industries that rely heavily on foreign workers (Logistics, Care, etc) say they get a lot of applications from abroad. If you have the visas in place to recruit overseas staff – then great.


But for many, they don’t have the resources to. If you don’t, you want a system that can filter out anyone that’s overseas.

woman using a big filter

Resume screening

Rather than having to read one applicant’s CV after the other, a resume screening tool can scan hundreds if not thousands of CVs an hour.


Whilst for the corporate world, these may not always be accurate (a lot of corporate ATS systems tend to reject qualified candidates!), for the industries with recurring roles they’re more so. 


This is because in many specialised white-collar jobs, insider terminology might be used or they may be asked to do assessments that don’t necessarily fit the job. In blue-collar industries with recurring needs, this is less likely to be the case.


For example, a warehouse worker applying for a warehouse assistant position would use words like ‘forklift’ in their application. This is a keyword the resume screener would likely pick out and rank well.


Or if it was a driver role it might be ‘HGV’. The resume screener would then sort candidates from most qualified to least qualified, based on keyword criteria.

Resume screening software cartoon

Video interviews 

Once you have a shortlist of qualified candidates, you’re going to want to see them. But again, doing this manually would create enormous amounts of admin.


All the back-and-forth e-mails arranging a time and date that works for you both. Then putting the details into a calendar.


Not only is this time-consuming but it’s also not practical.


It’s also important to consider that the position may not even need an in-person interview.


If you’re recruiting a driver or a warehouse worker, a self-recorded interview might be enough.


You might only want to judge their presentation skills or English level before moving them through to an in-person interview (if it’s needed).


Having a candidate screening feature that offers this a great way to streamline the recruitment process.

cartoon of man waving in a video interview

Automated background checks

It’s important to mention one last feature – automated background checks . Imagine having to manually check and verify every candidate you’re interested in.


All you’d be doing is verifying licenses, documents, etc.  But why waste your time when candidates can upload their documents directly?


Once uploaded there, and you know they’re verified you have all the proof you need to progress them to the final stage.


These are just four examples of automated candidate screening, but when combined are extremely useful. This helps towards the goal of fast recruitment whilst reducing a whole lot of admin.

background check cartoon

What recruitment technology can you use?

The best thing you can do is find a recruitment system that can deliver what you need. If you only need specialised candidates here and there, then a standard corporate ATS will do.


If you need something that can deliver for recurring/volume hires, then occy is for you. occy is one of the only end-to-end automated recruitment platforms designed for the needs of volume recruiters.


A platform like occy can help you screen your candidates. It can give you the automated screening tools mentioned above and much more all on one platform.


If you’d like to read more about how automation can help throughout your hiring process, download our eBook below for more information. 

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