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Why Should Employers Use Pre-Screening Chats Before the First Interview?

A job interview

Recruitment can be an exhaustive process. What with posting job advertisements, screening applications, and asking candidates to come in for an interview, the entire process can go on for weeks, and in some cases, months. In many organizations, conducting interviews usually take up the most time and if you are not careful, this can lead to substantial costs for the organization, as well. This is where pre-screening chat interviews come in. Read on as we discuss the benefits of pre-screening chat interviews and how they improve the efficiency of your recruitment process.

1. Improve Your Applicant-to-Hire Ratio

The most significant benefit of engaging with candidates and conducting a pre-screening interview is that it can improve your applicant-to-hire ratio. As per a 2016 report published by Lever, even if your organization has less than 100 employees, you are likely to have an applicant-to-hire ratio of 1:94. Given the emphasis on cost-cutting that is driving most businesses today, these numbers can translate into an expensive recruitment process.

As per the report, on average, a candidate also goes through at least 4 interviews until they are finally hired. This is particularly prevalent for technical candidates. Companies spend four to six hours interviewing these individuals before making a hiring decision.

A low applicant-to-hire ratio usually involves fewer interviews. Pre-screening interviews can be particularly useful here. Instead of spending hours conducting traditional face-to-face interviews, you can initiate contact by talking to a candidate via chat. This can help you assess whether the candidate is a good fit for the organization and their expectations regarding the job.

2. Provide a Better Candidate Experience

This is another major benefit of pre-screening chat interviews. As we mentioned, most recruitment processes can be tedious for the candidate as well as the organization. When you screen through thousands of applicants, it can be difficult to stay on top of things. However, given how most candidates value organizational transparency and prefer to receive quick updates on their application status, this can affect the reputation of your company.

Pre-screening chats can help you avoid this. Once you conduct a pre-screening chat and determine how suitable the candidate is, you can also keep them engaged through text messaging. Job board platforms are particularly useful in this case. They offer built-in chat features that allow you to conduct a quick pre-screening interview and stay in touch with the candidate throughout the hiring process.

Remember, even if you have to reject a candidate, it is important to inform them about their application status. This can improve the reputation of your company in the eyes of the candidate. As per Forbes, nearly 44% of applicants that did not receive an update about their application status found it to be unprofessional. 32% of applicants also feel less inclined toward purchasing a company’s products after they did not receive a response to their job application. Therefore, not only do pre-screening chats speed up your recruitment process, but they also help you maintain the reputation of your company. Since you are parting on good terms, you can always get in touch with a candidate for a potential job offer in the future that they may be suitable for.

3. Get In Touch With Candidates More Easily

Most organizations currently rely on pre-screening candidates by conversing with them on the phone. However, this also has its disadvantages. As we discussed in a previous article, nearly 64 percent of applicants prefer text-based communication over phone calls. In many cases, candidates are unable to take a call because they are working at their current job and do not feel comfortable talking to a potential employer in front of their peers and bosses. Pre-screening chats resolve this problem. Instead of waiting for a candidate to pick up the phone, you can drop them a message and allow them to respond whenever it is convenient.

Additionally, talking to a candidate via chat allows them to be more prepared with their answers and enhances the productivity of a pre-screening interview. For instance, in many cases, headhunters and recruitment organizations attempt to get in touch with a potential candidate without a prior warning. This can take the candidate by surprise and they may end up rejecting your offer. Now, imagine doing this via a pre-screening chat. The candidate gets time to consider your offer and respond accordingly. You can also discuss the terms and conditions of the job in more detail and provide them with the information they need to make a decision in your favor.

Finally, communicating with an applicant via chat is less costly. Whether you are using a chat platform or engaging via SMS, both mediums are inexpensive and easy to use.

4. Screen Fraudulent Applicants

Nearly 85 percent of applications carry false information. In some cases, candidates also have a criminal history.

Conducting a pre-screening chat interview can allow you to assess whether the candidate is telling the truth about their work experience, education, and other relevant information present on their resume. You can use this opportunity to ask a candidate in-depth questions about their work experience. If the candidate fails to reply in detail, this is usually a sign that they are not being truthful. These simple behavioral interviewing techniques can help save the company’s time by effectively disengaging with an applicant if they have provided fabricated information.

The Bottom Line: Use Pre-Screening Chats to Optimize Your Hiring Process

There are several benefit of pre-screening chat interviews.  that can enhance the precision of your recruitment processes and help you engage with candidates in a more productive way. Not only can you lower your applicant-to-hire ratio by talking to the most relevant job seekers, but you can also enhance your employer brand by delivering regular updates regarding their application status.

Given how job seekers prefer to communicate through text, a pre-screening chat interview also provides candidates with the comfort and convenience of responding when they see fit.

On the whole, if you are looking to reduce hiring costs and improve efficiency, then communicating with applicants through chat and text is a great way to do so.

Content Creation Manager at | + posts

Evan Daniels is the Content Manager at Wavely. Coffee and hip hop enthusiast, he mainly covers changes in recruitment, job seeking, and marketing.

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