The Importance of Effectively Pre-Screening Candidates

Time is the scarcest resource; I think most people in the IT industry can certainly agree with that. When it comes down to filling a new job position, a lot of time is simply wasted when it comes to finding the person.

Let’s suppose you are the IT manager for a large department that depends on not only maintaining current talent, but increasing headcount to your talented staff to ensure the success and growth of your department. You currently have one job opening that you must fill. You debate between hunting down candidates and screening them yourself or to work directly with a staffing agency. You decide you are already busy enough with your other job responsibilities so you opt to work with a staffing agency to save yourself some time and potential headache.

You realize that after receiving about 15 resumes and interviewing a few of the candidates that, while these candidates look great on paper, they don’t stack up when it comes to passing a simple lab exam. Even if they do pass an initial exam, they just aren’t the right culture fit for your team and organization.

You had a pile of 15 candidates! That doesn’t even account for the candidates that were screened out by the staffing agency ahead of time. You are sure that there were probably 250 candidates to start with. How is it that not ONE of those candidates could be a fit, culturally and technically speaking? Where does the breakdown lie?

The Answer: Pre-Screening

How much time did the staffing agency truly put into pre-screening the candidates that they passed along to you? Do you really know? Furthermore, what were they pre-screening for? Perhaps they simply review the technical credentials of the candidate and assume that if they can talk the talk, they will certainly be able to walk the walk when it comes to exam day on your time. Furthermore, do they really understand the culture of your work environment and what you, as an employer, are looking for culturally to compliment your current team?

It’s obvious that in order to provide true value, staffing partners need to be able to send along candidates to employers that truly meet all of their needs. This requires an investment in time by the staffing agency to properly pre-screen candidates for technical aptitude. You don’t want to waste time sifting through the 15 resumes you were provided just to provide them with a technical exam during your time only to discover they truly aren’t capable of meeting the requirements of the role.

Culture fit is also imperative. If a staffing agency doesn’t take the time to truly understand your corporate and team culture it would be impossible for them to find someone who would jive well within your environment.

What are you paying this staffing agency for anyway? Are you paying someone to read and check boxes or are you paying them to dig deeper on your behalf?

It takes time, effort, resources, and a true understanding of your culture for a staffing partner to properly pre-screen candidates. Pre-screening really is the key to securing a perfect fit for job positions, if and only if they are truly pre-screened properly.



ABS Staffing Services Manager, Caitlin Johnson, is responsible for recruiting top talent for ABS and ABS clients. She leverages her large network to place candidates in the right roles based upon their culture requirements,and technical aptitude.