What is Employee Screening?

By hrlineup | 14.03.2022

Employee screening is challenging, and employers need to be careful when carrying out this recruitment procedure to find quality talent. First, however, it is essential that you understand what employee screening is and how to go about it. The last thing you want is to successfully go through all hiring procedures and fail to meet the best talent simply because you cannot effectively screen the job applicants. Luckily, we have prepared this article to take you through the meaning of employee screening. In the end, you should be able to evaluate the employee screening process in the best way possible and hire the most suitable candidates for various open positions.

What is Screening Process?

The employee screening process involves an employer investigating potential employees to ensure they fit into a workplace. Employers will analyze job applicants’ qualifications, including education, job experience, criminal record, medical evaluation, etc. This procedure can either be conducted internally or through external companies with the right skills. Keep in mind that pre-screening candidates before hiring costs your business funds, and therefore, it is important to identify the type of applicants for the screening process. For instance, employee screening should be conducted if you are looking to hire candidates to fill sensitive or long-term positions. 

What are the Five Steps in the Screening Process?

Employee screening starts with you having the right candidates. Before you proceed with this process, you will have already vetted job applicants through resume checks and interviews. Simply put, employee screening should be the last procedure in the recruitment process before sending an offer letter. Below, we take you through simple steps to simplify the candidate screening and selection process. You do not want to overwhelm your HR professionals with extra tasks that may lead to wrong choices. 

1. Plan and Prepare

Preparing for the screening and selection process is crucial in simplifying the entire recruitment procedure. Do not just advertise a job opening and relax. Instead, prepare how you will go through the screening process, whether internally using your HR professionals or external companies. In addition, have all the tools required in place and identify the most suitable methods of screening candidates. 

2. Set the Right Questions

Screening candidates requires you to be focused and be straight to the point to quickly complete the procedure. This is incredibly best for employers hiring multiple workers and do not wish to spend hours screening a single candidate. Therefore, come up with the right questions that will guide you throughout the entire process, and avoid those that will make you come off as discriminative. The right candidate should be best at performing specified duties through the right skills and knowledge.

3. Be Open to Answering Questions

While you are hiring and you need to vet the best candidates, employees are also looking for the best employers to work for. In this regard, they will also ask questions regarding your business operations and more. Therefore, be open to answering them, as this will also help you identify a candidate who is driven to learn more about your business. In addition, making the candidates comfortable during pre-screening will contribute to excellent employer branding since they will end up being your brand ambassadors. 

4. Establish a Feedback System

Feedback after employee screening helps you identify your weakness and work on improving. So, have a feedback system where potential employees can share their experiences throughout the process. They will also easily understand the type of an employer you are and decide whether you are worth working with. 

5. Communicate

Communication is essential during and after employee screening. Most importantly, ensure you let them know about your decision, whether they are qualified or not. This will clarify where they stand, whether to get ready to resume work or keep searching. For the most qualified candidates that couldn’t get hired, establish a talent pool for future reference when hiring again. 

Mistakes to Avoid When Screening Employees

Pre-screening your candidates before hiring has helped many employers hire employees suitable for various organizational positions. However, some employers still fail to meet the best talent even with the right tools. This means that you are making mistakes along the way, and it is essential to fully understand them to meet suitable talent. Some of the things you need to do to avoid making mistakes during the screening process for job applicants include:

  • Conduct employee screening consistently and on all candidates to avoid missing some relevant information. 
  • Give each candidate equal employment opportunity, and do not shut them down simply because you found an error in their application records. Having them explain some thighs will help you hire the best talent. 
  • Conduct background checks based on the potential position to be held. For instance, you can never skip verifying criminal records when hiring a candidate for the finance department. There are many ways to conduct background checks, so choose the most suitable one.


Employee screening often involves pre-employment assessments that employers use to measure job applicants’ work capabilities, personality, and other traits contributing to best performance. In this regard, you should start by selecting the best method for employee screening. This could be through phone and video interviews, on-premise skill testing, use of Applicant Tracking Systems, resume and cover letter screening, reference checks, among others. Alternatively, you can blend multiple employee screening methods to find the best candidates.