Initial Screening of Candidates

Back to The Selection Process

Once you’ve started recruiting, the PeopleAdmin system can help you with your screening process (see Step 4’s link for more detail on using screening questions and assigning points).  Even using some of the electronic tools, though, you’ll need to make some decisions regarding the candidates in the applicant pool.  At this stage of the process, the screening should be based on the quantitative criteria identified in Step 4 (which should themselves be based on the results of Step 2).   

The quantitative criteria are those items which enable a clear yes/no answer (or points assignment) based on each candidate’s application materials and other submitted documents (e.g., does this person have the appropriate degree?).  It often helps to set up a spreadsheet with the quantitative criteria listed in columns and the applicants in rows.

Another option is to focus on skill sets.  As you and your selection committee review the job application, focus on three or four skills that you want to address in interviews.  Make sure you all agree what that skill exactly means so there is no confusion

Example:  Interviewing for the position of Accounts Payable Clerk

Duties on the job description state:  Manually matches vendor invoices, purchase orders, and receiving documents to assure conditions for payment are completed; Using PC and related software, enters invoices into Accounts Payable System; Demonstrates the ability to learn new skills and personal initiative to seek out learning opportunities

One skill needed would be Attention to Detail:  Definition:  The ability to accomplish tasks through concern for all areas, no matter how minor.  Shows concern for all aspects of the job.  Accurately checks processes and tasks.

Another skill set needed to do the job successfully would be Ability to Learn – The ability to assimilate and apply in a timely manner new job related information that may vary in complexity.

For examples of skill definitions, click here.
For examples of reasons for not selecting a candidate, click here.


Next: Step 6 - Phone, Video, or Other Pre-Interview Options


These materials are a work in progress and continuously evolving based on your feedback and best practices.  Please forward your constructive comments and improvement suggestions to Julane Cappo, Associate Director of Human Resources, at jcappo@nmu.