Phone Screens: Are They Worth it or a Waste of Time?

It wasn’t long ago that the hiring process consisted of resume reviews, in-person interviews, background checks and reference verifications. Nowadays, you can add phone screens into the mix too. But is this step simply taking up valuable time in the hiring process? Or is it a mission-critical aspect of it?

As leading New England recruiters, Stewart Staffing strong recommends phone screens. This is an important part in the hiring process for a few different reasons:

First and foremost, phone screens can save you time and therefore money. Imagine spending a few minutes on the phone with a candidate and knowing almost immediately, they’re not the right fit for you. You can wrap up the conversation quickly and move onto your next candidate. That’s a lot harder to do when they’re sitting in your office expecting a full hour interview. You then might end up wasting 40 or 50 additional minutes on someone you know you’re not going to hire.

In addition to that, phone screens are actually a benefit to the candidates. Rather than taking a half day off work, investing in a new suit, and spending a lot of time preparing for an in-person interview, they can simply invest 15 or 20 minutes on the phone with you and gain more insight into the job and your company. It enables both you and them to check for basic fit and to see if you’d like to move forward with a more in-depth interview, all without wasting either party’s time.

So when it comes to phone screens, what should you be asking about so you can make them as efficient and effective as possible? Here are a few key areas to focus on:

  • Skills and qualifications. If you need someone with 15 years of experience and it’s clear that the candidate you’re talking to only has a few years under their belt, then you’ll know pretty quickly it’s time to move onto to someone else. So be sure to ask about the essentials you need and how the candidate fits the bill.
  • Scheduling, start date and other logistics. The candidate might be the perfect fit, but if they can’t work the hours, or have a 90-minute commute each way, then you need to reconsider them. It’s important to know about these potential deal breakers before you invest too much in any one candidate.
  • Soft skills. Finally, another important aspect to screen for in a phone interview involves soft skills. You want to ensure anyone you do bring in will have the potential to mesh well with the company culture, co-workers and customers. Talking to someone for 15 minutes should give you some insight into what their personality is like and whether you’d like to pursue a longer conversation with them.

Need more help with phone screens or interviews?

Call in the experts at Stewart Staffing. As leading New England recruiters, we will shorten your search for great employees, helping you hire people with the skills, experience and drive to succeed. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

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