Navigating the Solutions Landscape: Addressing the Modern Interview Screening Methods

In our previous post, we delved into the intricate challenges of traditional interview screening, highlighting the inefficiencies and biases that plague manual resume screens. From the time-consuming nature of sifting through stacks of resumes to the inherent biases that can skew the selection process, the traditional approach has shown its age in the modern digital era. But as with any challenge, solutions have emerged, driven by technological advancements. In this post, we'll explore the current solutions that aim to address these challenges, from automated keyword matching to asynchronous phone interviews. We'll weigh the pros and cons of each method, offering insights into how they fare in the real world and where the future of recruitment might be headed. Join us as we navigate the solutions landscape, aiming to find the most effective ways to streamline the screening process and ensure the best talent is brought onboard.

From Hand-Delivered Resumes to Digital Hiring: The Evolution of Recruitment Screening

In the early days of job recruitment, before digital hiring, manual resume screening was the go-to method, as applicants would either hand in their resumes in person or send them through the mail. This approach was favored because it felt more personal and seemed to reflect a candidate's genuine interest. Hand-delivering a resume or writing a thoughtful cover letter to accompany mailed applications showed an added level of commitment. As businesses grew and received more applications, the limitations of this manual method became more evident. However, it wasn't until technology began to advance that viable solutions to these challenges emerged, highlighting the need for change in modern screening practices.  These technological advancements not only streamline the screening process but also provide valuable hiring metrics that can help recruiters make more informed decisions.

Automation and AI in Recruitment: The Future of Talent Acquisition

Automation and artificial intelligence has and will continue to drastically alter the way Talent Acquisition teams screen and interview candidates. To show the trend, a SHRM survey of 1688 HR professionals in February 2022, showed that 25% plan on using or increasing the usage of automation or AI in recruitment and hiring over the next 5 years. Then only 16 months later, a survey from in June 2023 of 1,013 talent acquisition professionals, highlighted that 43% of companies already have or plan to adopt AI interviews by 2024. So with a shorter time frame and a more specific topic within hiring, a higher percentage said they would adopt AI.  It is worth mentioning that of those 43%, when asked where AI interviews currently, or will, take place in the interview process, 65% of respondents say it serves as an early screening tool and also 65% said they have or will increase hiring efficiency. Additionally, 62% even believe it is ‘very’ (27%) or ‘somewhat likely’ (36%) that AI will eventually replace human hiring managers at their company altogether. Given the rapid adoption and perceived efficiency of AI in the hiring process, it's evident that the future of talent acquisition will be significantly shaped by automation.

Resume Keyword Matching: A Double-Edged Sword in Automated Screening

One of the most popular methods right now in automated screening is resume keyword matching. In the previously mentioned SHRM survey of 1688 HR professionals in February 2022, when asked how organizations use automation or AI to support recruitment and hiring activities, 64% said to review or screen applicant resumes. On the surface, resume keyword matching seems like a great way to save time as one does not need to spend as much time manually sorting through all of the resumes anymore. However, there are many downsides to this method that lay under the surface. For example, it does not solve the problem of inauthenticity. One can lie, embellish or optimize their resume to game the system by injecting keywords based on the job description. There are even retired recruiters on Tiktok who post about how to hack the resume keyword matching system. There are sites that allow candidates input their resume and a job description and get information on how to make their resume pass the algorithms. A survey, in the second month of Q2 2023 by ZipRecruiter, of 2,000 recently hired US adults, showed that about 330 participants admitted to using a GenAI tool to write their resume. A bad candidate can pass an algorithm if they are aware of this screening method, and a great candidate could be getting overlooked because they aren't phrasing their resume in an optimized manner. This can lead to non-optimal candidates in the pipeline. Not only that, just like manual resume review, this method does not filter out unfit candidates. Therefore, interviewers will still find themselves wasting time interviewing people that are simply unhirable.

One-Way Video Interviews: A Time-Saver with Bias, Accessibility, and Intrusiveness Issues

Another popular method of quickly screening candidates is an automated video interview, also known as a one-way, on-demand, or asynchronous video interview. This involves the recruiter entering set of questions once, and the candidate responding on video at their convenience. This definitely saves time and provides a more authentic representation of the candidate, however there are bias, accessibility and intrusiveness issues related to this method. Simply put, if one is able to be seen during the screening process they are subject to gender, ethnicity/race, age, and appearance related bias that may hinder their advancement in the process upon review. Video interviews also suffer from accessibility issues. As mentioned in Talentboard’s 2022 North American Candidate Experience Benchmark Research Report, when they analyzed the candidate comment sentiment, they reported that it was clear from the data that there were technical issues with video interviewing. There needs to be necessary equipment for video calls and also technical troubleshooting skills (specific software, specific software updates, microphone/headphone compatibility, camera issues, and bandwidth considerations). One must also have proper attire and a proper background, which not everyone has access to. Video related screens are also intrusive, as you are seeing people and entering people’s homes. Therefore it may not be a preferred method among candidates leading to fewer screens being conducted.

Automated Texting Screens: Fast and Accessible, but Lacking Authentic Responses

Another popular screening method out there is automated texting screens where a recruiter sends questions to a candidate's phone via SMS and the candidate can take as much time as they need to respond. Answers are typically analyzed with keywords or AI. Although this mitigates hiring bias, is fast, accessible and not intrusive, this lacks in a fundamental area - authentic responses. Texting interview software allows candidates to take as long as they need to think about the answers. This freedom allows the candidate the opportunity to optimize their response by asking a friend, family member, the internet or even GenAI sources like ChatGPT for an ideal answer, potentially presenting a skewed representation of their skills or knowledge. 

Skills Assessment Screens: Objective Rating but with Limitations 

Skills Assessment screens are a great way to use technology to objectively rate candidates, speed the screening process and mitigate bias. It involves certain technical sectors and allows candidates to showcase their skills on screen for a recruiter to review later. Although there are benefits, there are downsides as well, such as performance anxiety, which may skew results. There may also be limited real world application to the assessments with a lack of predictive validity into future job performance. Most notably though, it does not filter out unfit candidates who may have red flag quality such as poor communication skills, negative attitudes, and unwillingness to adapt, etc.

Automated Phone Screen Interviews: Efficient, But Lacking in Substance and Context

Another automated tool is the automated phone screening. But what is a phone screening? This method involves a recruiter or a bot asking prerecorded questions with a candidate answering them verbally, on their phone at their convenience. While automated phone interview screening provides accessibility, authentic responses, is not intrusive, is fast and it can filter unfit candidates, the current use of it lacks in a fundamental way. Companies are analyzing verbal responses right now either manually or with older voice technology that picks up on sentiment, emotion and keywords. This approach fundamentally lacks substance, context and a basis for a truly optimized candidate ranking system to help find the best candidate. 

Teambooster AI: Revolutionizing Candidate Screening with Contextual Analysis

Teambooster AI excels in the on-demand interview process. Our cutting-edge recruiting engine leverages the latest AI voice technology to transcribe and analyze the candidate's interview responses. We then compare these transcriptions to the ideal answers recruiters are looking for, considering both conceptual and contextual factors. This enables us to rank candidates effectively, assisting you in selecting the best candidates to move forward. Our red flag filter is another revolutionary feature we will discuss. Stay tuned for our next blog post, where we'll dive deeper into our innovative solution.

"Given the rapid adoption and perceived efficiency of AI in the hiring process, it's evident that the future of talent acquisition will be significantly shaped by automation."