Tech screening involves the assessment and evaluation of a candidate’s technical competencies. The process can include a variety of measurement tools to determine the job applicant’s technical capabilities. It is an objective way that employers improve their hiring processes in 2022 and beyond.
Understanding Technical Screening
Companies have high expectations from potential candidates. They recognize the value of a job applicant’s technical abilities in ensuring smoother and more efficient organizational processes.
This requirement is more pronounced in the IT industry. However, other sectors also require their workforce to have the minimum technical competencies.
Technical screening empowers employers to assess and evaluate each job applicant. Although resumes are essential, they do not accurately describe the job applicant’s actual competencies.
Recruitment professionals would want to gauge if the things written in the application document are valid or not.
For example, the person might rate his knowledge of programming languages a 9/10. The prospect might also consider his phone conversation skills impeccable.
Unfortunately, HR professionals cannot take these pieces of information at face value. They must measure it through technical screening methods.
Hiring managers and personnel can use multiple-choice questionnaires, live discussions, and simulations or skill demonstrations to evaluate the applicant’s technical competencies. They can also frame interview questions to assess the job seeker’s proficiencies, including desirable industry-related behaviors.
These screening tools can contain items that measure the job seeker’s understanding of fundamental frameworks and concepts, coding abilities, problem-solving skills, and more.
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Measuring these competencies is more crucial than ever.
A Gallup survey revealed that more than 90% of US employees would love to see them continue working from their homes after the pandemic. More than half (54%) of them are willing to work in a hybrid model.
More interestingly, three out of ten employees will ditch their jobs if their respective companies prevent them from working remotely, at least once a week.
The growth of the gig economy is also profound. More than a third (36%) of US employees are gig workers, consisting of freelancers, consultants, independent contractors and professionals, and outsourced teams and networks.
Hence, it is not unusual for applicants to look for jobs that allow them to continue working remotely and enjoy a better work-life balance.
Employers recognize the importance of hiring tech remote workers and freelancers. This workforce’s output hinges on quality performance instead of the time spent in an office setting.
Therefore, a company must create a comprehensive hiring and recruitment plan to evaluate each candidate.
The screening process weeds out candidates with less-than-ideal skill levels or competencies, enabling the firm to hire only the best for the job. Such is the goal of technical screening.
Why Hiring Professionals Must Conduct Technical Screening
Assessing and evaluating an applicant’s technical abilities and capabilities can benefit employers immensely. Here are several reasons why tech screening is crucial in the modern recruitment process.
Strengthens Data-driven Hiring Processes
Tech screening requires identifying evidence-based industry standards, which the company uses as reference points for evaluation. A recruiter works with a team to devise a screening tool for assessing a potential employee’s technical skills based on accurate and valid data, technology, and science.
The identified tech competencies are the cornerstones of the talent acquisition process, empowering companies to use the same screening tool across applicants.
It is an objective method that guarantees only the best candidates will get an offer in the end. Any applicant who fails to meet the minimum competency requirements will not get the employment chance.
Technical Screening Eliminates Unconscious Biases
Using data-driven tech assessments eliminates unconscious biases, such as affinity bias, confirmation partiality, halo effect, anchor preference, overconfidence prejudice, and more. It provides objectivity to the recruitment and hiring process, enabling a recruiter to measure and evaluate competencies as accurately as possible.
A recruiter focuses on a particular skill, not gender, race, height, religion, age, and other personal factors that can produce prejudicial tendencies. These biases are prevalent in an interview. However, the recruiter can avoid these pitfalls by using a data-driven technical assessment tool.
Safeguards Company Resources
The Society of Human Resource Management said that companies spend about $4,000 for every applicant they hire. In general, the greater is the hiring volume, the lower is the cost per hire.
Using tech screening processes allows companies to shorten the hiring period. Most firms only need two rounds of technical assessments to weed out the less competent applicants from the gifted ones.
They can conduct a comprehensive phone interview, saving applicants money from commuting to the venue. Hiring professionals can also perform virtual assessments from their respective houses.
These measures save the company crucial resources, earmarking the savings for other essential organizational processes and operations. It also improves time management and the handling of other resources.
Increases Talent Pool Quality
Not every qualified candidate will receive a job offer. According to the latest HR statistics, one post can generate up to 250 applications. Unfortunately, only four to six applicants will receive a phone call for an interview and undergo other assessments. Sadder still, the company will hire only one.
The good news is that the recruiter can file the other candidates in the firm’s talent pool. The next time there is an opening in the organization, managers will have no issues getting the perfect hire because of a high-quality talent pool.
Hiring the best technical candidates for the job increases the chances of retaining the employee for the long term. A highly-qualified tech professional will have numerous growth opportunities, allowing the company to leverage a newly developed skill to improve work processes.
Improving retention goes hand-in-hand with safeguarding company resources. A tech candidate, happy and content with his work, will stay with the firm longer than dissatisfied employees. There is no question that comprehensive technical screening and evaluation can net the best in the field. It would be up to the business to retain them.
Enhances Candidate Experience
Evaluation is not exclusive to employers. Applicants also evaluate their experiences with a particular company. Unfortunately, they do not stop at rating their transactions.
Many of them take to social media to describe their perceptions about an organization. It might seem harmless at first, but successful firms understand the power of social media. Any negative reviews can lower the company’s chances of getting the best talents.
A recruiter can use evidence-based screening tools to interact only with qualified applicants. The interview process is more straightforward, allowing both parties to engage with enthusiasm, clarity, and objectivity. The applicant knows he is the best fit for the job because of the competency-specific questions posed to assess his skill levels.
How HR Professionals Should Conduct Technical Screening
Screening technical candidates requires a series of evaluation activities. Human resource professionals should develop several screening tools to weed out the less competent applicants from the highly qualified. Screening technical applicants often involve at least three steps.
A multiple-choice question (MCQ) tool provides a more reliable means of assessing an applicant’s knowledge than conventional true/false questions. HR professionals can frame tech screening questions, focusing on technical knowledge, applications, analyses, learning, and concepts.
When constructed effectively, MCQ questionnaires enable employers to evaluate core technical skills quickly and more precisely. HR professionals can use the MCQ results to eliminate candidates who fail to meet the minimum passing score.
Candidates who pass the MCQ examinations can undergo simulations. The organization can devise a screening test requiring shortlisted applicants to demonstrate a specific tech skill.
For example, coding simulations can mirror candidates’ technical abilities in real-world scenarios. They can create a code, fix a bug, develop an algorithm, or work on hypothetical cases. Meanwhile, HR professionals can evaluate the applicants’ problem-solving skills, proficiency, time management, and other characteristics.
Tech Screening Interview
Hiring managers can interview candidates who successfully passed the second screening.
The interview offers another opportunity for managers to evaluate a prospective hire with greater depth and precision. It is possible to make the screening interview more objective by designing an interview tool with competency-based rubrics.
Types of Technical Screening Interview Questions
Many technical hiring managers look at screening interview questions in two ways.
First, it is an opportunity to validate the applicant’s core technical competency results from the MCQ and simulations.
Second, the interview helps the recruiter gain an in-depth understanding of the candidate’s other attributes. Hence, HR professionals must create and develop an objective interview schedule focusing on these technical screening interview questions.
Behavioral Interview Questions
A behavioral interview question focuses on how candidates responded to past situations. In general, the interviewer asks an applicant to give a circumstance that required a specific task, what the person did to accomplish the work, and the outcomes.
For example, the HR professional might ask the candidate about a project he is most proud of and his contribution to the activity’s accomplishment.
Situational Interview Questions
Whereas a behavioral interview question screens an applicant based on how he acted on past experiences, a situational interview question hinges on a hypothetical scenario.
For example, the interviewer might ask the applicant what he would do if his superiors gave him a task he is unsure of completing.
Experience and Technical Knowledge Interview Questions
These questions assess the applicant’s knowledge of technical concepts and principles. For example, the interviewer might ask the candidate what coding language he is most comfortable with or when database design de-normalization is appropriate.
Education Interview Questions
Employers want to know if the applicant understands the importance of education in preparing him for the job. They might ask a question about the person’s specific technical training, certifications, or coursework that make him the best fit for the position.
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Tech screening is one of the most objective and effective ways for businesses to land the best person for a vacant tech position. It saves them money and other critical organizational resources while giving candidates a more pleasant hiring experience. It is not surprising to see more companies using tech assessment, screening, and evaluation techniques in their recruitment processes for 2022 and beyond.
What is a tech screening interview?
A tech screening interview is an assessment technique employed by HR professionals in the tech industry. It can also include other sectors that need a workforce with technical competencies.
How do you prepare for a technical screening?
Candidates for a technical position can prepare for a technical screening by identifying and understanding the job’s fundamental requirements, especially the skills and tools required.
What can I expect from a technical phone interview?
One can expect the technical phone interview to be more of a validation of the test results and a chance to know the applicant as a person, including communicating thoughts and addressing problems.
What do technical assessments evaluate?
Simulations, MCQs, and other objective technical assessment techniques evaluate a candidate’s competencies.
How else to prepare for a tech screening?
It would also help to study relevant books, studies, and other literature. Knowing the common interview questions and practicing the answers can be advantageous.