HR Recruitment

HR Recruitment – The Top 10 Ways to Screen Job Applicants

As a business owner or recruiter looking to fill an HR recruitment position, screening job applications is something you need to get right. You want to hire the best person for the role and ensure they’re a good fit for your organisation. 

In this article, we take a look at the top 10 ways to screen HR recruitment job applicants to help make the process as effective as possible.

Use the job description as an assessment framework

Before beginning the screening process, it’s important to refer back to the job description and identify the key areas you’re going to assess candidates against. This will ensure you’ve got a standardised way of deciding who is or isn’t a good fit for your role. By focusing on the most critical requirements of the job, you can narrow down the pool of applicants and find those who are most suitable.

Pre-screening questions

Asking candidates pre-screening questions during the application process is a great way to quickly eliminate candidates who don’t meet the necessary qualifications for the job. These questions could cover things like salary expectations, availability, location, qualifications and specific experiences. This approach is very effective when you anticipate a high volume of applicants.

Phone or video screenings

A 20-30 minute phone or video call are quick and easy ways to narrow down the pool of applicants before inviting candidates to attend a formal interview. During this screening conversation, you can ask basic questions about the candidate’s qualifications, job experience, and availability. This can help you determine whether the candidate is a good fit for the position before moving on to more in-depth interviews. Ideally, you should try to conduct at least one face-to-face interview following this step, where geography allows.

Behavioural interviews

Behavioural interviews are a great way to determine how candidates will behave in specific situations. These types of interviews typically ask candidates to provide examples of how they’ve handled specific work-related situations in the past. By focusing on specific behaviours, you can gain insight into how the candidate will perform on the job.

Skills assessments

Skills assessments are a great way to test a candidate’s abilities before making a hiring decision. These assessments can be tailored to the specific requirements of the job and can help ensure that the candidate has the necessary skills to perform well once in the role.

When hiring an HR recruitment specialist, you might task them with a mock recruitment exercise, like demonstrating their sourcing skills to find HR Business Partner candidates. This would require them to evidence their knowledge of LinkedIn Recruiter, building boolean strings and also to demonstrate their ability to effectively use job boards. Additionally, you could ask them to write a job advert to attract talent to your mock HR Business Partner role.

Psychometric assessments

For more senior hires, you might require candidates to complete a psychometric assessment like DISC or SHL profiling to help understand their professional style in more detail. We personally use a provider called BeTalent who provide a market leading psychometric insight into a candidate’s strengths and further aids the interview process with suggested questions. 

Background checks

Background checks can be an important part of the screening process. These checks can help verify information provided by the candidate, such as their employment history and education. Additionally, background checks can uncover any potential red flags that may make the candidate unsuitable for the position.

Reference checks

Before formally offering a candidate a role, it’s advisable to take references on their previous employment. Reference checks help confirm the accuracy of the information the candidate’s provided, will offer an assurance of their quality and will reduce the chance of any potential issues being uncovered after a candidate’s signed their employment contract.

Social media checks

Social media checks can provide a deeper insight into a candidate’s profile. We would always suggest reviewing a candidate on LinkedIn to check their employment history reflects their CV, to see how active they are, what subjects they champion and also how they conduct themselves professionally. Particularly for an HR recruitment professional, you would expect to see a fairly active profile with evidence of networking with the types of candidates they’d be hiring for your positions.


Screening job applicants is a critical part of any recruitment process. By following these top 10 ways to screen job applicants, you can narrow down candidates and find the best person for your HR recruitment role. Remember to assess candidates against the job description, use pre-screening questions early on, conduct phone / video screenings, ideally meet face to face for at least one interview, use behavioural interview techniques, use skills and psychometric assessments, conduct background / reference checks, and always check out your candidate’s social media presence!


What is the purpose of screening job applicants?

Screening job applicants is done to identify the most qualified and suitable candidate for the job, ensuring that the organisation hires the best candidate for the position.

What are some common mistakes to avoid during the screening process?

Some common mistakes to avoid during the screening process include overlooking critical qualifications, relying too heavily on technology, failing to conduct reference and background checks, and not considering diversity and inclusion in the hiring process.

How important are reference checks?

Reference checks help confirm the accuracy of the information the candidate’s provided, will offer an assurance of their quality and will reduce the chance of any potential issues being uncovered after a candidate’s signed their employment contract.

How do you balance diversity and inclusion with screening for job qualifications?

It’s important that anyone involved in a hiring process has an awareness of how unconscious and conscious bias can hinder inclusive recruitment. There are steps that can be taken to avoid discrimination like investing in relevant training, ensuring the language used in job adverts is inclusive, having a diverse interview panel and in some cases using blind screening techniques when reviewing applicants.

How can technology assist with the screening process?

Technology can assist with the screening process by automating some of the more time-consuming tasks, such as posting job adverts, asking pre-screening questions, delivering and reviewing assessments, and communicating with candidates. Additionally, it can help manage candidate data and track the progress of the recruitment process.

The Benefits of Working with a Specialist HR Recruitment Agency

One of the main benefits of working with a specialist HR Recruitment Agency is their in depth understanding of the specific HR industry and the types of roles and candidates that are required.

This means that they are better equipped to match the right candidates with the right roles, resulting in a better fit and a higher chance of success for both the candidate and the employer.

Another benefit of using a specialist HR recruitment agency is that they are likely to have access to the latest technologies and recruitment tools, such as applicant tracking systems, online assessments and virtual interview platforms.

These technologies can help to streamline and automate recruitment processes, making the task of finding and hiring the right candidates much more efficient and effective. Furthermore, a specialist HR recruitment agency will have a larger database of qualified and skilled candidates, which can save a lot of time and effort for the employer in terms of recruitment process.

Additionally, a specialist HR recruitment agency will have a dedicated team of recruitment experts who are well-versed in the latest recruitment trends and best practices. They will be able to provide valuable insights and guidance to employers throughout the recruitment process, helping to ensure that the right candidates are identified and hired.

This can also be beneficial for the candidate as the specialist agency will be able to provide them with guidance and support throughout the recruitment process, helping them to understand the company culture, the role and the expectations.

In conclusion, using a specialist HR recruitment agency that utilises the latest technologies can bring significant benefits when compared to using a general recruitment agency that employs more traditional recruitment practices.

Why Choose PEEQ HR Recruitment Agency?

The average fill rate amongst HR Recruitment Agencies is 46%, but at PEEQ our average fill rate sits above 90%, So you are twice as likely to make a hire if you choose PEEQ

This is due to two reasons:

Firstly, we only partner with our clients on an exclusive basis, so we ‘own the responsibility’

Secondly, we don’t employ recruiters. Instead, we work with trusted and proven freelance HR recruiters, to hire for our clients.

We give them the tools and infrastructure to be successful, and the rest is down to their magic and experience. Our Associates are not employed by us and only get paid for making a successful hire.

This makes them incredibly tenacious and committed to finding the best talent, which is why our fill rate sits above 90%, compared to the industry average of 46%.

More reasons to work with PEEQ

Psychometric insight reports

Obtain a unique insight into your candidates’ Cultural Fit, Strengths, Decision Making and Resilience through our accredited assessments.

Post-hire executive coaching

Set your hire up for success with a tailored coaching programme that helps them achieve their full potential personally and professionally.

Up to 6 month guarantee

Confidently select your preferred candidate with our ‘surety of hire’ 6 month rebate period. The ultimate comfort for a big decision.

BeTalent Accredited Approach

We are proud to offer the BeTalent Accredited approach that enables us to deliver scientific candidate assessment, in accordance with the British Psychological Society standards.

This solution is for you if you want:

  • An objective way to determine who is the best fit for your role
  • A comprehensive understanding into your new hire before they start
  • Peace of mind that you’ve made the right hiring decision

Get in Touch with PEEQ HR Recruitment

We are here to help you. If you have any questions, queries or would like to discuss a potential hire, a job application, or require clarification on anything detailed on our website, then we would love to hear from you.

Please feel free to call, email or complete the form provided and we will assist you.

Share This Article

HR Recruitment Agency London, PEEQ, HR Recruitment Candidate Experience, Talent Acquisition, HR Recruiter, Diversity and Inclusion, HR in business success, HR in Crisis Management, Engaging Passive Candidates, HR Recruitment Agencies, hiring HR roles, Collaborative Dynamics in HR Departments, HR Recruitment Marketing Strategies London, HR Recruitment Interview Techniques, Behavioural Interview technique, Advancing as an HR Executive in London, Outsourcing HR recruitment services in London

PEEQ HR Recruitment Agency

Scroll to Top