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Screening Candidates In Pakistan

Recruitment consultants tips for screening candidates

The initial screening of candidates should be a relatively quick and painless process for recruitment consultants.

Anything more than this and you run the risk of rejecting candidates who may actually earn you a fee should you proceed to see them face to face. Your task is to filter your prospects to a manageable number to see face to face without eliminating people who could earn you another fee.


Assuming you have already viewed the CVs and removed any who are unsuitable on this basis, an initial call by recruitment consultants should seek to


a) Verify that the CV is in fact an accurate representation of the candidate, things to look out for

  • Gaps in dates to conceal negative events – reject, dishonesty
  • Altered dates to cover for a lack of longevity, hide negative events etc – reject dishonesty.
  • Confirm salary details and any other essentials perhaps not listed on the CV eg,Visa status
  • Unfinished degrees, University and course listed with dates amounting to less than 3 years. Questioning reveals unfinished – reject, dishonesty


b) Establish a commentary for the career movements from role to role, things to look for

  • ‘Hoppers’, people with the right experience, for example good recruitment experience, but movement between jobs within 2 years. History will likely repeat itself, unless your client is happy with less than 2 years, reject.
  • Movement for negative reasons, fall out with the boss, poor achievement of results, not getting on with culture etc. Treat all with extreme caution, they can happen to good candidates but are most likely to reflect a poor prospect. If in doubt, see face to face to make decision.
  • Inconsistencies in story, anything that doesn’t fit. For example, excellent performer making a sideways moves repeatedly for no or little pay rise. Apply direct questions to establish facts and confront concerns head on to avoid wasting time at interview.


c) Make a basic score of your candidate versus your clients criteria


To work through these basic tasks, use a mixture of open and closed questions. Remember, open questions invite open conversation, for example, “talk me through the movement on your CV, indicating why you have done what you have done” is and open question designed to let your candidate talk. Open questions begin with a yes or no answer. For example, “are you still employed by the current employer detailed on your CV?”


Always record you calls on paper, so that you can review for consistency when you see selected candidates face to face. If they’ve made stuff up, it’s unlikely they too have recorded their own comments and these will appear as inconsistent when seen face to face. In my view, a recruitment consultants screening call should be able to establish suitability for interview within 10-15 minutes whilst rejecting enough to create a manageable shortlist. Much shorter and you may miss things which will result in a wasted interview slot. Any longer, and you won’t screen enough people to meet the activity levels required to succeed.


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