Recruiters are getting smarter about how they filter out applicants during the hiring process. Scary stats like the cost of making the wrong hire motivate in-house recruiters to be more careful about whom they extend job offers. The cost of hiring the wrong fit can be up to 2.5x the salary – as much as $240,000, according to one report. 

In a job market where roles require specialized technical knowledge, vetting processes must keep up. Fierce competition over the best candidates, as well as pressure to perform on key metrics like employee turnover and cost-per-hire, encourage in-house recruiters to spend more time in the vetting phase of the hiring process. Here are the best practices smart recruiting teams follow to vet candidates in 2019.

Use the right software

Software tools and platforms are critical to helping recruiters filter out candidates in the early phases of their hiring process. “A vetting process should allow you to filter out candidates who don’t have the skills necessary to succeed in the role. To do this, you’ll want to start by vetting the applicant’s resume, cover letter, and other application materials they’ve submitted for review,” recommends one expert

Likewise, these tools can positively impact diversity hiring and help an HR team be unbiased when evaluating resumes. Testing and assessment tools like Codility, HackerRank, pymetrics, and Vervoe filter candidates based on real-world simulations, allowing candidates to be ranked based on skillset rather than what’s on their resume. Vetting tools help recruiters be more organized, efficient, and purposeful in who they invite to proceed to the next stage of the recruiting process. 

Integrate AI to assist recruiters

Many of these software tools use algorithms to filter resumes by keywords, but this year’s trend takes it a step further. Companies in Silicon Valley are working on smarter AI solutions to read applications beyond simple keyword identification. “Instead of one person reading through hundreds of resumes, they envision a process in which AI can quickly sort through data. CEO Somen Mondal compares its tech to a recommendation engine, much like Amazon or Netflix — a first line of defense against high-volume hiring,” writes The Verge. Tools are getting smarter and smarter at helping recruiters vet through the initial influx of candidates.  

Outsource your vetting process

Tools and algorithms can’t be replaced by human interaction, however. There’s a limit to how far a robot can take the vetting process – and thereafter, a significant amount of human resources are dedicated to finding the best person for the job. Especially in executive searches, third-party recruiters are necessary to make sure the right person is hired the first time around.

More and more companies are outsourcing their executive recruiting to a talent and recruitment agency. They’re seeking an objective perspective on their vetting process; recruiters outside the company can truly evaluate whether or not a person is the best candidate. Outsourcing gives companies the benefit of building specialized, world-class teams without having to hire in-house experts with the technical knowledge to properly vet technical candidates. 

Ask the right questions

One of this year’s biggest trends? Asking smart questions. Historically, interview questions followed the same line, no matter what industry you were in. “Why should we hire you?” is one of those outdated, overused questions that don’t offer much insight into a candidate’s ability. Instead, recruiters across the board are investing more time in vetting candidates with job-related or behavioral questions that assess the candidate’s fit. “While it is good to hire people who match the personalities or personal backgrounds of your current employees, it is just as important to seek out a diversity of opinions, backgrounds, and interests in the people you hire,” writes one expert from Glassdoor

Consider merit, rather than background

Perhaps the biggest overall vetting trend of 2019 is the impulse to move beyond the resume. For example, JavaScript is the most well-known language among software developers, according to a survey by Hackerrank. But, students aren’t learning JavaScript – it’s not taught in most university computer science programs. Companies that want to hire developers with experience in JavaScript must look past a college diploma to vet candidates who haven’t taken the traditional route. Today’s vetting procedures weigh career trajectory more heavily than educational achievement. This benefits candidates and companies alike – the future of vetting practices looks brighter than ever. 


This article was originally published at Elevate Talent.