The 5 types of screening questions that will help you find the best candidates faster
Australia’s small-to-medium businesses have been through huge challenges this year, and many in the hardest-hit industries and locations are still weathering the storm.

But SMEs will play a crucial role in the recovery from COVID-19 – which will make bringing the right people on board a priority for many business owners.

A key challenge is that with more people looking for work, there’s more time required to sort through applications. And with so many priorities to juggle, you may not have extra time to spare.

This is where using candidate screening questions in your job ad becomes so valuable. Screening questions can help you spot the best people much faster by filtering out applications that don’t meet your requirements, and giving you a shortlist of candidates best suited to the role.

The key kinds of screening questions to ask candidates

Choosing the right mix of screening questions can give you a clearer picture of a candidate’s availability, experience, and whether they meet key requirements of the role.  Here are some key types of screening questions that can help you narrow down to the right person for the job much faster.

  1. Is the candidate qualified to do the job?
    Why waste your time looking at applications that don’t fit the requirements of the job? By adding screening questions about necessary credentials, qualifications, or training, you can filter out candidates that don’t meet your requirements.
    Example: Do you have a current Australian Driver’s License?
     
  2. What are the key contributions they will bring to the role?
    Asking about what candidates can contribute can help reveal the people who really understand the role – and separates those who are interested from those who are applying for any job. It can also give you a clear picture about a candidate’s skills and experience and whether they fit your requirements.
    Example: What can you contribute to the role of Operations Manager?  
     
  3. What is their availability?
    Not all candidates can be flexible with their working hours. Asking about availability will eliminate those whose availability doesn’t match the requirements of the role. For example, if you need someone to work weekends or nights to balance an existing roster, you can filter out the candidates who can’t work these hours.
    Example: Are you available to work weekends?
     
  4. What is their ideal work environment?
    The social distancing requirements during the COVID-19 lockdown meant that many Australians were forced to work from home, or work differently – and this may have changed their preferences when it comes to the ideal work environment.

    Asking about a candidate’s work environment can help reveal what they really want – whether it’s flexibility, creativity, security or autonomy – and can help you to determine if they are the right fit for your workplace culture.
    Example: What would be your ideal working environment for this role?
     
  5. What is their specific experience?
    Focusing on experience can speed up your hiring process by filtering out the candidates that lack the experience you need in the role, such as team leadership, project management or budget forecasting.
    Example: Do you have project management experience? If so, please describe it briefly.

Recovery from the impact of COVID-19 is a top priority for many SMEs – and it’s likely to be taking up a lot of your time. Screening questions are one great way to make the hiring process more efficient, so you can find the best person for the job much sooner.

Learn how a SEEK job ad is loaded with features like screening questions to help you find the right person for the job, faster.