75% to 88% of the applicants who applied in are unqualified but companies are spending up to 23 hours per job (Source: Glassdoor). That costs companies $587.50+ per job! (US benchmark)                                                                      

That is 3 full work day for each job you hire.

If you have 3 job openings, that's a total of about 2 working weeks worth of time (and cost) - only on reviewing applicants.

With only 75% to 88% are qualified applicants, that's a high 1 1/2 weeks of wasted and unproductive work.

WOW.

This excludes the need to pre-screen candidates (Usually a phone interview) or to conduct interviews with them.

Top 3 mistakes HR makes when reviewing applicants:

Here are top 3 mistakes HR are making when shortlisting candidates causing time lost on unproductive works:

  1. They know CVs are fake but continue shortlisting candidates based on CVs.


85% of the applicants lie on their CVs!  This is not new. Fake CVs are everywhere. All recruiters know that.

Dishonest CVs are a recruiters' worst nightmare but what else can they shortlist candidates based on? They have no choice but to use CVs because when you receive an average of 250 applicants for a role, you screen through for keywords within a CVs and hope some sparkling impressive and well-written CV caught their attention. (Great! You've just spotted a good marketing candidate with good writing skills).

Stop doing this: Stop reading CVs to review applicants. It's mostly fake!
Here's what you can do instead: Look at CVs only at a later stage, preferably only before an interview so that you can cross-check the facts shared on the CV face-to-face.  

  1. Being too focused on applicants' experiences and educational background.

    If you focus on an applicants' working experience or educational background when hiring, you may have just missed a great talent with amazing attitude and self-learning ability.

    Read this:

Sebastian is the creator of FastAPI and he built FastAPI when he only has 1.5 years of experience then. Experience does not equal to skills level. Someone with high learning capability could easily surpass the output level of someone who may have the many years of experience needed but may be learning slow.

I also spoke to the owner of a pet Marketplace owner who recently shared that he's surprise that his fresh graduate employee is outperforming a senior employee who costs him 5x more.

Sounds familiar?

Stop doing this: Do not set years of experience and educational background (Degree holders, PHD etc) in your JD. Or at least, don't set as that a firm selection criteria. You are missing great talent if this is a fixed criteria.

Here's what you can do instead: Shortlist applicants based on their learning attitude, skills set or their culture fit. Using pre-hire assessments early can help. This allows you to focus on only the qualified candidates, spending less time reviewing non-qualified candidates.

3. Shortlisting candidates based on gut feel.

Carol Quinn is an Interviewer Training expert in motivation-based interviewing 

As shared by Carol Quinn, CEO of Hire Authority on Twitter,  it is risky to hire based on gut feel.  

This is because gut feel hiring is only based on first impressions.

SHRM also shared that 1/3 of the new hires are either terminated or have resigned within the first 6 months of their employment. They further stated that hiring based on gut feel is ineffective because gut feel hiring is done based on the absence of data and facts.

Stop doing this: If you want to stop using your gut feel in hiring, change your hiring process.

Here's what you can do instead: Change your hiring process by making decisions through data (candidate screening tools), facts (reference checks) or collective interviewers' feedback (Multiple interviewers as decision makers)  


This article is written by Prehireforms.com, a candidate screening tool helping companies save time in screening candidates while hiring right.

Need help with candidate screening? Reach out to your candidate assistant, Lisa at [email protected]