Three Reasons to Automate Your Job Candidate Pre-Screen

Managers are always looking for a more efficient way to run their recruiting process. For managers looking to optimize their time spent by focusing on the most qualified applicants, screening inbound job applicants using an automated pre-hire assessment is a must.

There are three reasons why automating your initial response to inbound job applicants with a pre-screen is one of the first recruitment optimizations that should be implemented.

1. It delivers a better candidate experience.  With the U.S. unemployment rate at near historic lows, available talent is in very short supply.  One of the costliest mistakes that a company can make is when they fail to respond to job applicants in a timely fashion.  According to data from Hireology, the company I co-founded in 2010, it takes the average company eight days to respond to an inbound job applicant.  That’s an atrocious standard, to say the least.

If your goal is to differentiate your company through a better candidate experience, then beating this metric is a pretty low bar to clear.  By using an autoresponder email tied to your online job application, you’ll be replying to each and every candidate immediately.  They won’t be wondering whether or not you received their resume; they’ll be pleasantly surprised that you’re running a professional recruiting game and form a great first impression of your company.

2. It saves managers time.  Have you ever had the experience of meeting a candidate in your office for an interview, only to realize in the first three minutes of the discussion (scheduled for  60 minutes, of course) that this person never should have been invited to speak with you in the first place?  You’re now forced to sit there and endure a minimum twenty minutes of what quickly becomes an excruciatingly poor interview, if only to respect the person’s time for coming in to see you.

This time-drain can be avoided by incorporating a pre-hire assessment into your auto-responder.  You don’t necessarily need anything fancy to pull this feat off – Google Forms or Survey Monkey will work quite well.  Asking five to ten targeted questions in this pre-hire assessment will ensure that you don’t get stuck in a dead-end interview ever again.

The email script goes something like this:

Dear [first name],

Thank you for applying to the [job title] position with our company.  As the next step in our hiring process, we ask that you complete a brief questionnaire to let us know a bit more about your background and experience.

Click here to take the survey {link survey URL}.

We look forward to learning more about you, and exploring your fit with our organization.

Best regards,


3. It creates measurement consistency.  When you’re recruiting for multiple roles across multiple managers, it can be very difficult to ensure that everyone is following the same criteria for making the initial evaluation of fit between the candidate and the open position.  Some managers might use the resume as a screening tool, others might look to LinkedIn as a means to determine initial fit.

This lack of process consistency means that you’re creating a recruiting workflow that yields haphazard and unreliable results.  Said differently: you’re asking for trouble.  As your business scales, your hiring needs will scale.  And with an increase in open jobs, your lack of hiring process consistency will become a drain on manager time and company resources.

Screening your company’s inbound job applicants with an automated email is a fundamental part of creating a best-in-class hiring system.  It’s straightforward to implement, it works, and will result in higher-quality interviews.