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Written by Coleen Cloherty


Screening is a common practice in the hiring process, but it is not without its problems, some people argue that screening is not the best solution for hiring candidates and that it can lead to discrimination.


One of the main problems with screening is that it can be biased. Screening tools are often based on stereotypes and can unnecessarily screen out people due to race, ethnicity, or gender. This can lead to discrimination, as those candidates who are qualified for the role are not given a fair chance to be hired. Although screening tools are commonly used, they are not perfect and may sometimes flag individuals who are not a risk. Unfortunately, this can result in unfair job denials for individuals who are qualified for the position.

Hiring managers often face considerable expense when it comes to screening candidates. This is because they have to pay for screening tools and invest a significant amount of time reviewing the results. For small businesses, in particular, this can be a costly process. To summarize, screening as a hiring method is not ideal due to its biases, inaccuracies, and high costs. If your goal is to recruit the most qualified candidates, it’s better to prioritize other methods such as conducting interviews and checking references.

It’s worth noting that despite undergoing a DBS check, individuals with a criminal record may still commit crimes in the future. Therefore, relying solely on DBS checks when making hiring decisions is not advisable. It’s important to consider other factors as well. Don’t let someone’s past mistakes prevent them from getting a job. Focus on their qualifications and potential, not their criminal record. Everyone deserves a second chance. If you are concerned about hiring someone with a criminal record, there are several things you can do to minimise the risk. To ensure you hire the right candidate, you could conduct a comprehensive interview, verify their references, and inquire about their future goals. You may want to consider implementing a probationary period during which the candidate will receive close supervision.

Competency-based interviews are a type of interview that focuses on the candidate’s skills and abilities. The interviewer will ask questions that are designed to assess the candidate’s ability to perform the role’s responsibilities. This type of interview is more effective than traditional interviews as it allows the interviewer to get a better understanding of the candidate’s skills and abilities. Referencing is another effective way to screen candidates. The interviewer will contact the candidate’s previous employers and ask them about the candidate’s work performance. This information can help the interviewer to assess the candidate’s skills, abilities, and work ethic.

In addition to competency-based interviews and referencing, there are some other alternatives to screening that you can use to hire the best people for your team. These include:

  • Skills assessments. These are tests that are designed to get an indicator of the candidate’s skills and abilities. They can be used to screen candidates for technical skills, as well as soft skills such as communication and teamwork.
  • Work samples. These are samples of the candidate’s work that you can review. They can be used to assess the candidate’s skills and abilities, as well as their work ethic and attention to detail.
  • Group exercises. These are exercises that are designed to assess the candidate’s ability to work in a team. They can also be used to assess the candidate’s communication, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.

By using these alternatives to screening, you can help to ensure that you are hiring the best people for your team.

Our experts would love to talk through what we can do for your organisation and the services we offer, visit our Client Services page, or speak to the team on 0203 176 4790.