You’ve created the job description, advertised the role, and received a good number of potentially great engineering candidates. Now comes the difficult part of whittling down these candidates to find that one person who will be the best fit for the position you want to fill.

This process is littered with potential pitfalls. You don’t want to waste time and energy on someone who is really only ‘testing’ the market or someone who, on paper, seems perfect but, in reality, does not have the right qualifications to do the job. Equally, even if someone does not seem quite right on paper, they might actually be the perfect fit.

To mitigate against these as much as possible, we have created a candidate screening checklist to ensure your process is as thorough and transparent, highlighting any discrepancies and gaining as true a picture as possible.

  1. Identify essential criteria

The essential selection criteria for an engineering candidate will be based on the skills, knowledge, experience, and qualifications that must be demonstrated for a specific role. There may be some blurring around the edges and cross-pollination of skills, so your guidelines need to accommodate this. If you’re too black and white in your methods for screening candidates, you may miss out on that perfect fit.

  1. Consider further screening tests

If you’re struggling to shortlist a reasonable number of engineering candidates from the initial recruitment drive, you may want to schedule some additional screening tests. There are a number of different tests that will analyse the personality, behaviour, cognitive, numeracy and other ‘soft’ skills of a candidate to give you further insight into their suitability for a specific role.

  1. Watch out for errors

Errors on job applications happen, and there are different ways that they can be viewed. If you are a perfectionist, it might be a glaring red flag that the candidate is not thorough enough. Maybe they did not read the instructions correctly. Maybe the application was completed in a rush. Maybe they have dyslexia. If you have spotted errors on an application of a potentially interesting candidate, then highlight those errors and bring them up in the interview. They might throw up some interesting insights that you had not previously considered.

  1. Look out for any inconsistencies and other red flags

Equally, inconsistencies in an application should also be part of the methods for screening candidates. Use your highlighter pen for any inconsistencies for further questioning.

  1. Consider how many candidates you want to interview

There is only one rule with regard to how many people you interview – as many as you believe could do the role.

  1. Screen candidates before face-to-face interviews

With video interviewing technology, screening candidates before they come in for a face-to-face interview is so much easier. Take advantage of it.

  1. Check up on references

Do your leg work. If your engineering candidates have provided references, then use them, and double check on the calibre of the references, too. These candidates could be playing an important part in your business – you need to be confident in their integrity.

  1. Create your shortlist and hire

If you’ve done everything correctly, then this should be an easier process than previously considered. In an ideal world, there will be one candidate who stands head and shoulders above the others. If not, then go back over your criteria and this checklist and create a values list to determine if one rises above the others.

If you require support in your engineering candidate recruitment processes, then upload your vacancy here.