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Using technology-based candidate screening techniques for mass recruitment

Recruitment | 8 Min Read

Using technology-based candidate screening techniques for mass recruitment

According to The State of High-Volume Recruitment report published by Aptitude Research and Fountain, more than two-thirds of companies have high-volume hiring demands. However, the process is challenging, and candidate screening automation is essential during mass hiring. When HR managers are recruiting at scale, the entire cycle executes at scale with more applications, effort, and money.

Therefore, traditional screening strategies cause a delay when hiring managers need to evaluate thousands of applications and find the best-fit candidates for different job positions. There are multiple responsibilities during mass hiring, and it is difficult for hiring managers to improve the quality of hires and applicant experience without automation and better screening processes.

For this reason, optimizing hiring methods and upgrading screening techniques help hire skilled talent for the business. Learn more about valuable candidate evaluation techniques.


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What is candidate screening?

The screening process determines a candidate’s skills and talent during the interview. Shortlisting a few candidates from hundreds of applications is the initial process of candidate screening.

Traditionally, recruiters manually evaluated resumes and applications to determine which candidates matched the job description. It involved sorting applications based on qualifications, work experience, and potential to perform well in the open positions and roles.

According to Ideal, nearly 52% of talent acquisition leaders reported that the most challenging aspect of their job is to screen individuals from a vast application pool. This is why it is important to adopt appropriate candidate screening methods.

With modern technology, recruiters can now automate candidate screening using online assessments and applicant tracking systems (ATS). For this shortlisted group, further interviews are scheduled to find the right candidates.


Five candidate screening methods

Different candidate screening methods recruiters adopt during hiring are:


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Screening resumes

Based on resumes sent by applicants to recruiters or uploaded on job search sites or company websites, recruiters check whether candidates meet job requirements. Usually, recruiters match details, such as educational background, experience, skills, and other critical interpersonal and personality skills, according to the job description.

Screening video applications

One of the recent and rapid methods to evaluate candidates is to use video applications. Candidates upload their video applications on the company’s websites or job search sites, and recruiters assess these videos to determine relevant skills in candidates as per the job description.

Phone calls

When recruiters have doubts regarding the resume information and need clarification, they may arrange a phone interview with candidates. For instance, the recruiter wants to know if a candidate can relocate or travel to different locations throughout the tenure. An introductory call with the candidate can clarify these key things before proceeding with the assessment.

Pre-employment assessment

Conducting aptitude tests, technical tests, technical and non-technical interviews, video interviews, or in-person interviews are imperative pre-employment assessments used to screen candidates. The number and type of assessments are based on role requirements and responsibilities.

Background checks

According to Indeed, 40% of candidates lie in their resumes. Thus, recruiters must conduct background checks, including contacting previous organizations, verifying the details, collecting educational background and employment documentation, and checking criminal records.


How to overcome the common challenges that arise during volume hiring?

Mass recruitment requires recruiters to hire hundreds of candidates within a relatively shorter period. Since businesses can’t compromise the quality of candidates, finding a well-qualified, competent, and best-fit candidate is necessary.

The following are some challenges faced during mass hiring and ways to overcome them:


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Time-consuming processes

Mass hiring includes screening and shortlisting thousands of applications via initial reviews, skills assessments, in-person or video interviews, and background checks. Each step requires significant time to hire the right fit for the vacant position and improve the retention rate in the future.


Recruiters can accelerate interviews and the screening process with a suite of online assessments. Mercer | Mettl’s test library contains different types of online pre-employment assessments. For example, aptitude tests and coding tests are useful to evaluate tech candidates’ aptitude and coding knowledge. They save time and accelerate the screening process during high-volume hiring.

Application overload

Glassdoor explains that any corporate vacancy attracts around 250 job applications on average. Four to six of these applications reach the interview stage, and the position is offered to one or two candidates.

There are thousands of applications in high-volume recruitment, and recruiters need to screen applications carefully to find the right candidates.


Recruiters should ask candidates to fill out online forms and send resumes online or through email. These forms should contain a questionnaire to gather details of different candidates. The software can scan and shortlist applications that match the job description once candidates fill out the above form. This will save a considerable amount of time.

Process inefficiency

The Greenhouse Candidate Experience report reveals that 60% of applicants are not impressed by the interview process and require modern recruiting experience.

The time taken to fill out the initial application, conduct negotiations, and roll out offer letters should be efficient, modern, and seamless.


Recruiters can schedule interviews after conducting pre-employment assessments to automate and improvise inefficient and time-consuming processes. Mercer | Mettl’s suite of pre-employment assessments can eliminate inefficiencies in mass recruitment processes, help recruiters accelerate the hiring process, and make data-driven decisions.

Planning paralysis

Hiring managers plan mass recruitment to improve recruitment efficiency and the quality of hires strategically. However, the planning phase can increase additional processes that don’t add value to high-volume hiring, which can exhaust the company’s time and money.


Using recruitment metrics can help eliminate planning paralysis. Data-based insights allow for removing unnecessary steps from the hiring process. Hiring managers can weigh processes that improve efficiency and candidates’ experience.

Metrics also help understand the efficiency of hiring expenditure. For example, metrics from different job boards can help highlight improvement areas and leads from different portals.

Key metrics to evaluate:

  • Interview-to-hire ratio to assess the efficiency of the interview process
  • Time to fill a role to understand the time and money spent on hiring
  • Source of hire to know the best source that offers valuable leads


Eight essential mass recruitment strategies

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Implement recruitment automation


Utilizing automation in mass recruitment can save time and effort.

For instance, 2,000 applications during a volume hiring drive, with each application taking 3 minutes for review on average, can consume around 6,000 minutes. Companies need to move candidates through different hiring stages during recruitment drives, and spending this much time in screening can delay the recruitment process. Thus, it is important to automate hiring processes.

Improving hiring automation can help embrace a modernized approach and enhance the candidate experience. For example, interview scheduling and offer letter creation automation can ensure high hiring efficiency and accelerate recruitment.

Mercer | Mettl’s coding assessments with online coding interview tools, advanced coding simulators, and many other solutions can help automate the initial hiring stages.


Refine branding


Most qualified, skilled, experienced, and competent candidates apply for companies with a good brand image and work culture. For this reason, redefining the company’s branding and improving the employer brand is necessary for a better quality of hires.

Hiring managers should post about work culture on social media platforms and provide positive experiences during recruitment to improve the employer’s brand.


Evaluate the existing talent pool


Thousands of applications received during mass hiring may not help recruit quickly for an important job role. Hiring managers can fill vacancies by creating a talent pool in-house and finding suitable candidates to fill new positions. This saves time in screening, assessing, and shortlisting candidates and helps reduce losses incurred due to the vacant position.


Improve candidate experience


According to PwC, nearly half of the selected candidates reject a job offer due to negative interview experience.

It is essential to determine gaps to improve the overall candidate experience. For example, providing instant results of pre-employment tests, such as aptitude tests or technical tests and responding with feedback after final interviews can improve the experience.


Automated pre-employment assessments


Hiring managers can determine candidates’ skill sets via automated pre-employment assessments to know behavioral patterns, aptitude, technical knowledge, coding skills, and personality. These tests significantly save recruiters’ time and money.

Assessments by Mercer | Mettl enable recruiters to automate initial tests, screening and shortlisting. The extensive set of pre-employment tests, such as aptitude tests, behavioral tests, and technical tests, enable recruiters to make data-driven decisions.

Online pre-employment tests also help eliminate hiring bias. During the initial stages, hiring managers have to screen multiple applications and interview several candidates. This can cause exhaustion and fatigue, leading to hiring bias. Online automated tests evaluate different groups without bias and help hire a diverse workforce.


Define roles categories


An essential step in volume hiring is defining role categories. A different candidate pool should be created for every category to break down the recruitment process effectively. This allows for determining relevant pre-employment tests, hiring phases, and interview requirements.

Hiring managers can create a profile for each category to define the ideal candidate. This can become the benchmark for involved interviewers during mass recruitment.


Revive previous applications


Many applicants reach the final interview stages, but they are not hired. Companies can retain these applications for future mass hiring drives. It helps eliminate steps from the hiring cycle, and recruiting managers can directly move this pool to the final interview stages. This improves hiring efficiency and reduces hiring costs and time.


Optimize time to hire


Analyzing the entire recruitment process helps understand the time taken in each stage, which allows for removing bottlenecks in the process. Therefore, the time to hire metric is imperative for every recruitment drive to improve efficiency in the following ways:

  • It helps reduce the money spent on low-value processes. For example, hiring managers are manually evaluating applications even after the initial automated screening. It can increase money spent on the task.
  • It helps in finding bottlenecks in specific phases of hiring. For example, screening takes the most time, which means companies can automate this stage to eliminate the challenge.
  • It helps gauge candidates’ experience during hiring. For example, if many candidates are leaving in between the process or rejecting further rounds of interviews, hiring managers can find loopholes and improve the candidate experience.
  • It helps reflect on hiring process efficiency, such as how well every phase is executed, whether you are using correct assessments, you are shortlisting the right candidates, etc.



Mass recruitment can be challenging, but improving candidate screening processes by leveraging technology and automating processes can help increase recruitment efficiency. Recruiters can upgrade many processes using pre-employment assessments and interviews to optimally utilize time and resources, which helps hire the best-fit and qualified professionals.


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What is the importance of the screening process in mass recruitment?

How can a good brand image help in high-volume hiring drives?

Why is providing a good candidate experience necessary during high-volume recruitment?

Originally published December 27 2022, Updated January 17 2023

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About This Topic

The primary objectives of recruitment and selection are to ensure high-quality candidates who are culturally fit and work toward shared organizational goals and vision.

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