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Crafting engaging screening calls for tech professionals

Learn expert tips from our in-house tech recruiter on effective screening calls with tech professionals. Learn to engage, assess, and connect for successful tech recruitment.

Panayiotis Iliopoulos

Panayiotis Iliopoulos

Screening calls are a cornerstone in the recruitment process, more so in the high-stakes realm of tech recruitment.

These calls serve as a gateway to gauge a candidate’s fit, both in technical acumen and in company culture.

Related: Screening applicants: best methods and handy tips

Here’s how you can make your screening calls with tech talent both engaging and insightful:

1. Preparation is key

Begin by thoroughly reviewing the candidate’s resume and any additional materials. For tech individuals, delve into their GitHub portfolio and other relevant platforms that showcase their projects and skills. Doing this homework conveys to the candidate that you appreciate their efforts.

On Workable, these links, portfolios, and repositories are readily available on the candidate’s profile. Our platform even provides a quick overview of the candidate’s work experience, aiding recruiters during the call.

2. Set clear expectations

Open with an overview of the call’s agenda, highlighting discussions on technical experience and culture add. At Workable, we acquaint the candidate with the company’s history, product achievements, culture, working hours, and the modality of work (hybrid, remote, or on-site).

Emphasize the rationale behind these operational choices, underscoring their benefits. Transparency is paramount, as candidates likely gather insights from platforms like Glassdoor or via word-of-mouth.

3. Humanize the conversation

Tech professionals, like all candidates, value genuine interactions. Start with a light conversation to build rapport.

At Workable, we go a step further by offering a comprehensive overview of our product – explaining its functionalities, the problems it addresses, and the reasons behind our success as a startup.

We then delve into descriptions about the specific team or department they are being considered for, outlining the methodologies, technologies, and systems in use. We provide insights about team compositions and offer a preview of how they might integrate into one of these groups.

By offering a glimpse into the onboarding process, we aim to alleviate any apprehensions. This approach helps candidates grasp the organizational dynamics, enabling them to better assess their compatibility with the role and the company as a whole.

4. Ask open-ended questions

Blend conventional questions with tech-focused inquiries. Instead of merely asking, “What draws you to this role?”, explore deeper with questions such as “Describe a recent tech challenge you overcame?” or “How do you stay updated with tech advancements?”

With Workable’s scorecards, you can structure these questions and jot down insightful responses, streamlining the evaluation process.

5. Listen actively and keep it conversational

Engagement is key. As candidates delve into specifics, exhibit active listening. In Workable we foster a two-way dialogue, ensuring candidates feel valued and not merely another checklist item.

It’s essential not just to assess their tech skills but also their ability to articulate complex topics lucidly. Promote a discussion, not a Q&A session.

6. Allow time for their questions

Tech professionals often have questions about the company’s tech stack, development processes, and team dynamics. Embrace these queries, as they offer a window into the candidate’s priorities and interests.

If there are aspects you’re uncertain about, especially technical details, assure the candidate that you will seek clarity and revert with answers.

Being transparent about compensation or elucidating the company’s compensation scheme not only promotes trust but also underscores the organization’s openness and commitment to candid dialogue.

7. Be transparent about next steps

After your initial conversation, it’s crucial to set clear expectations for what comes next. At Workable, we conduct both a psychometric assessment and a technical assignment following the preliminary discussion.

During this initial call, make sure to inform the candidate about the psychometric test, which evaluates skills such as numerical comprehension, verbal understanding, abstract thinking, and attention to detail, and concludes with a personality analysis to gain insights into their work temperament.

Next, explain the technical assignment, highlighting it as an opportunity for candidates to showcase their abilities. Emphasize that they have the freedom to use technologies they’re familiar with, ensuring they can present their best work. Our approach doesn’t confine them to a specific coding language, aligning with our training orientation during the initial months.

Additionally, provide a brief overview of the subsequent technical and executive interviews, shedding light on the nature of questions and discussions they can anticipate.

Conclude by emphasizing the flexibility in scheduling, especially if the candidate is navigating this process alongside their current job, showing not only organizational efficiency but also respect for their time and commitments.

8. Show appreciation

End your conversation on a high note by expressing genuine gratitude. Recognize specific details they shared, such as “Thank you for elaborating on your role in the significant API integration – it was truly insightful.”

Taking a moment to acknowledge the time and effort they’ve invested in the discussion can create a lasting positive impression.

Offering well wishes for their continued journey in the recruitment process reinforces that their input was valued and builds anticipation for the subsequent stages.

A good screening call is a brand-builder

An engaging screening call with technology professionals is a blend of standard interview techniques with a deeper dive into the world of tech.

At Workable, we adopt these practices, you not only gauge a candidate’s technical prowess but also build a foundation for a potentially long-lasting professional relationship and a promotion of the name of the company out there in the tech market.

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