Great companies are made of great employees. That’s why the role of HR professionals in any organization cannot be overstated. They help bring in the right talents that will thrive within the workplace culture and contribute significantly to business growth. 

However, the hiring landscape is constantly evolving. That’s why hiring managers have to consistently stay at the top of their games so they continually make sound decisions. To help HR professionals with that, we’re going to explore four screening trends to watch out for in 2021.

Continuous Screening Checks

About 96 percent of employers carry out, at least, one form of pre-employment background checks. This proves the important insights these checks provide in the hiring process. However, background checks only give information about the past. Since people change, background checks must not be a one-time affair. 

As an example, a candidate who had a clean criminal record at the point of entry may have been charged after some years of employment. Without routine criminal history checks, it is impossible to pick up such new information. If such an employee is now a sex offender or is violent-prone, they may threaten workplace safety. An example of a continuous screening check that is mandated by the government is the working with children check (WWC) scheme that is used in Australia. The registration for the working with children checks must be updated every few years and it may be revoked if a person has a criminal history that poses an unacceptable risk to the community. 

That’s why some companies now carry out background checks every two years or during major promotions. In 2021, many more companies will incorporate that practice into their HR policy. 

Social Media Screening

Having more information about an applicant before hiring is extremely valuable for HR professionals. With the rise of social media, this new tool is beginning to gain prominence. People are more likely to express their true opinions on their social media profiles, feeds, and comment sections. Therefore, reviewing such can help give a truer insight into the personality of an applicant. For example, if an applicant makes racist or sexist comments on social media, then employers can know beforehand. Social media screening is bound to increase in 2021.

Shift to Gig Economy

The Global pandemic has given us a glimpse of how the workplace of the future might be – people from around the globe, working together on a single project. This is possible – thanks to the power of the internet. As the number of remote workers is expected to skyrocket, employers must get adept at screening remote candidates they may never physically come in contact with. This is a new and exciting domain that is expected to get bigger in the coming year. 

The Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Screening

AI has revolutionized a plethora of fields and is even transforming the way pre-employment screening is being done. 

AI algorithms are used to analyze individual candidate answers to preselected questions to predict job performance. Recruiters can even make use of AI throughout the hiring process, from advertising to attract potential applicants to predicting candidates’ job performance. 

We are not quite there just yet, however HR professionals are shifting to using AI to make the first round of screening cuts and therefore to determine whether or not a  potential job posting is even advertised to new recruits. Trained on the data collected and learned through previous or similar job applicants, these AI methods can be used to reduce efforts of HR professionals and recruiters that need in order to make a successful job hire. 

Further to this, HR professionals can also make good use of artificial intelligence throughout the hiring procedure, from advertising and calling in potential job applicants for a particular role to predicting the candidates’ performance before they are even interviewed via AI machine learning which is compiled from previous data. 

It should be noted that in most cases, AI doesn’t just operate behind the scenes. If you have applied for a job and then been engaged by a text conversation as part of the application process, there is a chance that you are talking to a job recruitment bot which is also powered by AI. Chat bots which are used in such processes use natural-language understanding through machine learning techniques and are created by AI organisations like Mya. These applications can then help streamline the processes used to reach out to previous job applicants about a new job opening at a particular firm, or for finding out whether or not an applicant meets the particular position’s basic job requirements as stated in the job description statement.

The main advantage of AI systems is that they are faster and they can analyze information human recruiters cannot calculate. As they help to streamline the hiring process, they will inevitably gain greater adoption in 2021.