Screen-In vs Screen-Out Mindsets – There Is A Right Answer

Shannon Ogborn
Shannon Ogborn
Solutions Engineering

2 minute read

An excellent outreach strategy requires a screen-in mindset.

A screen-out mindset is where you look at a candidate profile with the framing: “What about this person does not meet my criteria?”

A screen-in mindset is where you look at a candidate profile with the framing: “What about this person would match or add value to the gaps that we have right now?”

Instead of trying to eliminate people who fall short of the ideal profile, I'm trying to find reasons people would qualify. Screening-in helps a lot with diversity and really increases that diversity pipeline. Part of why I do that is because I’m never looking for the “perfect” candidate.

I once hired an engineer who had been an analyst for several years. He had no formal software engineering background. But I noticed that he’d done engineering coursework in college, along with a few other traits that really fit the role.

He performed the best on the interviews of any candidate I ever put through. Had I been looking for the perfect person, I would've missed out on the best fit.

Screening-in helps recruiters challenge our own biases without lowering the bar for excellence. It gets rid of arbitrary barriers, like specific role titles, or only hiring for specific companies, while focusing on the skills needed to actually do the job.

Starting from a place of screening-in can change your entire outreach mindset. If you want a better top-of-funnel, start there.

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