The Significance of Screening Candidates

by Adetayo Adu-Okubote, Consultant at RS Hunter Limited , November 04, 2015 

October 2015 was surely exciting in Nigeria, particularly for people who are interested in politics, the progress of Nigeria and the socio-political climate of the country in general. Why? Well, the screening of ministerial nominees by the Senate was carried out after the long-awaited list of nominees was submitted to the upper chambers of the National Assembly.

Saraki Screening

I was gobsmacked to see many Nigerians glued to their TV sets as proceedings for the screening were broadcast live. All the social networks were buzzing as Nigerians cheered and jeered the nominees on the Senate hot seat. Now that the messianic songs during campaign and elections are over, we are back to the real business of seeing the federal government form its cabinet and start work to fulfill its campaign promises.

Fashola screening

As I observed the ministerial screening and vibes that came with it from a HR point of view; I was reminded of the understated importance of the recruitment process and the screening of candidates for a role.  For HR professionals, this is not a new process as it is a part of our everyday work-life.

Whilst we enjoy the pleasure of the moment, we should not forget the significance of a successful screening process.  Whether it is for a ministerial position or filing a vacant position within a corporate organisation; a quality screening process is the difference between finding the perfect fit for the job or putting a square peg in a round hole.

It has been strongly suggested over time that the more thorough a screening process, the better the chances of making a high-quality fit for both the candidate seeking employment and the employer. In the case of the ministerial screening, the Senate had earlier promised that it would not be ‘business as usual’ and unlike the past, when some of the nominees were merely asked to take a bow on the floor of the Senate chambers, this time around, they were going to properly scrutinize them by digging deep into their qualifications as well as their moral and social antecedence. This is similar to promises made by recruiters and HR executives when they conduct recruitment on behalf of a client.


However, the question remains: Will these promises be kept or left unfulfilled?

In order for a screening to be effective, we need to ensure that adequate time is invested and the resources required are available at each stage of the process. Not taking the time to carry out a thorough screening may mean the wrong person is hired for the job thereby negatively impacting organisational productivity, team morale, customer satisfaction and even competitive advantage in the marketplace.  However, during the screening process there is also the risk of losing out on top talent when the right questions are not asked or they are asked in a manner that does not produce the answers that are required.


Meeting candidates face-to-face is necessary during an assessment as it provides a non-verbal insight into how well a candidate may perform within an employer’s organisation. Cues like eye contact, facial expressions, posture, gestures and how a candidate responds to a question are only gauged through a face-to-face interview.  Unfortunately, only approximately 50 percent of recruiters take advantage of this opportunity before submitting names of candidates to their clients.

Now that the minister’s screening has been concluded and the nominees have been confirmed; Nigerians are eagerly waiting for the ministers to deliver and by parity of reasoning, we as HR professionals also have high expectations for our candidates to do the same.


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RS Hunter Limited

RS Hunter Limited is a human resources consulting firm based in Nigeria that has over the years grown to become one of the leading providers of best practice HR solutions to small and medium-scale enterprises' as well as multinationals. We offer advisory, recruitment, training and outsourcing services. Visit for more information.

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