Job openings today are few and far between. In a market where there is considerably greater supply than demand, employers are willing to consider new and creative means to narrow down the field of candidates to find people who are best suited for the job at hand. When you’re dealing with a wide range of candidates from across the country, phone interviews may seem like the most expedient choice. But, are they the best choice to help you narrow down your long list of candidates?

Here are a few of the pros and cons you’ll want to keep in mind as you explore whether or not phone interviews are a valid method for you to use to narrow down your field of candidates.

Pros of Phone Interviews

Saves time. This can be a huge benefit for employers who are strapped for time and attention because they need new workers to come in and take up the slack. Of course this is almost every employer operating at the moment.

It provides a quick rundown of skills. There are some things that simply do not always come across on a resume or cover letter. A brief interview over the phone can help you determine whether or not a specific candidate is worth further review due to a specialized set of skills or if you should pass because he or she lacks the skills needed to perform the job.

Cons of Phone Interviews

They can be cumbersome. Depending on the number of people you’re interested in talking to, it can become a time consuming process. The odds are that you’re trying to whittle down a fairly large field of seemingly qualified candidates. You know you can’t hire them all and you don’t necessarily have time for a face to face interview with each and every one either. But it can still be difficult to find the time to make all the calls and ask all the necessary questions for a larger group.

It’s difficult for anyone to really stand out. The other problem with conducting large-scale interviews is finding one or more candidates to really make an impression and stand out from the crowd over the phone. There are certain qualities that just do not come across over the phone lines that can make a person an ideal employee, team member, innovator, and/or motivator. There are some things you still need to see to believe or understand.

Phone interviews are not for everyone or even every hiring need. That doesn’t mean they do not serve as a valuable tool in today’s hiring process when used properly. If you’re struggling with a long list of qualified candidates that are scattered across the country there’s no reason not to consider using this valuable tool to help you find the few candidates worth further consideration.