17Mar

How to effectively shortlist candidate applications


Hiring for a new role inevitably means wading through reams of hopeful applications if you’re managing this process yourself, or working alongside a recruiter who fully comprehends your requirements and is shortlisting on your behalf. Either way, the ball is ultimately in your court when it comes to deciding who you’d like to interview.

Here are a few ways to help streamline this process and speed up the recruitment process to ensure the right candidate does not slip through during what can be a time consuming process.

  • Start off with an idea of how long you’ll advertise the role for. Are you likely to interview sooner if required or will you wait until the closing date before working your way through the many applications?
  • Conduct your shortlist in 2 key stages – an initial bulk-reducing process to eliminate the definite “no’s” (i.e. those who do not meet the minimum criteria) followed by a refined stage to identify highly desirable criteria.
  • Rank each candidate based on the type of criteria they meet. By tabulating and scoring each criteria the selection process at a later stage will become simplified.
  • Final stage filtering – if there are still too many potential or equally ranking candidates in your shortlist after intensive fine-tuning, filter these further by checking non-essential qualities for the role e.g. subsequent training, sector experience, technical knowledge, competitorinsights
  • And start interviewing – move quickly once your candidates have been shortlisted to engage their interests further or you stand the chance of losing them to other organisations who are advertising lucrative roles.

In conclusion, as a best practice always try and stick to your original criteria process as it will ensure your decision making is well thought out and efficiently managed. But remember that it’s also fine to be flexible when required and that in some instances you need to trust your instincts too. It is often near impossible to have a CV which ticks all of your essential and non-essential criteria boxes so recognise that you may have to deviate slightly when and if required.

If you’d like more information on how to streamline your hiring or are frustrated with your current recruitment process get in touch with Chris Mason now on 01727 736690.

Leaders in Marketing, eCommerce and Product Management Recruitment


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