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You’ve posted your job ad and now you have 100 applicants sitting in your inbox. Shortlisting can be overwhelming and time consuming, so you want to make sure you get it right the first time. Before you go diving into resumes, you need to be prepared. If you’re thinking “where do I start?” then keep reading our six helpful tips for ensuring you don’t miss a perfect candidate.

Choose the right person

The person chosen to complete the shortlisting should have some form of HR, recruitment or management experience. If no-one meeting these requirements is available, find the person with the most knowledge about the actual role and what will make a good candidate. They need to have the time to complete the shortlisting process thoroughly and should fully understand the vacancy and all of its requirements.

Identify essential and desirable criteria

Having an essential & desirable checklist to refer to will assist with quick identification of a potential applicant. Focusing on these key points should be how you conduct your first round of elimination.

Decide on how many applicants you would like to interview, and stick to it

It’s very easy to get confused when only a few applicants are left. Your goal number for interviews is 5 applicants, but you just can’t seem to decide between the 10 applicants remaining. Unfortunately, this is where you’ll have to be ruthless. Cutting out applicants who show poor grammar and spelling or have an unstable work history should help you reach your final number.

Take your time

Wait until the closing timeline before you begin shortlisting. Jumping in too soon could see you wasting your time interviewing the first few applicants that apply, only to find a few days later that someone with more skills and experience has applied.

Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone

If you find yourself interested in an applicant but are questioning their experience or work history, don’t be afraid to call them. You don’t have to promise them an interview, simply let them know that you are in the process of shortlisting and want further information. Getting all the facts will stop you from missing out on a great applicant due to assumptions, and could save you time by avoiding inviting an unsuitable applicant in to interview.

Respect your applicants

Applicants should never be assessed on the grounds of race, age or sex. They also deserve a response for their application. They’ve taken the time to apply to your ad, so you can take the time to respond to them. This doesn’t need to be too time-consuming; you can create a general response that will be suitable to send out to all who are unsuccessful.

That’s it! Six quick tips that you should be following to achieve a stress free and successful shortlisting process.


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