Shortlisting is the method of identifying candidates from the received application pool and determining who has met the best required and desired criteria for the open job role and who you want to move ahead with for the next step of your recruitment process. Companies short-list candidates to identify and select more qualified candidates who meet the requirement for the job openings and those who are most likely capable of carrying out the job duties. Shortlist criteria can include:
Many companies think that taking interviews with all the applicants is the best way as it allows the employers to compare different skill sets and get the best candidates. Theoretically, it’s a good idea. But practically, conducting interviews with every applicant can be tricky as it creates a lot of overload for interviewers. At the same time, it’s quite a time-consuming process when there are many candidates.
Identifying desirable criteria is one of the methods for screening candidates and is quite a task. As a company, assess the critical criteria necessary for the role. One good way to make it happen is to categorize these criteria into two – ‘essential’ or ‘desirable’.
Things that fall under ‘essential’ will probably be the ‘mandatory skills’ one needs to possess to qualify for the role. On the other hand, ‘desirable’ criteria can be anything, right from a particular degree in a particular subject, to a specific year of experience in the industry.
While the company wants to find a perfect candidate, being too rigid with your set criteria can prevent you from hiring someone with great potential. Therefore, establishing the right balance between desirable and essential skills is the way to go. By splitting your criteria into categories, you should filter candidates who tick all of the right boxes of shortlist criteria.
Having a clear idea of how many candidates you need to line up for an interview also has to be decided in advance. After all, it will ensure that you are not left with too many or too few candidates to assess. Think realistically and practically about how many applicants should be feasibly interviewed to meet in the formation of a considerable team of adequate size.
By being strict with the numbers, limit yourself to taking too many interviews. If you’re lucky enough to have many candidates who all appear like they could be the right fit for the company; you wouldn’t want to miss out on someone simply because you set yourself a cut-off point while resume filtering.
If you still have more candidates on your list, after deciding the number of shortlisted profiles that you need, it’s time to consider other eliminating factors. However, whatever the reason for taking someone off your shortlist, ensure it should not relate to reasons that imply a protected characteristic or a personal remark on their lifestyle or disability while screening profiles.
Then you must notify the unsuccessful candidates too. When your shortlisting process is complete, it’s good practice to notify the unsuccessful candidates and also inform them of the reason for not proceeding ahead with their application. Highlight the reason why you have not shortlisted candidates without being too specific about the reason.
Conducting interviews can be time-consuming. So, after elimination, it will be more helpful to have a short video call or a phone call with the candidate and understand him/her before calling for a face-to-face meeting in the office.
It will save you time in the long run, and also will enable you to address any burning questions you may have for the candidate. Or vice-versa.
Conducting a phone call doesn’t have to be long. Maybe up to 15 minutes is probably enough to know the candidate and what his/her hobbies and choices are. The point is to match the eligibility and circumstances suitable for the job and see if they’re worth inviting for an in-person meeting.
If you follow all of the above mentioned points, you will learn how to shortlist candidates throughout your interview process. There’s very little chance that it will go wrong. To improve candidate quality, shortlist the best talents who will future-proof your company for years and years. It will save ample time for the recruiter and money spent on managing long-term churn.
For any questions related to improving your recruitment pipeline, contact NLB Services.