5 Important Steps to Consider When Shortlisting Candidates

  | 3 min read
shortlisting candidates easy steps

One of the most time-consuming tasks in recruitment is to find a quick, easy and perfect candidate for a certain position. It is a process that involves selecting the most relevant candidates to go through to the next stage of the process. But it is also important to ensure that this process of shortlisting the right candidate is reliable and reasonable and follow all the legal procedures. So as an employer, what are the right way to shortlist candidates to make sure you get the right candidate? 

Here are the steps to help make this process more manageable.

1. Decide How Many Candidates You Are Going to Interview

shortlisting candidates decide how many candidates

It is crucial to have a clear idea of the number of candidates you want to interview during this process. This will help you not to have too many or too few individuals depending on the time or the size of the position. Be realistic on the number of people you can interview and think about what worked well previously. You wouldn’t want to miss out on an ideal candidate for the position you advertised just because you interviewed very few of them because the time was not enough. 

2. Consider Providing Further Screening Tests 

It is important to consider tests such as aptitude, competency and others that can help you to see whether these candidates have the right skills. Numerous companies are now utilizing this through the application processes so as to filter and remain with candidates who have potential right skills for the company. You can decide when the candidates take these tests, before or after you have gone through their applications. This will also help you create a no, yes or maybe piles when interviewing the candidates

3. Begin with a Phone Interview as a Pre-Screening Step

shortlisting candidates phone interview

Filtering the first group of the interviewers through a face to face interview can be time-consuming. To ease the process, you can have a quick short phone or skype call before you invite them to a face-to-face interview. This will not only save time for both of you but will also help you have a clear picture of a candidate with some specific questions — and if they are worth the face to face. 

4. Separate Candidates with Essential Skills

These are those skills that a candidate must have in order to be considered for the job. Most of the time, essential skills are hard skills. Example, in a Digital Marketing job, one of the essential skills a candidate must possess is Paid Online Marketing. So when filtering the candidates, the first step will be to reject all the applications that are missing essential criteria. Then you can come to desirable skills. You can jump into this by considering how many candidates you have got after filtering the CVs with essential skills first. If you remain with many candidates, you can then add a filter to the candidates who have essential skills and most desirable skills. 

5. Finalize the Shortlisting With Reference Check

shortlisting candidates

Reference checking is one of the crucial stages of candidate shortlisting. This will help you to get rid of bad hiring as having the second opinion on the candidates will help you decide if they are the right fit for your company’s working culture. It is always advised to have one-to-one verbal contact for effective feedback. 

After the shortlisting process is complete, it is good practice to notify the unsuccessful candidates. You can read here the reasons why you need to give feedback to unsuccessful candidates and how you can do it.

Mustapha Mosha
Mustapha Ally is a Community Marketing Manager at Zoom Tanzania and BrighterMonday Tanzania. He loves digital marketing social media