shortlisting candidates

Shortlisting Candidates – How To

High numbers of applications can cause hiring managers to make uninformed and incorrect decisions, which in turn can have a negative impact on staff morale and the overall recruitment process.

A number of clients approach us because they simply can’t handle the sheer volume of applications they’re receiving. Many of them ask us:

    • How do I make time to screen candidates?
    • How do I ensure streamlined processes?
    • How do I find the right fit?
    • How can I make the shortlisting process easier and more effective?


Download our e-book for more tips on running a great recruitment campaign!

Here are our top tips on shortlisting candidates effectively and streamline volume recruitment:

1. Have a plan

How many candidates do you want to interview?
What time frames are you looking at?
When will the interviewer be available?
What resource do you have in place to be able to screen and assess effectively?

By answering these questions, you should be able to formulate a plan!

2. Build it and they will come- market your brand and the role

Never underestimate the value of the early stages of the process. You need to ensure that you’re reaching the right audience.

Think about the role you’re advertising in the same way a marketer would think about a product- think about your employer brand and consider your audience. What are you trying to sell? Who are you trying to sell it to?

This LinkedIn info graphic ‘The Modern Recruiter: Part Artist, Part Scientist’ gives a great example of how this works.

3. Technology

Do you use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)? This should have a built in ‘culling process’ that allows you to eliminate the wrong kind of candidates early on in the process.

This should outline essential criteria and could be anything from ‘Do you have the right to live and work in the UK?’ to ‘Do you have a degree in Engineering?’ (This should all be relevant to the role of course!)

A good ATS means all of your applicants are in the same place and easy to screen and track. You will also be able to contact all of your contacts in bulk, via email or text message.

Ultimately, this kind of technology will not only reduce cost per hire and administration time- it will streamline the entire recruitment process and reduce time to hire.

assesment centre tips

4. Ask the right questions

Ensure that the questions on the application form reflect the essential criteria in the job description.

Have a bench marking system in place that allows you to score each section of the application, for example: qualifications, work experience and supporting statement.

This should allow you to eliminate unsuitable candidates from the process quickly.

5. Assessment Centre

Organisation is key at this stage. Candidates need to be prepped and prepared – this isn’t a time where you want to trip candidates up but help them play to their strengths so they can show their potential.

This can involve preparation calls – usually a week before the Assessment Centre, to inform the candidate what the day will entail; often including hits and tips.

For a time saving measurement conference calls can be used to talk to all the candidates at once – this also ensures the same information is relayed to each candidate.

6. The Offer

You should now have your preferred candidates in mind – making the offer should include details of the salary, job role and responsibilities.

This then initiates the on-boarding period and should focus on engagement with new candidates.

An established induction process will give confidence to the new employees that there is structure within your organisation – this is the time where expectations should be set and training takes place. Time spent on this stage can reap huge rewards further down the line.

7. Feedback

Candidate engagement is of the utmost importance. Do not forget that recruitment is largely candidate-led- you must impress them!

Whether successful or not, provide all candidates with feedback and update them on their progress, if you can give realistic time-frames around the process- even better!

Not only is this a great way of keeping candidates engaged, it means that they will rave about the service you’re providing and reflect very positively on your employer brand.

Are you thinking about running a recruitment campaign? Click here to find out how Cohesion can help




Written by Hannah Ratcliff, Marketing Executive