6 Top Shortlisting & Pre-Screening Tips For Hiring Managers

In Hiring Advice by curtis0 Comments

By Curtis Thompson & Turner Lovell

As anyone involved with recruitment will know, finding the ideal candidate is a difficult challenge. From writing the job advert to interviewing candidates, each step has its part to play in making the process run as smoothly as possible.

For many, shortlisting remains one of the most arduous and time-consuming steps in the recruitment process. When faced with a dearth of applications, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, by getting your shortlisting strategy nailed early on, you’ll be more able to find the candidate you’re looking for. To help you perfect your approach, let’s take a closer look at some shortlisting and pre-screening tips.

What criteria to use when shortlisting CVs

When it comes to shortlisting CVs, your criteria are the foundations for your success. By establishing well-defined criteria, you’ll be able to shortlist candidates quickly and efficiently. Sounds easy doesn’t it? In practice, defining the criteria does take a little time, but it’s time well spent.

Primarily, your shortlist criteria should be based on what is needed for someone to be a high performer in the role in question. These could be anything from their education/qualifications, to work experience, skills and knowledge, personality traits, distance from work, and even salary requirements etc. Ideally, your criteria should include both essential criteria and desirable criteria. Your essential criteria are things that your candidate absolutely must meet to be considered for an interview. For example, certain roles require specific qualifications without which an individual could not legally perform in a position. Desirable criteria are elements that you would like your candidate to have. These help to build an overall picture of the type of candidate you’re looking for.

The importance of clear job ads and job descriptions

Clear job ads and descriptions go hand in hand with efficient shortlisting. The latter is incredibly difficult without the former. Without defining the role, its responsibilities, functions, and expected outcomes, how would you be able to shortlist who might be a good contender for the role? Furthermore, clear job descriptions should result in fewer unsuitable applications.

The benefit of phone calls before interview invitations

Telephone calls with candidates before offering them an interview can be a great way to improve your shortlisting successes. A phone interview allows you to dig a little deeper and screen their skills, knowledge, experience, availability to start a new job and even salary expectations, before committing to an onsite interview. This can help to save both time and money in the long-run.

How often has a candidate sounded great on paper, but in reality wasn’t up to scratch? Or, how often have you seen a CV or application that didn’t wow you, but in the interview, they totally blew you away? By conducting a phone interview, you’ll have an extra tool to help you shortlist or even fast-track candidates for the next stage in your recruitment process.

The use of psychometric tests

In essence, psychometric tests are a way of measuring mental capacities and processes. They provide a standardised set of criteria for measuring a candidate’s aptitude and personality. Importantly, their results are objective, unlike interviews and other forms of non-scientific screening. As with any tool, they are not a standalone solution to hiring the best candidate, however, they can be a great addition to your hiring arsenal. Consider the timing of psychometric tests as part of the recruitment process. Conducting them too early risks alienating passive candidates, however conducting them at the end of the process risks producing results that conflicts with the face to face interview process.

Video interviewing

Over the past few years, video interviewing has emerged as a highly effective recruitment tool. Video interviewing lets you conduct first-round interviews more quickly and efficiently, saving you time and money. This can be particularly useful for high volume roles where you need to churn through lots of candidates. By using video, you’ll be able to watch your interviews any place and at any time. Hey, if you’re really pushed for time you can even watch them at double or triple speed.

Technology in screening

Technology is changing nearly every industry and function, and recruitment is no different. When you see the likes of Indeed.com launching the ability to screen candidates for skills rather than just relying on a CV, it’s clear that tech is starting to have an impact. For recruiters and hiring managers, there are so many layers in which technology can help. In its simplest form, recruiting technology can automate screening by using a scoring matrix, and instantly decide who should be taken to the next stage of your recruitment process. More advanced iterations are also starting to use artificial intelligence to learn or predict what makes for a promising candidate.

If you would like help in securing fresh new recruits for your business, pipelining or shortlisting future talent withspecialist skills, contact Curtis Thompson & Turner Lovell today to discuss your requirements or to find your next job. (Curtis.thompson@turnerlovell.com / +44 207 448 1100)

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