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Shortlisting candidate’s process

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Why do it?

Shortlisting is a valuable step of the recruitment process.  By driving the process either internally or externally by 3rd party HR partner you can better secure an excellent candidate or avoid wasting your time with someone who doesn’t meet your requirements.

In case of 3rd party HR partner you can use who has experience with this Recruitment process


Steps to shortlisting:

Using the job description and personal specification, list all the requirements of the job on a short-listing grid. It may be helpful to use headings. You should have two sections – one for ‘essential’ criteria and one for ‘desirable’ criteria.



Before creating the shortlisting it is an important to define clearly the scoring system and short list grid for proper evaluation the candidates based on the Job description, Organization’s structure, Skills and personal attributes needed to perform the role effectively.

Scoring tool

Design a points or rating system to score candidates against the criteria. For example:

0 = No/poor answer; 1 = Answer is factually incorrect; 2 = Insufficient answer; 3 = Adequate answer; 4 = Good answer; 5 = Excellent answer. You could add more ratings if you wish.


You can use one grip for all candidate, go through each candidates and mark for each candidate to one column that you can easily compare and evaluate on the end of the process. It is highly recommended where possible to have one recruiter per each position for all candidates in order to avoid personal judgment discrepancies. Even more suitable procedure is that each candidate is interview by more recruiters, so each person should complete the grid for every candidate; you can then all come together at the end and compare results.


You can predefined minimum scoring limit as sum and those candidate discard immediately. There might be also for some of competence sets predefined minimum scoring as critical for execution of the Job.

You can then rank those remaining candidates in priority order, highest score first. If you still have a large number of candidates you may want to consider the scoring of the ‘desirable’ criteria.

Final step in the process is to invite the candidates for interview – is recommended to avoid interviewing more than six people for any one job. If you only have one job to fill, interviewing more than 6 people isn’t likely to improve your chances of finding someone suitable.


Dealing with unsuccessful applicants

Is very correct to inform those candidates who were not shortlisted for interview that they were unsuccessful.   


Dealing with successful applicants

Once you have concluded the final short list you should invite the candidates for interview. Obviously you should communicated and requested:

A letter confirming the date and time of the interview.

A list of the documents that they will be expected to bring with them: proof of ID, original qualification certificates etc.


Getting references

The purpose of seeking references is to obtain objective and factual information on the candidate’s.

Ideally references should be taken up before interview on all shortlisted candidates, so that any issues of concern can be explored further with the candidate at interview.

They should always be sought and obtained directly from the referee.

Always ask for two references, one of which should be the applicant’s last or present employer


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