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As mentioned in previous articles, implementing an effective recruitment process is important, and one of the steps in that process is screening and shortlisting candidates.

Shortlisting is the process of identifying the candidates who best meet both the required and desired criteria for the role AND who the recruitment decision makers should interview. Shortlisting is often the most challenging and time-consuming step in the recruitment process. In fact, 52% of talent acquisition specialists said the most difficult part of recruitment was identifying the right candidates from the applicant pool.

So, how do you shortlist effectively?

Determine your shortlisting criteria. This criteria is the essential skills or experience required to perform the role, and should be outlined in the job description. It can include work experience, skills & traits, education, and competencies. You should also determine the essential ‘must-haves’ and the desirable‘nice-to-haves’. An essential criteria may be whether the candidate is legally able to work in the country, while a desirable criteria may be a professional certification.

Screen resumes to shortlist candidates. According to industry stats, 75% of applicants are unqualified and 88% are not strong enough to move forward to an interview. With this in mind, it is obvious why shortlisting is so time consuming. If a position receives 100 applicants, then the hiring manager will need to review 100 resumes AND keep track of their shortlisted candidates. This is where applicant tracking systems (ATS) may come in handy.

Ask additional questions – don’t just rely on resumes. Formany small business owners doing their own recruitment, a resume may appear to provide all the necessary information such as employment history and professional certifications. However, there are a number of other factors to consider that a resume may not cover. These factors may include expected salary, commuting distance, notice periods, long term goals, and more – all of which are important to consider when shortlisting effectively. You may be able to ask candidates relevant questions as part of the initial application process, or by progressing candidates to answer questions through an ATS. Additional options also include telephone screening and pre-recorded video interviewing.

Determine the preliminary shortlist for interview. Once you have reviewed candidates and removed those who do not fit your criteria, you need to determine which candidates you would like to interview. Your ultimate goal should be to reduce your long list of candidates down to those who could actually fulfil the role requirements AND fit within the organisation’s culture. Once you have determined your shortlist, you should arrange interviews to meet with candidates (either in-person or via live video interviewing).

We know that for many business owners who are doing their recruitment themselves, shortlisting can be the most confusing step with the least time and attention given towards it during the recruitment process. However, if decision makers are not effectively reviewing and shortlisting candidates, then it increases the chances of missing things or spending time interviewing candidates who were not the right fit for the role in the first place.

Why Not Outsource YOUR recruitment and save the Headache, Time and Money?

Manufacturing Recruitment utilises a professional shortlisting process to efficiently identify quality candidates based our clients’ needs. We use an integrated online candidate platform that also incorporates Automated Video Interviews to provide detailed information on applicants to streamline the shortlisting process for our clients.

Manufacturing Recruitment is a genuine outsource recruitment option with a cost-effective hourly charge model. You can outsource as much or as little as you want. No job is too big or too small – $50 to $5,000.

For an obligation free discussion feel free to give Kim Acworth a call on 0411 278 281 or email at

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