What to look out for when shortlisting candidates for interview

Being tasked with deciding the most qualified, relevant and best matched employee for your organisation isn’t easy. Here’s some top tips to help pinpoint the correct candidate for your company, starting with their CV…

Skills & Qualifications

So you’ve written your job description and have your ideal candidate profile in mind. Be sure to take the time to outline the key skills, qualifications and competencies you require when perusing candidates’ CVs. Time-saving tip! If you’re drawing up your candidate shortlist on a computer you can search documents using CTRL+F to find keywords and save time finding the best-fitting candidates.

Beware Job-hopping & Career Changing

There’s a good reason recruiters are suspicious of job-hoppers. If a candidate changes roles every couple of months this could indicate that they don’t settle in well with their employers or handle increased responsibility. Ambition is always a factor to consider, however, with stats showing that one in three employees leave a new role within the first six months of joining, so it’s important to consider your cost per hire and limit the chance of a short-term hire. You also have to bear in mind the longevity of the career changer. Although career changers can be an asset to your company with their ability to transfer skills across several industries, it could also been an indicator that the candidate is impulsive and unlikely to stay at your organisation long term.

CV tailored to fit the JD

If a candidate sends you a one-size-fits-all CV, it could mean that they haven’t fully bought into the ethos of your company. Look for the following clues: do they mention your company in their cover letter? Does the formatting and language of their CV mirror your JD? These small things could pinpoint a candidate whose application is earnest, as opposed to one sending quick-fire applications. That’s not to say that someone applying for more than one role wouldn’t be a good hire, however a person who has taken the time to research your company and your working practices could be a truly outstanding interviewee.

Evidence is Everything

Once you’re at the shortlist stage, it’s time to play detective and check for evidence! A candidate acted as Team Leader? Where’s the ROI figures? Built a website? Where is the link? A good candidate will share successes as well as skills – proving they can walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

Preparation for the Second Stage 

Once you’ve shortlisted the candidates you’d like to progress to interview, it’s time to prep those key candidate questions. It’s important to assess attitude and aptitude when finding your ideal applicant; the perfect hire should be one that fits your business and workplace culture. 

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