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The Recruitment Process - Finding the Best People for the Job

Building a strong shortlist is a critical step in the recruitment process - it will save you money in the long run and help you to find the best candidate for your vacancy.

Here are some simple steps you can take to help you get the process right...


So, you've written your job advert, adjusted the job description, and advertised the role across your network (...as well as placing an Ad in the Lakes Weekly Bulletin, of course!); now it’s time to cross your fingers and wait for applications to flood your inbox.

At this point, recruitment specialists the world over will tell you that next, you need to create a 'candidate shortlist' that prioritises quality over quantity.

The application to shortlist ratio

Ideally, you want to have a small enough pool to efficiently manage the recruitment process effectively, but enough candidates to find the right person for the role.

The volume of applications you receive may require you to shortlist all of the candidates who satisfy your criteria, especially when it comes to getting people with the right working visas, but you should aim to have no more than six candidates on your shortlist.

Next, move on to a quick phone interview, from which no more than three should move to the first-round interview. Keep a couple of others in the wings, just in case.

How key are the competencies?

Define exactly what you want your candidate to look like and set up a tick box process. The job description must clearly articulate a set of essential and desirable criteria and a minimum level of skill needed to do the job.

Use these criteria to measure everyone on your candidate shortlist.

'No go' signs

  1. Poorly presented resume
  2. No transferable skills
  3. Too much job hopping - remember to check why they left their last job

The fit

Cultural fit is the most critical part of the recruitment process and it would be good for you to include details about your company values in the job description. It doesn’t matter how the candidate sounds on paper - if they don’t align with the behaviours you desire or match your company values, they will not be a great hire and probably won’t stick around for long.

Considering what a candidate will bring to the team in terms of diversity, skills or even alternative viewpoints should be considered when you are down the final few.

Finally... communication is critical

It is very important to manage people's expectations and keep your shortlisted candidates in the loop - you never know when circumstances can change and a call to an alternative candidate will be required.

For the unsuccessful few, it will only take a few minutes to keep them informed and let them know how they did. If something unexpected comes up, a call back would be much better received by someone who you've had open contact with.

Good luck!