Four Things to Consider When Shortlisting Candidates

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You have used to advertise your job. You have a healthy pool of talent. Now you need to shortlist candidates for interview. But what are the top things to consider?

Must have skills/experience

You have a good idea of your ideal candidate and your job description describes them perfectly, but you should always take the time, before starting the shortlisting process, to make a list of the skills, experience and qualifications you simply cannot do without. Matching CV's to your list will make sure that you can start the shortlisting process well.


Recruitment consultants are very often suspicious of job-hoppers, and they often have a good reason.

A CV from a candidate which shows they often change companies every couple of months can indicate that they have trouble settling in with employers, their team or that they dislike taking on increased responsibility.

Moving between jobs is not always bad and can indicate a candidates' strive for ambition, however, if you are concerned when reading the employment history perhaps you should trust your instinct. With 1 in 3 employees leaving a new role in the first six months of starting, it is critical that you think about your own company reputation and cost per hire to limit the chance of short-term hires.

Career Changes

A serial career changer can also be something to be wary of.

That is not to say that someone who decides to completely change careers is a bad thing, in fact, they can be brilliant hires. Career changers can bring transferable skills and experience across industries that can be invaluable to companies. A CV that shows multiple career changes, however, could indicate a candidate who, like a job-hopper, has trouble settling down a may not be with your company very long.


With a lot of applicants meeting your desired list of skills, now you want to see the evidence. Now, this doesn't strictly have to be done at the shortlisting phase and can be done at interview/telephone interview but, a good candidate will be happy to show you their success and shout about it on their CV.

For instance, a Web Developer/Designer should provide links to previous work, their GitHub account or portfolio. A team leader should evidence how their team performed. An Accountant/Finance Director could show that they have taken a company from a £1 Million turn over company to £10 Million in 5 years.