5 Steps to Effectively Shortlist Candidates

Maxwell Stephens show clients how to shortlist candidates

When it comes to facilities recruitment or any recruitment for that matter, it can be tricky to shortlist candidates, especially if the role has attracted a lot of interest.

Below are  5 steps for finding the perfect match courtesy of Maxwell Stephens:

1) Set a Criteria

You need to have a clear idea of the candidate you’re looking for, whether that be their professional experience, education, or it could be certain competencies you need for the role. So set out some essential qualities that you expect them to have, for example “5 years of experience in the FMCG sector”. This will help you make the initial cut much more easily. Next note down some desirable qualities, such as “team management experience”, this will enable you to benchmark candidates especially if you’re struggling to get an appropriate number for the interview stage.

2) Make the 1st Round Selection

Using your criteria as a guide you need to make the first round selection. This means going through all applications and seeing whether they meet the essential criteria that you’ve set out. It’s the fairest way to shortlist candidates and ensures you’re not letting personal bias influence your decision. You need to have an ideal number of candidates in mind that you’d like to interview as this will help give you more focus when reviewing applicants.

3) Score the Candidates

With the candidates you have left it’s time to employ a scoring system based on your essential criteria. Rate each candidate using a scale determined by yourself to see how they stack up against each other. If time allows do this the next day or a few days later as often you’ll see different things in each of the candidates. Make sure you’re reading their applications fully, noticing how long they’ve stayed in their roles, how their career has progressed and apply a score to them. If you find you still have too many candidates for interview, review their applications again paying more attention to the desirable qualities you set out initially, as this will help you see the candidates more clearly.

4) Interview

An interview gives you a real feel for a candidate. There are many different types of interview you could choose, depending on the number of candidates you have and the role you’re hiring for, read our thoughts on different interview techniques here and their benefits to the recruiter. During the interview you’re trying to get a deeper understanding of their experience, but also aiming to get to the person behind the CV to see if they’ll be a good personality fit for your business. If you have reservations, take this opportunity to question them as it could be that their experience didn’t come across well on paper. You also may want to consider a second interview and invite others along for a second opinion.

5) The Final Selection

Choosing the final candidate can be a big decision, especially if it’s an influential role that has a high profile within a business, such as those in facilities management. So don’t rush in to it, candidates may be interviewing for other roles so you can’t ponder for weeks, however if you have reservations it might be worth discussing them with a colleague or having another quick chat with the candidate before making an offer. When you do make the offer, ensure you tell the successful applicant first and wait for them to accept. It could be they’ve been offered another position, so you’ll want to keep lines of communication open with other potential candidates.As an overall point remember to allow yourself time for the shortlisting process, it takes a lot of effort, but when you find the right candidate it’s certainly worth it!

Peter Forshaw, Managing Director, Maxwell Stephens