5 Steps to Shortlist and Hire the Best Candidate

The hiring process can be overwhelming, from writing up a job description to analysing CVs to then deciding amongst all of the great talent. You may already do this, but once the applications come in you should begin to build a shortlist with one thing in mind – quality versus quantity.

A strong shortlist will make the hiring process a whole lot easier, and we gave some tips on a previous post 5 Ways to Shortlist Your Applicants, but we know everyone is different and likes to do things differently. Another great method to shortlisting is to create a scorecard of potential candidates. Yes, this requires more work on your part, however, it makes a great tool when the time comes for the final decision. These scorecards ensure fairness and consistency and allow you to easily identify the strongest candidates. Here’s a simple shortlisting checklist utilising this scorecard.

Step One: Determine criteria. This criteria should be made up of both essential and desirable skills required to perform the job. These can include education, experience, and even interests.

Step Two: Screen. Before you shortlist, it’s best to pick up the phone and get a feel for the person on the other end. You may not be able to tell as much as you can in person, but you can understand their communication skills and find out what they are looking for.

Step Three: Develop scorecard. Once you have determined your criteria, you can proceed to make up your scorecard to rate each candidate you have screened. An example of one is shown below.


Step Four: Interview. Now it’s time for the real test by meeting the high scoring candidates in person. You already know their skills and experience so this is a good time to see if they will fit culturally within your organisation.

Step Five: Score again. If you torn between 2 or 3 candidates, it’s fine to score them again based on your meeting – whether it be on their presentation or personality. These scores can then be added to the total of their previous score to then hire the best candidate.