6 min read

6 min read

17 Aug 2020

17 Aug 2020

17 Aug 2020

How to shortlist job applicants to increase retention

How to shortlist job applicants to increase retention

How to shortlist job applicants to increase retention

Carolyne Burns

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Carolyne Burns

Carolyne Burns

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How do you pick the best applicant for the job and avoid CV reading fatigue?

Your job listing is up on all the job boards and candidates are applying in droves. There’s plenty of great applicants to choose from, but… that’s the problem, there are too many when you recruit in the traditional way. How do you pick the best applicant for the job and avoid the predicament of choosing someone who will leave the job and result in the cost of doing a rehire? 

A Global Recruiting Trends survey report that 46% of recruiting executives found that selecting candidates from a large talent pool was the biggest challenge within the hiring process. For this reason resourcing you to be able to shortlist candidates effectively is paramount.

Below are some crucial points on how set the right foundations for a shortlist to be effective for you and the thinking process involved to make it happen to ensure that you interview the best applicants who will also thrive into the long term.

1. Specify the Shortlist criteria

This step coincides with what needs to be done before writing a job ad ready for listing on a job board. List what qualities a candidate must have, and what would make them exceptional for the job.

To help list those qualities, find out what skills and qualifications existing employees already possess, and are important for the role. This step may require speaking to a person already leaving the role or speaking to a manager at the company.

Look at the job description and update it after speaking with the person that is in role or leaving the role. Make a note of the key criteria that is required for the role to include in your job ad.

Candidates don’t like to apply in a vacuum. Think about providing as much insight into the role as possible so that they know they can satisfy what you are looking for in a person to successfully fulfil the role.

Recruitment software with predictive hiring technology takes this ideal criteria one step further. Expr3ss! with its unique Checklist gains an appreciation of the personality and temperament of the ideal employee who is more likely to succeed in the position too. Using existing exemplar staff, data collected by the Checklist is integrated within the software platform in the form of a template benchmark. The end result drastically reduces costly staff turnover for any employer using it.

2. Determine The Size of Your Shortlist

Put the short in shortlist, or find technology that does that for you. Form a guideline and decide on how many candidates you would like to bring in for final interview. 

According to Glassdoor “On average, each corporate job opening attracts 250 résumés. Of these candidates, four to six will be called for an interview and only one will be offered a job”.

If you find that you have too many applicants for the role, perhaps your shortlist criteria is not strict enough.

Because of the crisis the talk before the pandemic was about the intelligent enterprises, higher automation and higher productivity. Now business transformation has to happen.

With the use of technology such as the Expr3ss! Smart Shortlist has been instrumental in helping recruiters through the emergency to effortlessly focus on the Top 5 candidates instantly for any role, regardless of how many applications they receive.

3. Automate Removal of Applicants That Don’t Meet Your Minimum Criteria

50% of HR personnel do not use recruitment software, so with most job listings attracting a large number of applicants currently, this step would be unnecessarily time-consuming. 

However one should automate the process of removing unsuitable applicants that don’t meet your minimum criteria for the role.

Unfortunately there are a lot of applicant tracking systems (ATS) out there that simply rely upon keyword identifying tools to filter out those without the minimum skills and qualifications. While these ATS systems will cut down the applicants considered they overlook those that can still do the job.

Look for recruitment software that has a wholistic view of the applicant and not just their skill set by keyword search or CV parsing.

4. Select Applicants Without Bias

Consider looking for recruitment software that removes keyword bias and other bias.

After narrowing down the applicants with the kind of skills and qualifications you desire, it is time for pinpointing those applicants that will be the best fit for the job for the long term.

For those using average ATS systems there is much guesswork. Applicant selection comes down to deciding on the best fit for the job in terms of attitude, and those suitable to the role and company culture too. It makes sense to hire the applicant that would be most committed to the company, role and fit to the team.

Recruitment software such as Expr3ss! uses predictive hiring technology to match the temperament and personality traits of exemplary existing staff in that role to those of applicants in order to pinpoint automatically those that will make up your shortlist. Those applicants ranked to satisfy the “employability” criteria known to already work in your organisation are compiled in its Smart Shortlist. Up to 5 applicants that meet your employability criteria will be shortlisted for you to focus on instantly.

This drastically removes one of the biggest issues in recruiting too, which is cognitive bias and choosing the incorrect applicant based on preconceived notions. This feature of predictive hiring recruitment software reduces costly turnover from staff whose temperament and personality were not suited to the role or the team.

5. Phone Interviews replaced by Video and AI

Phone interviews are often used in the recruitment process to learn more about an applicant after their resume has been read. The use of these phone screenings are convenient if you have only a handful of applicants, however for those employers that receive a high-volume of applicants for their job roles, no-cost video interviews is the smart way to go. Videos also allow the applicants to shine!

Imagine being able to see and hear a sales person sell your product or service back to you, or have a customer service person demonstrate how they would handle a customer objection ahead of any final face-to-face job interview.

Video screenings enable candidates to respond to pre-selected questions in their own time. They have an opportunity to prepare and show themselves at their best to the employer, which is near impossible for them to achieve when relying purely on what is contained in their CV.

Applicant videos are a huge time saving media giving the employer the ability to get to know a large number of candidates quickly and easily when it suits their work schedules.

Nowadays with so many video platforms it appears just about everyone is making their own videos. Why not bring no-cost video interviews into your recruitment process too?

No need for telephone tag either or the need to constantly juggle phone appointment calendars. The candidate video is ready for viewing when the recruiter is ready.

AI phone technology has gone beyond the usual spoken-word telephone screening too, these phone interviews can be completed in the applicants time when it suits them. Questions asked of the applicant by the AI interviewer are designed to bring objectivity into the equation and be increasingly relevant to help determine the applicants attributes for the role.

According to Expr3ss! “the process reduces the interviewing time for vacant roles by up to 90 per cent when compared to a human executive.”

6. Give your candidates a score 

Traditionally recruiters choose applicants after reading a CV and based on a score of how many essential skills, and preferred skills they possess.

Employers continue to hire on skills, badly … and fire on attitudes which is costly.

The best intelligent recruitment software will automatically assign a score for you using a combination of skills and attitudes against the criteria you select and pinpoint a shortlist of the strongest candidates so that you can quickly move to final interview.

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