time to shortlist.
what is time to shortlist?
Time to shortlist refers to the period between when a candidate has either applied for a job opening and when you first contact them to move them on to the next stage of the process. Or it can refer to the the time period between the candidate’s last contact with you (including interview, test or other) and the movement onto the next stage in the process; assuming they are successful. The shorter your time to shortlist, the better.
Below, we'll answer why shortlisting is significant while looking at some best practices and a step-by-step process that’ll help you shortlist faster.
why is time to shortlist important?
The main reason why you should focus on optimising the time to shortlist is that it can help you attract and engage top talent.
The best talent in your industry won’t simply be patiently waiting to hear back from a company. They may have other recruiters and hiring managers in their LinkedIn inboxes offering them opportunities.
So by decreasing your time to shortlist, you can help reduce the likelihood of employees choosing another company before you have a chance to offer them a job.
how do I reduce time to shortlist?
Many businesses suffer from inefficient shortlisting, which results in a bad candidate experience. Below, we'll show you how to streamline your shortlisting process.
1. identify the correct criteria
Reducing the time to shortlist begins before you start hiring and posting job ads.
Ideally, you will want to identify five to seven criteria that applicants must meet so you know what to look for.
This could be something like:
- A degree in a relevant field (although this is less common to be essential these days)
- Three years of relevant work experience
- Experience of working with or within your industry
- A specific skill such as fluent in a specific language
- Consistent work history
Once you have an idea of the perfect candidate, it's time to shortlist those that meet these requirements.
2. choose the right people to shortlist
The most intimidating part of the shortlisting process is choosing who to shortlist.
If you’re hiring in an industry where talent is hard to find, most or even all applicants won't meet your criteria. If you're in this situation, choose the candidates closest to meeting your criteria.
If you're in an industry with more than enough talent, you'll have to be ruthless and only shortlist the best.
3. do you wait until the closing deadline?
Many organisations work to a closing date. This allows them to communicate to all applicants when they need to apply via. They can then review all the applicants and ensure they are shortlisting only the most suitable.
Whilst that sounds like a good plan, it can be a little too rigid and lead to a slower reviewer process. If you are taking longer to shortlist applicants then you will be losing good applicants along the way who are off the market or who have what they consider a “full” interview calendar.
Both approaches have their merits so it’s up to you to choose.
4. hop on a video call
While many recruitment processes start with a telephone briefing call/interview, you might find a video call is more informative. A video call allows both parties to make a better connection and can more closely resemble a normal face to face interview.
From here, you get to know your candidate better and can decide whether they'll fit your brand values and culture. Bear in mind, they will be able to make the same assessments of you as an employer.
best practices for shortlisting candidates.
Let’s have a look at a few shortlisting best practices for you to implement into your recruitment process.
1. watch out for biases and discriminatory practices
Unconscious bias can limit your talent pool because you're only hiring from a specific demographic. So always be fair when shortlisting candidates and let their experience, skills, and qualifications speak. Consider anonymised shortlisting where hiring managers can’t view the name, gender and ethnicity of candidates.
2. notify unsuccessful candidates
It always adds a personal touch to your hiring process if you let unsuccessful candidates know they aren't being shortlisted. You don't have to write a personalised email for each applicant. Simply copy and paste a template and tailor it to your open position. If you have an ATS you will likely do this for multiple candidates in one simple process and be saving lots of time.
3. look beyond qualifications
While hiring someone with a university degree might be optimal in some cases, in today's digital world, you want to emphasise real-world skills and experience over qualifications. This is especially true in fields like tech, where talented workers are scarce.
4. check up on references
If you're new to hiring and want to avoid costly mistakes, always check up on references. It'll give you an idea of a candidate's work attitude and help you double-check whether they have work experience.
5. use a modern applicant tracking system
The best way to manage, track, and organise your shortlisting process is to use an applicant tracking system. This lets you reduce the time to hire, attract better candidates, and analyse hiring data.
shortlisting is easy with hireful.
Shortlisting shouldn’t be a hassle if you’re implementing recruiting best practices.
We recommend identifying the correct criteria, so you know what you’re looking for in an applicant. From here, shortlist the right people but don’t get overeager and shortlist candidates before the deadline. The last step is getting on a video call to understand if an applicant fits your company's values and culture.
But if you need more insight into your hiring processes, opt for the hireful applicant tracking system. It allows you to analyse the cost per hire, time to hire, job acceptance rates, and candidate experience scores. Book a hireful demo today!