What Is Shortlisting: Finding The Perfect Fit For Your Team

Shortlisting, what’s that all about, right? Picture this: you’re shopping, and there’s just way too much to pick from. Overwhelming, isn’t it? That’s where shortlisting comes into play.

It’s just like making your own mini list of the most incredible, most exciting stuff from that huge pile.

Whether picking a school, hiring someone for a job, or even deciding on a movie for Friday night, shortlisting removes the headache. With it, you focus on the top options; voila, decision-making’s a breeze!

What is Shortlisting?

Shortlisting is a crucial step in the recruitment process as it helps you to narrow down the candidate pool to those who fit well in the job specifications. 

It will help you save a lot of time and resources, and of course, it will save time for the applicants by removing those unsuitable for this job role. 

The process ensures that the selected candidates are perfectly qualified and have the right potential to excel in this position.

How to Shortlist Candidates for Interview

Understand your Criteria

Your list of must-haves would be the minimum qualifications for the candidates you would like to interview, while a nice-to-have list would have the qualifications the applicant might have, which would work as some bonus points. 

But this does not mean that you would be disqualifying any applicant who does not have these points.

Decide A Maximum Number To Shortlist

You need to decide the maximum number of applicants to shortlist. If you’re not cutting down on the applicant, creating a shortlist will surely not help you. That is the only reason you should have a maximum and minimum point.

In simple terms, you need to understand how many candidates you will move forward with, such as the number or the percentage of applicants you should choose. 

Go For Blind Applicant Screening

Now that you know what qualifications you are looking for and the number of candidates you want to move forward with, you must start selecting applicants randomly.

When you start looking through applications, you would feel that that is some natural pull towards some candidates while there is some subconscious bias which is expected.

When you remove all the demographic information from the resumes and applications, you can go for blind applicants screening.

Get Rid of The Applicants Who Do Not Have The Criteria

Once you have listed what you want as a must-have that does not align with the minimum criteria that you are looking for you want to interview, it’s time to cut them off. 

It would be best to never waste time with applicants who do not align with your needs.

If you’re expecting several applicants, you can automate this process.

You can use keyword-identifying tools to help you read the candidates that will not automatically meet your basics. 

But if you are going to go down the route, just be careful that your automation process is working correctly.

Conduct One Screening Interview

Phone screenings are completely common during the beginning phases of your hiring process. 

Video interviews will make it easy for applicants to respond to all the prompts in the self-recorded videos. 

This will allow you to hear from many people without investing time to screen all the applicants independently.

Video interviews also have some drawbacks, but they are one of the best ways to know your applicants before they send the resume and application at the start of the hiring process.

Give All the Candidates Some Scores

When you have a solid cutoff point, you can prevent wasting your time with candidates who are not the right fit. 

But it is not possible that all the candidates would meet the eligibility criteria. You need to rank the list of criteria in the qualification as compulsory or preferred.

Steps Involved in Shortlisting

Being a recruiting manager, you need to follow some steps for shortlisting:

  • First, you must screen the applicants based on the job requirements and qualifications. You can either do it manually or use an applicant tracking system that uses keyword matching and other filters to select the most relevant resume.
  • After the initial screening, you must review the resume thoroughly and understand the candidates’ qualifications, experience, and skills.
  • The shortlisting process may also include specific additional examinations, such as administering cognitive and personality tests to candidates to determine their suitability for the role.
  • This test can be done online, or you can also do it in person, depending on the job requirements and the organization’s resources.
  • Once the candidates are shortlisted, you must invite them for interviews or other evaluations like presentations or group exercises.
  • The primary purpose of the evaluation is to understand the competencies of the candidates, like problem-solving skills and communication skills. Depending on your company’s position and policies, you can conduct this interview or join the panel of interviewers.

Importance of Shortlisting


One of the best parts about shortlisting is that it will help you save a lot of time and resources. 

Being a recruitment manager, you can understand that the process is long and challenging because it includes several stages, like job postings, applications, interviews, and screenings. 

With shortlisting, you can streamline the recruitment process by eliminating all the unsuitable candidates, which allows you to focus on the most qualified applicants.

It will help you save time by eliminating the need to review your access to several resumes. Checking all the resumes can be overwhelming and time-consuming, so you should go for shortlisting. 

Shortlisting will ensure that the most qualified applicants are considered, making the recruitment process efficient.

Get The Best Quality Hire

Shortlisting is very important for ensuring that you get a good quality hire. You need to hire the right candidate for the success of your company. Shortlisting will help you identify the most qualified and suitable applicants.

Stopping allows you to evaluate the experience, skills, and qualifications of the candidates in depth, which ensures that the best candidate will be selected for the job.

Shortlisting also helps minimize the risk of hiring the wrong candidate for the company, which would do more harm than good. This would also be costly in terms of money and productivity.


Shortlisting is a budget-friendly activity as it helps you eliminate unsuitable candidates early, minimizing the overall recruitment expense. 

But with shortlisting, you can give them good feedback when they are not selected, ensuring a good experience.

It also ensures that the shortlisted applicants have a positive experience which can help your company retain top talent.

Minimum Bias

Shortlisting can help in minimizing biases in the recruitment process. Unconscious bias can influence the recruitment process to a great extent. 

Still, with shortlisting, you can minimize the bias by providing a standardized and objective process for evaluating all the applicants. 

It ensures that all the applicants are evaluated based on similar criteria, minimizing the risk of biases in the equipment process.

The candidates can have the right experience with you because there will be no waste of time for them as they do not need to wait several days for rewards.

There Will Be Minimum Mistakes in Hiring

Shortlisting can help in minimizing mistakes in hiring. The recruitment process is challenging, and it can involve several applicants.

Improves Decision-Making Process for The Recruitment Team

Shortlisting is very important because it improves your decision-making process. When you have to consider several resumes, it can be challenging for you to make the right decision. 

Shortlisting ensures that only suitable candidates are considered for this job, making it easy to decide objectively. So you can expect perfect hiring with shortlisting. 


To summarise, shortlisting is a crucial stage in the recruitment process since it allows hiring teams to cut down a large pool of applicants to a manageable quantity.

It aids in time, effort, and resource optimization by discovering the most eligible applicants who satisfy the established criteria.

Despite its seeming simplicity, shortlisting necessitates careful deliberation and a fair methodology to ensure that every potential candidate has an equal opportunity to progress to the following stages of the hiring process.

As a result, shortlisting serves as an essential link between receiving applications and selecting the best-fit individual for the job.

What Are Shortlisting FAQs

What is the purpose of shortlisting?

Shortlisting aims to streamline the hiring process by narrowing the applicant pool to the most suitable candidates, thereby saving time, effort, and resources.

What criteria are used for shortlisting?

Criteria for shortlisting can vary based on the job role but usually include factors like relevant experience, educational qualifications, specific skills, certifications, and overall suitability for the role.

Is shortlisting a guarantee for a job?

No, shortlisting does not guarantee a job. It only means the applicant has moved on to the next stage of the recruitment process, which could be interviews, assessments, or further screening.

Keep exploring. Don’t forget to check out the ? articles.

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