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Short Listing CV’s are you getting it right?

I was asked recently by a client if there is a specific way they should be short-listing C.V’s, should they be looking for particular things on a C.V, any signs or trends that might indicate the candidates are a cut above the rest.

Clients use a multitude of different ways to short-list C.V. Some use elaborate scoring methods, some use logical jobs spec matching and others just go on gut feel. All have merit and can produce a good short-list but with 14 years of experience I feel there are points you should always consider which I have detailed below.

1.Skills and experience: This takes into account the job spec matching method above, simply look through the candidates skills and match them with the duties of the role you are recruiting for. If they have 60% of the skills or experience necessary or above then keep them in the short-list as you never know what a candidates potential could be at this stage.

2.Geography: Are they placed close enough to be able to do the job to the best of their ability? If they are happy to commute an hour but it’s not something you would do, don’t discount them based on that reason, after all everyone has different work / life motivations.

3. Continuity: Do they have a good work history? 2-3 years in a role is common place in today’s market, depending on the type of candidate you are looking for you might want to look at progression in the roles, however keep in mind not all good candidates have to be ambitious.

4. Education: Decide on a minimum education the candidate will need to perform the role and only short-list people at that minimum or above. The only time this could be modified is when seeking a candidate with professional qualification’s as sometimes their experience and skills set can supersede a qualification.

5. Industry: Clients are becoming more and more industry specific. I appreciate for some sectors it is nearly impossible to recruit from outside due to the technical understanding needed to work in some industries, this is particularly relevant in senior appointments. I would always, where possible, urge clients to flex as much as they can on this as a good candidate could bring a fresh approach and new ideas if they are from a different industry that could benefit your organisation in ways you hadn’t thought of.

6. Personality: I know it’s difficult to ascertain someone’s personality from a sheet of paper so don’t be afraid to use social media as a way of exploring the social background and personality of your potential recruit.

Finally use your recruitment agency for what you are paying them for. If they are a credible consultant they should already have done the first round of interviews for you, they should have got to know the applicants as people and found out what motivates them in their career. Get them to fill in any of the blanks you may have and put them to the test. Ask them who they would interview and why. If they give sound reasons based on the above criteria you should feel confident that this is the right candidate to interview.

Whilst recruitment is not an exact science, using the tips above will help you shortlist the best candidates from your selection and do away with any time wasting interviews.

 

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