The Difference Between Screening And Shortlisting Candidates

2 years ago

Recruitment goes through many important steps. Knowing the process is amply necessary in order to be able to carry out successful and complete hiring according to the rules. screening and shortlisting is undoubtedly the phase that allows you to have the right candidates.

Screening Candidates:

The ‘first cut’ phase of the recruitment process allows you to make a CV and cover letter pre-selection to create a shortlist of suitable candidates for your position. This is a process of comparing resumes, cover letters, and application forms to the job description and specifications of the person to find a match.

This is also a stage in the recruitment process in which an experienced recruitment consultant can actually save you time, as they can pre-select a small selection of suitable candidates to interview, saving you time on the many candidates and pointing them to extremely tedious; very often, a professional recruitment consultant will already have a selection of professional candidates that could be perfect for your position.

Screening thus consists of filtering candidates who do not meet the basic criteria. Possible basic criteria may include a full application, a degree, relevant keywords in the cover letter and CV, or knowledge of a given language. Pre-selection is carried out manually or using a human resources management system. This leaves a group of promising potential candidates. If you are certain that a company is working with recruitment software, you need to optimize your resume for automatic pre-selection

screening is an integral part of the recruitment process that helps in removing unqualified or irrelevant candidates who have received through sourcing the screening process of recruitment consists of three steps:

  • Reviewing the resumes
  • Conducting interviews
  • Identifying the candidates

Reviewing Of Resumes And Cover Letters

Reviewing is the first step of screening candidates, in this step resumes of candidates are reviewed and checked for the candidate's education, work experience, and overall background matching the requirements of the job while reviewing the resumes and HR executive must keep the following points in mind to ensure better screening of the potential candidates:

  • Reason for change of job
  • Longevity with each organization
  • Long gaps in employment
  • Job-hopping  
  • Lack of career progression

Conducting Telephonic Or Video Interview Conducting

Telephonic or video interviews in the second step of screening candidates, in this process, after the resumes are screened, the candidates are contacted by the hiring manager, the screening process has two outcomes:

  • It helps in verifying the candidates whether are active and available.
  • It also helps and gives a quick insight into the candidate's attitude, ability to answer interview questions, and communication skills.

Identifying The Top Candidates

This is the final step of screening the resumes/candidate, in this process the cream/top layer of resumes are shortlisted which means it's easy for the hiring manager to make a decision, this process has the following three outcomes:

  • Shortlisting 5 to 10 resumes for review by the hiring managers
  • Providing insight and recommendations to the hiring manager
  • Helps to hire managers to take a decision in hiring the right candidates

Shortlisting Candidates:

When all the applications have been examined, and the screening has already been done, excluding in particular the candidates who do not correspond at all to the profile sought. Applications can then be separated into two groups: those whose profile corresponds to the position and those who may be less adequate, but some elements of which are nevertheless of interest. The candidates to be met will be primarily those of the first group. The applications concerned will thus be able to be examined again in detail before being shortlisted for a possible 2nd interview.

What Happens Next

After the first selection, it is a question of going a little further. Both parties specify the information exchanged during the first interview. Projects and tasks are explained in a differentiated way. It is the HR managers who conduct the second interview, preparing the questions as well as the detailed course of the interview. This second interview is also an opportunity to visit the company: the candidate can get to know the premises, the team, soak up the working atmosphere, and discover his or her future potential.

An Ongoing Process

Tests, assessments, health examination (depending on the circumstances), qualification procedure, test days, etc. are often set after the final shortlisting to obtain an additional objective decision element.


The final step in the selection of the candidate is decision-making. Normally, after completing all the preliminary steps, your shortlist of candidates should not belong. To decide, talk to your teams, they will surely advise you. And do not forget that sometimes you have to take risks and dare to hire a candidate with an atypical profile, but very motivated. Also, the recruitment process does not stop completely after your decision is made, use your pre-selection to anticipate your next recruitment needs.

To conclude

To conclude, recruiting the right candidate requires a good screening and shortlisting. By following the different steps proposed, you significantly improve your chances of finding the ideal talent. Remember, recruitment is not an exact science. Sometimes you have to know how to follow your instincts and dare to take an atypical candidate. Good luck!

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