What Techniques can be Used to Short-List Suitable Employees from a Pool of Candidates?

Pool of Candidates - Complete Controller

Many innovations have resulted from a need to pair the right individual with the right organization’s right job. However, we are still nowhere close to hiring employees in a manner that is both effective and accurate. This is because portals like LinkedIn offer a professional network that makes it easier for employers to find potential employees that meet their requirements. This is the first stage of recruitment, and technology and innovation have come a long way. However, the next process is the most time-consuming and stressful process for HR as it involves short-listing suitable future employees from a massive pool of potentially similar candidates. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

How does one short-list one person and not another? What is the basis for the selection or deselection of a potential hire? Why is this process so time-consuming? And finally, is there a better way? These are but a few questions on the minds of HR representatives and business owners alike.

What is ShortListing? And Why is it so Important?

Short-listing is the process of narrowing down candidates from an applicant pool. These applicants best meet the desired position requirements, and they are who the organization would like to see in the next phase of the recruitment process. No organization has the time, resources, finances, or ability to meet or place an interview with each candidate that applies to the organization. Short-listing potential candidates is essential as only a fraction of those who have applied for the position are called in for an interview or move on to the next phase of recruitment—deciding who should move on and who shouldn’t is the real challenge facing recruiters worldwide. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Screening and Short Listing

Screening and short-listing often happen simultaneously as a recruiter goes through every applicable candidate. The screening process is essential to the effective short-listing of potential candidates as it helps in eliminating those candidates that are least likely to be a good fit. Many organizations use different screening processes based on the type of position in question and the size and nature of the business.

Determining a set short-list criterion ensures that employees selected at least meet the minimum levels of experience and qualifications needed for the position. Screening standards should be high enough to provide good quality candidates get pushed forward, but not too high either as many potentially qualified candidates might not pass through screening.

A short-list criterion should be based on the experience, qualities, and traits of top-performing employees who are currently in that role. The criteria should never include personal opinions, gut feelings, or own similarities of the candidate with recruiters or managers.

An ideal short-list criterion should include the following:

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Professional Skills
  • Personality Traits
  • Competencies Check out America's Best Bookkeepers


Each of the criteria mentioned earlier can be further elaborated upon to ensure that recruiters and HR managers know what they are looking for in terms of the ideal employee for the position. The better the screening criteria are, the more effective will be the recruitment process for the organization. A thorough and well-defined screening process maintains desired employee standards across the organization leading to better utilization of resources and increased productivity and expertise.


Short-listing ideal candidates can be challenging for any recruiter, but if proper measures are put in place, this process can become a lot more streamlined and less time-consuming. There are no shortcuts when it comes to selective hiring. The most effective recruiters and HR professionals follow strict guidelines when it comes to screening candidates. Screening is more than half of the recruitment battle, and by adhering to strict criteria will help in the most effective selection of potential candidates. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers