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4 Methods to Shortlist Candidates for a Perfect Hire

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One of the most crucial responsibilities of an H.R. is hiring. It makes up for a large part of the job and rightfully so. Hiring the right people is a pre-requisite to a successful business. After all, it is the workforce that does all the work, so you must have the right individuals in your group.

It is for these reasons why hiring is a must-have talent for all H.R. managers. In this regard, there goes a lot of efforts into making the perfect hire. Managers must know the job description requirement, review resumes, shortlist candidates, conduct interviews, and make the hire.

This is a very lengthy process that requires immense hard work. In this process, perhaps the most challenging step would be the one to shortlist candidates. Amidst the countless applications, it can get tough to narrow down the numbers for an interview call.

In this step, you must be very careful to handpick the best options to make the ultimate hire. By only shortlisting and having the options of competent candidates, you can hire the best one. So, shortlisting candidates makes for a crucial part in your hiring strategies.

Understanding this, here are four methods for you to shortlist candidates for a perfect hire.

4 Methods to Shortlist Candidates for a Perfect Hire

1. Employee Persona

Employee Persona is the semi-fictional representative of the workforce based on similar traits of individuals. It helps you understand your work staff better and enables you to understand who would make the right fit. This is very important because, besides competency, a new hire must also gel well within the company's cultural fit.

While shortlisting candidates, you should compare your existing employee persona with the candidates to ascertain compatibility. In this regard, you can check for the area of expertise, behavior, individual goals, and judge their fit in the company.

By determining this, you'll also know if the new hire would fit well and stay with you for the long term. Here, an employment personality test will help you understand your candidates better to compare them to your current employee persona.

2. M.E.P.

The M.E.P. System stands for "M"- Minimum mandatory requirement, "E"- Essential Skills, "P"- Preferred Attributes. It is a marking system wherein you ascertain points for these three attributes and score the individuals accordingly.

Usually, the marking system is 1 for mandatory, 2 for essential criteria, and 3 for preferable attributes. This system brings the science of numbers into the play to help you make a more rational decision.

Here, the "M" will be your absolute mandatory requirement. It can be an employment contract, immigration forms if applicable, legal formalities, etc. The "E" will be the work qualifications, knowledge of the field, and "P" will be candidate experience, designation, rank, etc.

The M.E.P. process can be time-consuming if you have a long list of applications. It is because you have to check and score for many attributes. In this case, you may want to forego this method or employ two or more people to complete the process.

3. Break down the Process

If you feel that the M.E.P. process will be too long for your taste, you can manually break down the cycle. In this method, it is a matter of simple elimination rather than calculating attributes and scoring.

Here, start the process by ascertaining who qualifies the mandatory checks and eliminate the rest. You should then eliminate the ones who don't pass your preferred credentials out of the resumes you have left.

At the final stage, you should eliminate the ones who don't fall under the preferred box. Thus, the remaining candidates can be considered as shortlisted for the interview.

Related Article: Virtual Interview: A Brief Guide For Recruiters

4. Follow your Instinct

Last but not least, comes your instinct in hiring. Not everything in hiring should be the outcome of a scientific screening process. In doing so, you reject the human element of a candidate, which can count a lot in the long-term.

Sometimes, a candidate may pass all the tests but don't meet your preference attributes. It will result in him/her eliminated from the process. But, that individual may have an underlying passion to learn and be more.

In the long-run, these are the workers that you want in your workforce. If you judge all your candidates through scientific methods only, you may miss out on these individuals. So, sometimes you have to use your instincts to make the perfect hire as well.

This process may be lengthy at times but is surely worth it.

It is a sound practice that for every 100 lists of candidates you get, you should shortlist 12 of those. Out of those 12, 2 will get the job offer, and the one accepting it is your new hire.

These were the four methods to shortlist candidates for the best hire.


The recruitment process is probably what most people associate an H.R. with because it is what H.R.'s are expected to do. Since it is such a crucial feature of the job, you must be able to get the job right. But, like every other corporate job, this is no easy task either.

There goes a lot of effort in the hiring process to attract the right candidates to a company, especially in the shortlisting stage.

So, do let us know if this article provided to be helpful for you in hiring your perfect candidate.

This article is written by Jyoti Prakash Barman. He is an in-house Content Marketer at Vantage Circle with interests in music and automobiles. For any related queries, contact