PrincePerelson & Associates

How many CVs do you collect and shortlist per hiring position?

Drowning in too many job applications? Hiring managers shared their tips on how to cull your list of candidates down to a manageable level. To find out what they had to say, read on.
Bec McFarland

Bec McFarland

Bec McFarland, Career Coach at Pop Your Career.

Three to Five Applicants Per Vacancy

The aim of shortlisting is to create a “short list” of candidates to further assess. However, I’ve seen many employers get this part wrong and waste considerable time and resources interviewing too many people. I would plan to interview no more than three to five applicants per vacancy.

With this in mind, if the field is strong and you’re having difficulty narrowing your interview list based on applications alone, there are plenty of objective and reliable assessment tools available to support you.

Consider conducting cognitive or psychometric testing, providing a job-specific work sample exercise, or implementing a pre-recorded video interview process to help you decide who will be shortlisted for an interview.

Approximately 30 Applicants

We offer a world-class internship program for purpose-driven interns to gain experience with mission-driven companies. We recruit three times a year and generally collect 120 applications on average each round. Within those 120, some are immediately removed due to unmet requirements. We then rank applicants as great, good, or maybe. These are defined through their submitted cover letter and resume. We shortlist approximately 30 applicants to begin our hiring process.

Devora Yellin Fish

Devora Yellin Fish

Devora Yellin Fish is the founder and CEO of Up In The Chair, Inc.

Laura Pickup

Laura Pickup

Laura Pickup, Director of ElevateOne Recruitment.

Seven Applicants for Initial Interview, Down to Three for Client Interview

It is very dependent on the type of role how many applications I would look to seek, and how many I would then shortlist. For administration & office support roles, I will typically look to get 30-50 applications from advertising across paid job boards and social media as well as referrals from my network. I shortlist them down to seven applications for initial phone interviews and then submit three to a client for interviewing.

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