Shortlisting panel

At least two members of staff should be involved in the shortlisting process. Ideally at least one member of staff should have attended the School’s recruitment and selection course.

Ensure that all applications are treated confidentially and the recruiting manager should ensure that applications are only circulated to those involved in the shortlisting process.

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When shortlisting, you will need to assess each applicant objectively and consistently against the selection criteria listed in the person specification .

Do not introduce new criteria which was not listed in the person specification at this stage.

Decide first which criteria you will be using for shortlisting. Some criteria may only be suitable for assessing at interview or test stage . For example, if presentation skills are an essential criteria for the role, it is better to assess these by holding a presentation as part of the interview stage.

It is also helpful at this stage, to consider what types of evidence you will be seeking when assessing how candidates meet the criteria; remember all criteria must be measurable.

You will be required to score each candidate on the Shortlisting form. Your Recruitment and Operations support person will provide this to you.

When shortlisting, assess each candidate in turn against the minimum essential criteria, essential criteria and then any desirable criteria, giving a score for each criteria.

Avoid making assumptions about a candidate’s skills, experience or qualifications. Frequently candidates make assertions on their application forms (such as “I am an excellent team player”) but provide no evidence to back such statements up. If candidates have not provided any demonstrable evidence, ensure that they are scored accordingly.

You should also be careful to avoid bias or assumption when assessing internal candidates; assess internal candidates against the selection criteria and the evidence they provided on their application form.

Ensure that all the shortlisted candidates fully meet the essential criteria. Normally all candidates who meet the essential criteria should be shortlisted unless there are too many to be interviewed. In such cases, you should shortlist the candidates who score the highest when assessed against the selection critieria.

Ensure that the scoring for your candidates is consistent;

  • If you score one candidate ‘No Evidence’ for failing to have the essential qualification for the role, ensure that all other candidates who do not have the qualification also are scored ‘No Evidence’
  • Your shortlisted candidates should be scored the highest; do not shortlist someone who scores lower than other non-shortlisted candidates and does not meet the essential criteria.

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Avoiding discrimination

When shortlisting, take care to be objective and base your selection decisions solely on the selection criteria on the person specification .

If an applicant has used poor handwriting or made spelling mistakes in their application form, remember that it could be the result of a disability such as dyslexia.

If applicants have had periods of inactivity between work or study, this may be directly linked to a disability or if they have not been employed for a long period, this could be the result of a career break or a period of absence due to a health condition or disability.

If application forms suggest that the candidate has a poor level of written English, discounting the application could constitute race discrimination unless this was an essential selection criteria.

Avoid making assumptions about candidates; particularly if the candidate has stated on their application form that they have a disability. For example, if someone has stated that they have a visual impairment, do not assume that they will not be able to use a computer. Special adaptive equipment, changing working patterns and other reasonable adjustments will frequently enable disabled candidates to carryout the full role requirements.

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