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Public Service Commission

Developing a shortlist

Your approach to shortlisting will depend on how many assessors are involved at the pre-screening stage. It is good practice to use more than one assessor but there may be times where it is practical only to have one assessor (e.g. for a short-term, temporary role requiring a suitability assessment). In these circumstances you should be particularly mindful of avoiding potential biases and developing your shortlist based on an objective assessment.

Once the assessor or assessors have reviewed the resumes and applications, you can decide which candidates should progress to the next stage. Be aware of the potential for consensus bias and create an environment where assessors feel comfortable discussing the merits of each candidate without feeling pressured to conform to others’ views.

Document your decisions so you have a record and can provide constructive feedback to unsuccessful candidates. A shortlisting worksheet will help you to consolidate results.

As soon as you have finalised your shortlist you need to communicate the outcome to candidates. Timely communication is critical for creating a positive candidate experience and will reflect well on your organisation.