Recruiting for non-recruiters, part 2.

Updated on: 17. November 2023

So last week we had a look at the initial hurdles we face in the first steps of the recruiting process, It went like this: 1. Analyze your open vacancy…

So last week we had a look at the initial hurdles we face in the first steps of the recruiting process, It went like this:

1. Analyze your open vacancy
2. Write an accurate and effective job description
3. Design an irresistible ad
4. Shout about it from the rooftops


Hopefully by this point you’ll have a fair amount of applications, and you might just be wondering what to do next. This week we’re going to talk a little more about how to deal with the incoming applicants, including some tips on pre-selection and picking the candidates that are most likely to be a good fit for the job.

The idea is that this gets done effectively yet as quickly as possible to save time – particularly if your normal duty isn’t recruiting.


The trouble with getting the first stage of recruiting right, is that you will find your inbox going into overdrive with the inevitable influx of applications. There are two ways you can deal with this:

A – read through the applications individually, manually sort the good from the bad and keep a separate folder for candidates that you think are strong contenders.

B – Have a recruiting system that does this all for you, and more.

For small businesses the first option is fine, however if you’re looking at recruiting more than a couple of new members of staff it might be time to think about implementing a system to streamline the process.

As mentioned last week, I’m going to recommend softgarden software (which is free) but there are lots of systems out there which can help you in certain areas of your recruitment. It’s about finding the right one for you.

Fast, yet effective recruiting

First of all, if you want to keep your employer branding up to scratch it’s important to reply to all of those incoming applicants – even those who you’re not planning on calling up.

Effective recruiting requires you to at least acknowledge your candidates, but how do you do make sure everyone gets a quick response, when it’s taking you days to trawl through the constant incoming mail?

The easiest method is to set up a unique email account for the job advert, and write a nice, automated reply that will be sent to every incoming email. Acknowledge the application, and let your candidates know if and when they can expect to hear from you next.

Don’t forget, If you’re only planning on contacting people who get through pre-selection, then politely point this out. There’s nothing worse than making false promises – especially when someone is waiting on your reply.

Recruitment software can take care of correspondance for you, but it’s perhaps even more beneficial when it comes to pre-selection.

Pre-selection help

In an ideal world we’d only have candidates apply who were a good fit for the position, but in reality it’s a mixed bag which can take a long time to sort out.

The problem with recruiting manually is that it’s sporadic – new CV’s pop up all the time, and after reading through hundreds of resumes it’s hard to not let your eyes glaze over, let alone take in all of the information.

The ideal thing about recruitment software is that it cuts out this kind of hassle, leaving you time to make an informed choice. softgarden software lets you set pre-defined criteria which will automatically sort your candidates into categories for you.

This means that as soon as candidates apply, they get filtered into talent pools depending on the information they gave during the application process. Clever right?

Other aspects of pre-selection

Whether your using recruitment software or not, when it comes to selecting the right CV’s you want to look for strong hard skills such as:

  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Skills
  • Certificates

Additionally, you need to detect soft skills such as character and behavioral traits. The latter are hard to spot on a CV, and therefore it’s important to ask behavioral questions during interview.

Including character assessments in your application process however, will increase your chances of finding someone with both skill and personality earlier down the line. If you choose to include assessments and you’re using softgarden software, then the integration of online tests and is also available via our API.

Recruiting – more than just an interview

Hopefully parts 1 and 2 on recruiting for non recruiters has helped you on your way to finding the perfect candidate for your team. As we can see, hiring isn’t just about the interview. Recruitment starts at the job advert, marketing the advert, pre selection and finally the face-to-face interview. For more advice, take a look at our article Top 6 Interview Tips on how to jump that last hurdle.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Leave your comments below, we’d love to hear from you.

Image Reference – Flickr Oskar Widerberg

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