How We Shortlisted Candidates For Our Recent Hires

Michael K. Ocansey
Jan 17, 2018 · 4 min read
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We recently conducted interviews for marketing and software developer roles. This has been the first hiring round where Francis and myself got involved personally in the screening process and boy I can still feel the headache. Our first hiring round was outsourced to an HR friend.

There were four open positions. Marketing, Accounts and two Software Devs. For each position we were super clear on how candidates were to apply and there was a good reason why we did this.

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Instructions for the full time developer
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Instructions for the marketing intern

Even though we both interviewed the candidates, I was obviously more interested in the software developer candidates while Francis picked the rest. So in my email I just setup specific filters to handle all applications that came in with the subject Full time: Web Developer Position or Intern: Web Developer Position. Any email that met the above criteria got a personal response acknowledging receipt of the application and then the applications went into a specific folder to make finding them easy when it was time to schedule interviews. Now this was all well thought out and should have been flawless IF only candidates did as we instructed. Was I ready to handle any headaches arising from candidates disobedience? NO. So…

For any software developer application that failed to use the prescribed subject I deleted instantly. The applicant could be extremely smart and talented and possibly a guru but if you are unable to follow an instruction as simple as using a very specific subject for your email, I wouldn’t want you on my tech team.

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Professor Gasco just sent an application to work as an Accounts Officer with AgroCenta. Well, that’s strange. I opened the CV to check this professor out. He was born in 1991. A twenty seven old professor? I checked his education history and the highest was an HND. It was clear this dude was no professor, but to apply for a job with a nickname was a not not not. I messaged Francis on whatsapp about the application that just came in, we laughed a bit and — delete.

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This guy got the subject right so I was considerate

Well, depending on our mood the day the application came in, we either reminded the candidates to attach their CVs or just ignored any emails that forgot to attach their CVs. If they later remembered and resent, fine.

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At this point I had just had enough

We were very clear and unambiguous about who we were looking to hire. The requirements were in very simplified English but some candidates I guess just shoot emails to any open position hoping for the best. Unfotunately we had to delete mails from computer repairers who were posing as developers.

Having worked in several places we both knew CVs could sometimes under-represent a person so we really didn’t have very stringent requirements. Anyone who sent their emails with the right subject line and didn’t forget to attach their CVs made the list. We just wanted to meet them in person to make a better assessment.

Hope this helps you next time you have to send out a CV. Make sure your email stays in the inbox not the bin.

AgroTales

A curation of AgroCenta’s journey from crawling to baby…

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