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Recruitment Screening and Shortlisting: Business-not-as-usual’s a way to go before we see the economy back up and running. But as employers emerge post-Covid 19, the consistent catch-cry is it won’t be business as usual. That will definitely be true in recruitment.

With real unemployment estimated to be closer to 20%, when jobs do reappear, most likely contract roles, application numbers will soar. Instead of 20 or 50 applications, expect 200 or even 500 for a single role. From clearly overqualified candidates through to people just wanting any job they can get. That will place enormous pressure on the recruiter.

Recruitment business-as-usual won’t cut it.

Especially if talent acquisition has been scaled right back or folded into HR. Or if it’s left to the hiring manager.


It was a similar situation during the global financial crisis. Back then, instead of cutting the internal talent acquisition team, employers stopped using recruitment agencies. When the economy started to recover, HRDs and their Finance counterparts challenged the notion of going back to agencies. Why? Because technologies had been steadily advancing and the GFC acted as a catalyst for change.

LinkedIn Recruiter had emerged as a legitimate recruitment tool and there was broad uptake of applicant tracking systems. The combination of LinkedIn Recruiter’s “open candidate database” and the “internal candidate database” held in the ATS enabled employers to match the sourcing capabilities of agencies.  Employers built their own talent acquisition teams and with the technology, achieved substantial cost savings to their pre-GFC recruitment model.

Similar innovation will take place post-Covid 19. But instead of sourcing, the changes will be in assessment, especially screening and shortlisting. The challenge will be significantly increasing the productivity of a much smaller talent acquisition team.

This time around, the solution resides in artificial intelligence technologies.

Just as LinkedIn Recruiter and ATS were gaining popularity around the GFC, today there are ai screening and shortlisting technologies already in the marketplace. They're helping talent acquisition achieve more for less.

What’s already out in the market? Some of the more popular products are:

Pymetrics and Predictive Hire. These rely on creating a psychometric profile of strong employees, then using that as a benchmark to test new applicants.
Hirevue. Video interviewing technology that uses ai to assess verbal response and facial cues.
GradSift. Specifically for graduate recruitment, simultaneously assesses across academics, work experience, achievements and interpersonal skills.
Vervoe. Various tests for skills and behaviours.
Curious Thing. Chatbot phone interviewing.

Each are designed to improve recruiter efficiency in screening and shortlisting and through the data they collect, begin to predict who to hire.

Like anything, it’s finding fit-for-purpose solutions. Some are simple “sign-in and go” while others require upfront set-up.

Cost is very important. With business-not-as-usual, the objective is quality hiring outcomes, a smaller talent acquisition team and significantly lower recruitment costs. 

Take GradSift as an example.

It’s used by government and private sector employers.

Applications to a single graduate role, whether permanent or contract, can easily exceed 500. GradSift is “sign-in and go”, very intuitive and can be used by recruiters, HR and hiring managers. They shortlist in just minutes without opening a resume. Consistent feedback is that it’s actually fun to use (and of course it works).

It’s a big time saving and really low cost. For 500 applicants, GradSift’s introductory pricing is $499 for a 30 day subscription. That’s plenty of time to shortlist and it equates to $1 per applicant.


Artificial intelligence will lead the automation of high volume tasks.

While some employers are already exploring ai technologies, we expect that will pick up over the next few months as organisations reassess the recruitment function with the objective of doing more with less. Emerging from Covid 19, organisations will have smaller but highly productive talent acquisition teams. The adoption of low cost ai solutions will enable HRDs to again deliver substantial cost savings to the business.  


One good thing from Covid-19? It’s the catalyst for change we need.

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