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How HR Shortlist Candidate on telephonic Conversation

Hidden Techniques Exposed: How HR Shortlist a Candidate based on Telephonic Conversation.

How HR Shortlist Candidate based on Telephonic Conversation.

You made up your mind to change your job and you finally designed your resume and upload it on job portals. You try all your keyword research and resume ranking techniques and finally started getting job calls from the concern recruitment panels or technical recruiters. You observed that you get job calls but fail to get shortlisted in the initial telephoning screening itself. Have you ever tried your level best to find out why you never get shortlisted or why you don’t get job calls for the face-to-face interview even after getting initial calls from recruiters?

You may have heard the same set of repetitive replies from most of the HR recruiters as “We will let you know about your shortlisting later”, “We still have some candidates in pipeline and once shortlisted will let you know about your face-to-face interview”, “Manager’s not in town, so can’t schedule face to face interview now” and  the most favorite – “We will call you, once shortlisted” and  “We will get back to you” are some of the most common phrases used by the HR recruiters on calls to indirectly let you know about rejections on telephonic screening (not every time).

So, let’s understand what are the various possible ways via which an HR shortlist a candidate via telephonic calls at the same time lets understand the different hurdles – “Why candidates don’t get shortlisted for Jobs Interviews ?” 

1. Limited Reach Candidates.

  • The first hurdle which most of the candidates go through is via job portal filtration process because of which 90% of the candidates get filtered and don’t even get any job calls.
  • This step is very crucial and every candidate should try knowing the tricks to rank resume as much higher as possible.
  • This trend is going to be repeated again and again since most of the recruiter’s approach only 30-50 candidates max, for around 10 positions.
  • Avoid mentioning “Blank” or “Zero” levels – CTC in their job portals since these CTC’s are always filtered and not supported by any recruiters in any of their job search patterns.

Read More:

“How to get maximum job calls” 


“Why you should not set your salary to Zero or Confidential in Job Portals”

2. Resume Format.

  • Technical recruiter hates complicated resume formats. Candidates get rejected even before reading their resume’s headers or selling pointers.
  • Some recruiters are required to format resumes in a specific format, required by the clients. If they fail to do so, they usually reject the resume.
  • Prefer simple format resume and if required for confidentiality of your original details, one can save the resume in (.pdf) format as well.
  • Some HR’s and the technical panel can easily shortlist the resume for the final pool of candidates even by just looking at the resume format and the way it has been designed. Most of the time such resumes are taken ahead in the next level of shortlisting since they do believe that the candidate is confident and disciplined in his life which can be reflected even during their telephonic conversation, thereby considered as a good match for the role.

3. Job Portal Details

  • Try to complete 100% accuracy by satisfying most of the job portal details.
  • Avoid hiding details like your firm’s name, certain certifications, etc.
  • Most Important – Don’t hide CTC details by leaving it as either blank or Zero.
  • Fill in the details even in tabular or table format since some technical recruiters decide your relevant skills based on the skills mentioned in it.
  • In the case of higher-level or top management jobs or best-paid jobs, technical recruiters avoid wasting time and prefer connecting or shortlisting only the Verified job portal candidates. So make sure that your Email and cell no is verified for any job portals.

4. Active Interest.

  • We know you are busy with your project delivery, at the same time you also have a “To-Do list” to get a job change. In such conditions always be alert especially when you are busy and cannot reply in a smooth way to the job calls you receive. Technical recruiters always try their level best to know your active interest and then analyze further to shortlist you in the final pool of candidates or not.
  • Avoid being rude and try to sound as confident and to the point, as you can in your overall approach to the role.
  • Some candidates tend to be busy and reply as if the job calls are more like to be an option for them. They sound – they may or may not be interested in the role. In such cases, most of the candidates are either kept on hold or as an option for backup in schedule.

5. Mis-match of details.

  • Some recruiters reject or filter candidates based on the mismatch of details in the resume and the job portals. Experience mentioned in the job portal may be 6 yrs while that in the resume seems to be  5.7 yrs. Based on mismatch entries, technical recruiters may avoid calling you or can even put your profile on hold.
  • Have working experience in XXX” in the Job portal details while “Have knowledge of XXX” in the resume may even force the technical recruiters to reject your profile.
  • Entry of 3.6 yrs of relevant experience in your resume and when asked by a recruiter, you reply 2.8 yrs – this confused approach can lead to rejections by the HR in their telephonic shortlisting.

6. Notice Period Factors.

  • This is the hot favorite reason for rejecting most of the candidates at the very first level.
  • It is highly observed that the candidates with 90 days notice period are highly avoided in the filtration process but this is not true, read below to know about the same in detail;

Read here in detail:

“Myths about 60 – 90 Days Notice Period”


How an Offer was revoked for a Fake Notice period at last minute”

7. Confidence Testing.

  • Can you ever imagine that even in your busy schedule or live project assignment your confidence is tested?
  • It is observed that the technical recruiters try their level best to talk to you at least minimum 2 minutes in order to get your details but within these process, they also test your confidence level or your level of technical interest in the role by asking you some basic questions (in some cases).
  • Your voice pitch, voice modulation and the way you behave and reply to the technical recruiters make a difference in the initial screening.
  • In US, UK, and European countries, technical recruiters have a designed pointing system before they shortlist the final pool of candidates to be interviewed. These points are based on your on-call – Telephonic conversation with them which includes your interest level, the way you pitch your current roles and responsibilities, you’re on call behavior and based on the details provided by you.

8. Gap Compatibility.

  • Some individuals may have their own set of reasons for gap either in their educational career or during their work tenure. Some HR’s are sharp enough to evaluate candidates based on your date of birth in order to find your gap. (In India, 1986 born candidate should pass out in 2007 (general graduation) and 2008 in case of an engineering graduate. If they find, you passed out in 2009, they are prone to ask you a reason on the same.)
  • In case of a gap in work experience, try explaining with a one-liner below every experience in your resume – the exact reason for job change including the reason for gap.

9. Various Call Hurdles.

  • One mistake which some candidates do is to have a Telecom Network not compatible with their office location because of which candidate’s loose crucial openings and fail to succeed in their job search as well as in their overall career and financial development.
  • Research also shows call disturbance or network issues as one of the major reasons for rejections during initial Whatsapp/Call/Skype interviews.
  • So always, we recommend you to have a network which is good and compatible with your home and office location.

10. Mismatch of Experience or Role.

  • We look for a job change, but are we really serious about the job change?. There are various parameters which the technical recruiters evaluate in order to find candidates interests in the type of role offered. One such parameter is a mismatch of basic details like the experience range, salary, primary skills, Job location etc.
  • Most of the times, in order to get a schedule from the technical panel, some candidates tend to be on the positive side of the details asked to them. In such cases,  HRs reject – if the concerned HR evaluates that you have worked majority on X- Skillset but showing interest in Y- Skillset, these usually happen in case of roles offered to them.
  • It is also observed that the smart and talented candidates express exact CTC or salary in the job portal and also when discussed on telephonic they answer the same. The major hurdle to get rejected comes into focus when your job portals say 7.50 Lacs or $5000 and while telephonic screening you reply something else. This shows either you are not confident or may not be so focused as per the minute details in life are concerned.

11. Qualification Barriers.

  • Gap during your educational qualification or during your work tenure if reflected in a negative way can lead to on-call screen rejection even if you pass on positive waves.
  • Make sure that you always add a one-liner comment in case of gaps (wherever possible) which can help you drive positive in the minds of the recruiter who shortlist your profile.

12. Domain Barriers.

  • Selection is usually based on domain expertise. It’s good to highlight your overall domain experience wherever possible. This gives recruiters a clear picture to know the right candidate for the type of openings available with them.
  • Some candidates tend to shift domains on most job shifts which may not be the relevant need for any new project hiring. Relevant domain experience is always considered as hot favorites in the initial shortlisting as well as final hiring is concerned. (Even if you change your domain, try to have at least relevant of 2 yrs exp into the new domain)

 13. Primary skills or certification Barrier.

  • Confident candidates always highlight and place their certification logo in the header section of the resume which becomes their strong selling point. Technical Recruiters always give weight-age to such logos and certification, resulting in the immediate short listing of the profile.
  • Some candidates design their resume with the aim to get shortlisted with the right placement of their certification logo and their primary skill set in the header section of the resume, in roles and responsibilities, technology and in the initial selling pointers

 14. Fail to answer the basics.

  • There are fake resumes or candidates on any job portal. Technical recruiters try their level best to identify them via various recruitment strategies. One of these includes the process to ask you something which the technical panel is aware but the fake candidate may not be.
  • Fake candidates usually fail to address the details mentioned in the resume like the DOB, exact project experience, about basic FAQ’s, etc which helps recruiters to identify the fake or weak candidate among the pool of candidates they approach.

15. Location Preference.

  • HR Panels are aware of per your location, how long can you travel. Initial shortlisting fails when the HR highlights that you have a 90 Days notice period and you are more prone to hop for more offers just to get the right and nearby location.
  • In the US, most hiring firms are aware of this pattern and don’t take the risk due to which they have high turnout and joining ratio.

17. Importance of Recalls or fail to identify.

  • Candidates looking for a job on serious note always save the number on the very first call so that they can follow-up with the hiring team in their later stage of the interview as well.
  • Some candidates don’t give much importance to save because of which the candidate fails to identify and unknowingly gives clue to the hiring team that you are not serious in looking for a job change resulting in initial screen rejections.
  • Also, make sure that you have a readily planned schedule when asked: “when will it be possible to come for an interview” some candidates are clueless about the schedule part and fails to give interview due to lack of planning.

18. Multiple Job Offers.

    • Multiple Job Offers or best dream job always change the attitude and behavior of the candidate especially when approaching the next interview.
    • Candidates could not handle success and fail to qualify the basic screening required to get shortlisted. It is always suggested that you discuss only the best offer from a good firm you have instead of discussing the other offers.
  • Hiring team usually keep such candidates on hold or reject them in the screening process.

So these are the 18 top pointers via which an HR shortlist a candidate for telephonic conversation. Feel free to comment on your views.

About Nitin Ravale

Nitin Ravale is a HR turned Pro Blogger and Youtuber who makes his living via Online Digital Marketing sources.

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