Narrowing Down Your Candidate Pool

Attract high quality candidates to your job vacancy and narrow the candidate pool down quickly. Then you only spend time interviewing well qualified, appropriate candidates – saving you huge amounts of time and money.

Some job seekers are known to send their CV to as many places as possible, often for jobs they are not qualified for. The hiring team then has to find the right candidate in a pile of wrong ones. Follow our 5 step guide and say goodbye to huge numbers of inappropriate applications and hello to qualified candidates.


Start with a clear and concise job description, avoiding anything that is vague and up to interpretation. Be clear about the specific skill set that is required for the role. Include years of experience, education and/ or qualifications that are needed. If possible, also include the location of the role and the salary/ benefits it will offer. This approach will help deter candidates who would otherwise believe they are right for the role. READ OUR JOB DESCRIPTION ADVICE


Using custom made online applications allows the hiring manager to add a set of specific questions related to the role. These can take two forms:

  • Yes or no – Do you have at least 5 years’ experience in sales?
  • Open Ended – Tell me about a time when…

This method can help efficiently filter out unsuitable candidates and shine light on a few standout applicants.


A person’s performance at interview is not always indicative of their ability to excel in a role. Conducting a job-related task, test/ exercise can be an efficient way to reveal who actually has the required skills. This can often be used as a backup when someone from the candidate pool is impressive on paper/ over the phone but has failed to impress at interview. 


Phone interviews give the hiring manager an opportunity to quickly learn more about a potential applicant and their skills. Carrying out this stage before conducting face-to-face interviews may appear to extend the hiring process but it in fact, reduces the amount of wrong people that make it through to formal interview. 


Addressing salary expectations at the beginning of the process can avoid a lot of wasted time. After all, a great candidate is only great if the company can afford to pay the amount of salary that is expected.  Putting the salary banding on to the job description, including it as an application question or discussing it at screening stage can all be effective ways to deter applicants who wish to earn more than is on offer.  

Further Reading:

How Robust Is Your Recruitment Process?

Create A Great Candidate Experience

Copeland are UK automotive industry recruiters who find you industry expert candidates and reduce hiring times – focusing on quality over quantity. 

Learn more about OUR WORK & SERVICES or Get in touch: E: [email protected]   T: 07973 286342

Let Copeland help you find the right people for your business

Sign up for our salary guide, advice, jobs & more Sign up now