Evaluating job applications

After the closing date listed in your job advertisement has passed, you can evaluate the applications.

Begin by comparing the applications to the job description. Create a standard evaluation form to make the process consistent. It's a good idea to have someone else evaluate as well to avoid bias.

Check that applicants have the skills and experience you need, and eliminate those who don't. Consider whether they are overqualified or underqualified.

Overqualified applicants may become bored in the role, while underqualified applicants may struggle. Read the applications and supporting documents carefully and try to work out if applicants' goals match your requirements and whether they are likely to stay in the job for as long you need them.

Once you have evaluated all the applications, create a shortlist of candidates to interview. These will be the candidates that most closely match your requirements. How many you choose will depend on how many candidates you have time to interview and the quality of the applications.

Send the remaining applicants a letter thanking them for their application and advising that they have been unsuccessful.

Key points for evaluating applications

  • Make sure you are familiar with anti-discrimination legislation when you select candidates for your shortlist.
  • Check applicants are allowed to work in Australia.
  • Read all the documents submitted by applicants and keep a copy.
  • Treat all applicants' personal information confidentially in keeping with privacy laws.
  • Keep applications on file for future reference, as some applicants may be suitable for other jobs and this could help you with recruiting in the future.

Learn more about anti-discrimination and equal opportunity.