Setting Criteria To Find The Ideal Candidate

As a recruiter, your primary goal is to find the best candidates for the positions you’re hiring for. However, this can be a time-consuming and challenging task, especially when you’re dealing with a large number of applications. That’s where an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) comes in. An ATS can help you automate the hiring process, streamline your workflow, and manage a high volume of resumes.

Setting effective criteria is a crucial part of the process. It ensures that you attract and consider candidates who meet the minimum requirements for the job. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to define criteria and track suitable candidates using an ATS.


The Hiring Process


Setting the criteria for suitable candidates is the first step along the hiring process, but it is also important to keep these criteria front of mind throughout each phase to ensure that the right candidates are selected:


Step 1: Define candidate criteria

Before tracking candidates, recruiters need to define the criteria they are looking for. This includes the essential skills, experience, education, and qualifications necessary for the position. Existing job descriptions are a good starting point for creating a list of requirements.

As well as the basic criteria outlined above, it is generally helpful to identify desirable criteria in order to differentiate high-quality candidates from those that simply meet the minimum requirements.

To assess candidates fairly, it is critical that criteria are both measurable and non-discriminatory:

  • Use objective measures

For example, widely recognized certifications and skill proficiency levels can be incorporated into job descriptions to set expectations.

  • Avoid discriminatory criteria

Assessment criteria should not exclude candidates based on age, gender, race, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.

Whichever criteria are chosen, they should be realistic. Being too selective can make it difficult to find suitable candidates and significantly increase time-to-fill. It is important to remember that criteria can be fluid in nature, meaning that they should be updated regularly to reflect changes in job requirements and industry trends.


Step 2: Create a job posting

Once criteria have been defined, it is time to create a job posting that accurately reflects the position’s requirements. The job description represents an opportunity to specify the skills, experience, and qualifications required. Doing so goes some way to preventing an influx of unsuitable candidates from applying for the role.

As soon as a job posting is ready to go, it can be posted online and tracked using an applicant tracking system (ATS). Mindscope applicant tracking software makes it easy to post jobs online – users simply select jobs stored within the system and automatically post them to online job boards including Indeed, Monster, ZipRecruiter, and more.

Mindscope also gives staffing and recruitment agencies the opportunity to attract job seekers directly to their own online job boards. These SEO-enhanced job boards are easily integrated into a client’s existing website, with job postings formatted specifically for Google Jobs to give them an even better chance of being found online.

Jobs can be posted to social media too. Recruiters can upload jobs directly to LinkedIn from Mindscope, with all applicants sourced through this channel automatically added to the relevant workflow within the ATS.


Step 3: Use the ATS to source and track suitable candidates

Applicant tracking software automates the recruitment process by tracking and organizing job applications. It allows you to store resumes, cover letters, and other documents in one place, making it easier to manage and sort through applications.

  • Customize the ATS workflow according to specific recruitment processes and job requirements

Create rules-based workflows for different job orders or set up custom templates for candidate communication.

  • Set up filters to screen candidate profiles based on specific criteria, such as experience, education, or skills

Ensure that the candidates you review meet the essential criteria for the job.

  • Use keyword searching to find candidate profiles that match specific skills or experience

Search the candidate database for specific keywords related to the job requirements. This can help to quickly identify candidates who meet both the essential and desirable criteria.

  • Select matched profiles and move them through the candidate pipeline

Quickly identify the most qualified candidates and prioritize them for further consideration.

  • Utilize automated email responses to communicate efficiently with candidates

Acknowledge applications and inform candidates of their status.



Step 4: Review resumes and shortlist candidates

This is the stage where the talent pool gets narrowed down. Recruiters can use the system to automatically eliminate applicants that don’t meet all the required criteria before conducting a more specific assessment of remaining candidates. Once an appropriately sized shortlist has been created, interviews can start taking place.


Step 5: Conduct interviews

When using an ATS, shortlisted candidates can be tracked as they progress through the interview phase, with further correspondence records and recruiter notes attached to the relevant profile.


Step 6: Make an offer

After the interviews, it’s time to make an offer. An applicant tracking system can help keep track of the offer and acceptance process, before moving onto the onboarding phase.


As indicated in the steps outlined above, setting effective criteria and tracking suitable candidates is essential to a successful recruitment process. Using an ATS can help streamline recruiter workflows and save time by automating many of the tasks involved.



Mindscope applicant tracking software makes it easier than ever for recruiters to apply assessment criteria and identify suitable candidates. Request a demo today to see how Mindscope simplifies candidate management at every stage of the recruitment process.