Applicant Screening

Client Organization

A local branch of a large national organization established a committee to search for and recommend a new leader for the local organization. Materials were developed, ads were placed, recommendations were solicited from the national organization and a list of candidates was developed. Candidates sent in personal information, tapes, videos and a variety of materials. With a committee structure, it was going to become a very cumbersome and complex process if a system could not be developed to simplify the process.

Client Objective

The objective was to collaborate with the committee and develop a mutually agreeable system for preliminary screening of candidates that would keep the committee from bogging down in subjective evaluations of all of the materials submitted.

          Collaborate with the committee to develop key criteria that could be easily evaluated from the basic material submitted.

          Develop simple measurement system that would make it possible to screen out the majority of unsuitable candidates.

What was done?

Discussions were held with the committee to establish a limited number of key criteria as a tool for evaluating the candidates. Once established, numerical values were established that provided a score. Preliminary limits were set and the process was successfully tested.


The committee used the numerical screening system throughout the process to limit the number of candidates that underwent the full investigation. Over 125 candidates submitted information. Roughly 20 passed the screening test. After they candidate made it through the screen, the system was not used for further evaluation. Although it was intended as a preliminary screening process, I did go back at the end of the process and reviewed all of the numbers. The successful candidate actually had the highest score of all of the applicants.