The Application Process

How many people really know what is involved in applying for a position?  There are a range of stages. There is some variance between
jobs though the general process is similar. It helps if you know what the process is, and where you are in that process.  The steps are:


Before a recruitment decision is made, the employer will take various factors into account.


The advertisement is the first key for a candidate who can see not only that there is a job available but also the things that the employer is looking for. Often the ad will tell the candidate a little about the company as well, and this will usually promote the employer’s business and the potential
working environment.


The application process involves submitting your cover letter and a résumé.  Some applications will also include a series of other questions to form a questionnaire.

Initial Assessment and Cull

Not everyone will proceed beyond the first stage.  The submitted material will be reviewed and scored. If the scoring is low on some submissions, they will be culled at this first stage.

Ideally a letter will be sent to the candidate so that they are aware, but this is not always the case.

Second Assessment and Cull

The nature of the second-round assessment will vary from position to position but may involve a phone interview or a questionnaire.  This information will be used to again rate the candidates with those at the bottom being culled while the better scores will move forward to the third round.

Third Assessment and Cull

The next round will often lead to a face-to-face interview with either an independent recruiter or someone from the employers company, often the HR manager.  A skilled interviewer will use a number of different techniques to learn more about the candidates work history, personality style, and level of skills.

At this stage, the interviewer will be comparing the responses of each candidate to identify the best two or three candidates for final consideration by the employer.

Proposal to Employer

The next round is carried out by the employer who will again interview the candidates recommended by the recruiter or HR manager. It is possible that they may not interview everyone recommended but might make a cull based on their own criteria.

Fourth Assessment and Cull

If a recruiter has been involved, the recruiter ’s best candidates will be presented to the employer for consideration. This will usually involve sending the CV and a summary of the recruiter ’s findings.

Formal Psychometric and Skills Testing

Not all jobs have formal testing, but it is not uncommon.  Sometimes this will be simple skills testing, for example a typing test.

At other times it will be a comprehensive psychometric examination which will help to ensure that the candidate’s personality style is a good fit for the needs of the role.

Reference Checking

Generally, a reference check will only be done if the employer is intending to make an offer.  It is sometimes considered a formality but it is an important part of the process and can take some time to complete depending on how long it takes the referee to make contact with the recruiter or employer.


The employer makes an offer of employment to the candidate, it
is usually a detailed offer including how much they are prepared
to pay and the work that will be expected.


Commence the position, usually with a trial period that lasts for a variable period, often six months.  During the trial period, the employer is entitled to dismiss without cause or performance management.  If a recruiter was used, a ‘warranty’ is provided for a three month period. This means that if the candidate leaves or is dismissed during this period, the recruiter will have to start the process again and find a new candidate to f ill the position.

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Dr Schultz spent 22 years working in psychiatry and then went on to qualify as a lawyer. He has spent 34 years helping people solve problems and the unique combination of medicine, psychiatry, law and mediation provides a unique academic and practical approach to life's challenges.

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