How to Shortlist Adtech Candidates

When it comes to hiring Product Managers with adtech experience, employers eventually get to the stage when they need to shortlist their funnel of candidates.

The decision of which candidates make the shortlist is often apparent - they have the skills and experiences necessary for the role's requirements and are aligned on cultural fit and soft skills.

But what should employers do when the decision is not clear-cut? When faced with a highly competitive pool of qualified candidates, we suggest utilizing the C.A.L.M. evaluation method that we have developed. This method can help employers make informed decisions when the choice is not easily discernible.

  • Capacity
  • Availability
  • Likeability
  • Mentor


Which candidate possesses the greatest potential to take on more capacity as the business grows? Who has demonstrated success throughout their career, taking on increased capacity? Capacity is an essential criterion because it has the potential of 'levelling up' a product organization as the business grows. This skill set also provides succession planning options which ultimately increase employee longevity.


Which candidate will be able to start the soonest? Candidates with long, drawn-out resignation requirements or previously booked vacation plans following a resignation introduce complications. In late 2022, when the industry saw rescinded acceptances, it was more common when the period between acceptance and onboarding was long. Therefore, it's advantageous to consider candidates who are available to start quickly when deciding who to shortlist.


People hire people, and people hire who they like. Not long ago, a question began circulating among leaders: 'Is this someone you would want to be stuck at an airport with for 8 hours?' If everyone's skills and abilities are equal, the person who seems the most compatible becomes the logical choice as a tiebreaker.


Over the last three years, the Recruiters in our Product Practice have noticed an increase in the number of candidates who cite mentors as key criteria when deciding who they work for. Many Product Managers seek out opportunities to mentor or teach in a formal capacity. When attempting to shortlist from a strong selection of candidates, evaluate their ability to be a mentor to an existing team or future hires. This skill set can unlock future retention and employee development. 

When put in the stressful situation of who to shortlist, remember to stay C.A.L.M.

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