Overwhelmed by Job Applications? Ways to Cope

Is your inbox overflowing with the sheer number of job applications for your latest job posting? Here’s how to get quality over quantity.

Your recent job posting has resulted in more applications than you can sift through. According to Jobvite, the average job posting receives about 59 applications while a high-volume recruitment role typically receives about 250 or more — most common in the hospitality and retail sectors.

While receiving dozens of job applications is better than getting none at all, the sheer volume of responses may pose a challenge to recruiters in a role where time is of the essence. After all, if you spend a lot of time going through a huge number of applications, you may end up missing out on top talents who are snapped up by your competitors.

Here are some suggestions that may help recruitment managers cope better:

Get Backup

It can be very difficult to keep track of resumes that come into your email inbox — you don’t want to lose emails and resumes in the growing pile, while also managing spreadsheets tracking potential job candidates and their progress. 

To help tackle the problem, consider signing up for online recruitment software often known as applicant tracking software. These help you track and manage applicants more effectively, removing the need for endless email threads and the chance of misplacing vital communication between managers and candidates. Candidate details are also saved so you can retrieve them, even if it’s sometime in the future. 

Examples in Singapore include solutions provided by Octus, JobAdder (which has a free demo), StaffOnDemand and Roubler. 

Ensure Every Job Posting has a Clear Job Description

If your job descriptions don’t clearly communicate what the job is about and what the expectations are, you will probably attract lacklustre applicants and have trouble finding quality job candidates. A good job description should include:

  • A list of duties and responsibilities associated with the role; for example, “compile monthly reports for the accurate monitoring of the department’s budget”. Do list these responsibilities in bullet points as you don’t want your job description to look like a user manual!
  • Skills and competencies. Skills refer to activities that the candidate can perform based on their qualifications and/or their experience and can be learned through study and practice. Examples of a skill include the ability to excel at public speaking or give effective presentations. A characteristic on the other hand is a trait such as strong communication or problem-solving abilities. If required, list the skills you are looking for instance, “only candidates who can use HTML, CSS and JavaScript need apply”.

Read Also: What to Avoid When Writing Job Descriptions

  • Reporting lines. This helps give candidates an insight into the hierarchical nature of the company and where their position fits. 
  • Salary range. This helps potential candidates compare the job (most top talent will do this anyway) to similar positions in other organisations.

Having quality job descriptions should help you get more quality job candidates — high-quality talent that will show your company in a good light and help in future recruitment. 

Keep the Application Simple

Instead of lengthy applications with lots of open-ended questions, stick with the crucial basics that help the hiring team evaluate if the candidate should come in for an interview. This way you don’t need to go through so many details when you are reviewing resumes. It means collecting the most important information first and going into other details later, for example further on in the hiring process if the candidate makes it through to the next round. 

Have a Response System 

Many job candidates often feel frustrated due to not hearing back from employers. While it might seem overwhelming to respond to all the candidates who have applied for the position including those who have been rejected, it’s actually important to do so. After all, no one likes uncertainty. 

Not acknowledging the receipt of a job application can affect your company’s branding and future hiring. Responding to candidates rather than going radio silent on them shows that your company has character and respects each applicant.

Most automatic tracking systems have a feature that allows you to send a response such as an acknowledgement of receipt to job applicants — for example, informing them about the next stage of the hiring process. Alternatively, check if your email system allows you to set up an automatic email reply. 

Train and Retrain Your Recruitment Managers

Ensuring that your recruitment managers are trained will help them know what to look for in new job applicants, which skills to consider and which candidates display the most potential. This will in turn help to improve your hiring process so that your company can acquire better talent. 

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