How to manage a large pool of applications in 3 steps?

When you’re in charge of managing a hiring process, you will likely find yourself overwhelmed with a large number of applications. Employers with rewarding work, competitive pay, and the opportunity for advancement will always see a strong response to every new position. Whittling that list of names down to a manageable number for interviews is a difficult process, but it is one that cannot be avoided. These three simple strategies will make is possible to get that stack of applications thinned down to a manageable number.

Add Job-Specific Terminology to Advertisements
A good starting point for managing your pool of applicants is to make sure people know exactly what you are looking for. Vague wording leaves people uncertain as to whether they are qualified, or even whether they’ll like the work. When in doubt, they submit an application and just assume you’ll fill in the information gaps. The result is an overwhelming list of applicants, few of whom may be qualified or interested. Even worse, the bland nature of your posting may not catch the attention of top prospects.

Your advertisements can reduce this problem. Using detailed descriptions of the position will give the reader an idea of what the position actually entails. If it’s not their area of interest, they’ll move on. If it is, they’ll apply. This will go a long way toward keeping your pool from getting too large.

Perform Electronic Screening
When the application deadline has passed and it is time to start trying to review the candidates, it can be very difficult to move through the pile and do that initial review to see if the person is even close to what you are looking for. In this situation, you can use an electronic tool to screen applicants. You’ll simply choose a software system, create your screening criteria, and send applicants the information they need to log into the system.

From there, the software does the work. It will get targeted information from the applicants to determine whether they meet the qualifications that you have established. This is a great way to manage the applications without a days-long, frustrating process of weeding out applications by hand. It is also a greener solution that eliminates the need to print (and promptly dispose of) applications from unsuitable applicants.

Perform Scheduling in Bulk
A common reason for an overwhelming application load is not so much how many you must review but how many you must schedule for an interview. Working through a couple different phone numbers and email addresses for every single person creates a lot of administrative overhead that doesn’t benefit the hiring process. Instead, it just wastes time and money while giving applicants a rather poor impression of how your company operates.

An easier method for scheduling is to use electronic tools. Like the screening systems, these systems help you quickly manage a large number of applications. There are a number of software platforms that allow you to send the same email to multiple applicants simultaneously, providing them with a link to an online scheduling tool. You compose one email and the applicants take care of the rest. The savings on your time and effort are huge, and you still get a neat, self-filling schedule that’s ready for interviews.

Every stage of filling a position involves a delicate balancing act. You want to eliminate every applicant who wouldn’t be a good fit, but you also want to be careful not to miss anyone who might be just the person for the job. A smart strategy for thinning down the pool will help you reach that balance.

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