Cut through the clutter: How to manage too many applications
Receiving many job applications for your role may seem like a good problem to have, but it can make finding the perfect candidate much more difficult. Here’s how to find the best candidates amongst your pile of applications.

For employers and hiring managers, receiving job applications is an exciting time, as there are high hopes to find the ideal candidate for a role. However, there is a considerable administrative and financial component to recruiting, making it important to ensure you are attracting quality candidates over quantity.

Cutting through the clutter of applications begins in the job ad writing process.

Best practice job ad writing

Your job ad is the first part in attracting the candidates you want, so before posting your job ad, make sure you know what your ideal candidate looks like.

“Writing a detailed ad is very important in clearly articulating the key requirements of the role, such as education, years of experience and so on,” says Matt McGilton, the Director of Kaizen Recruitment<. “There are also useful tools on SEEK which assist with asking appropriate screening questions.”

Related content: Select your interview questions with the SEEK Interview Builder

Being explicit about your ideal candidate’s skills, experience and characteristics from the beginning helps ensure that you attract the right kind of applications for the job.

Having the right tools

Technology can be helpful in assisting you to manage incoming applications. SEEK has free candidate management tools you can use or you may want to consider an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). “These are very useful if businesses plan to recruit for a similar position in the future as they can access talent saved from a previous recruitment process.”

Using a candidate management tool can also help you filter out candidates who are not the right fit for your role. For example, if your business is not open to sponsoring a visa, you can select ‘Right to Work’ as one of your screening questions when you set up your ad on SEEK. Then you’ll be able to easily filter out overseas candidates who don’t meet your requirements.

McGilton adds that video screening tools are becoming increasingly popular. “By tailoring screening questions, interviewers can immediately screen out candidates that do not meet their criteria, selecting only the most suitable,” he says.

“High volume recruitment is often facilitated via assessment centres which is common in efficiently assessing a large group of candidates at the same time.”  Assessment centres usually run sessions for between 2 - 4hrs and assess candidates for organisational fit and skillset.

How to keep candidates happy even if you’re overwhelmed with applications

Being mindful of your brand and reputation is also important when you’re sifting through numerous applications. “Every step in the recruitment process is a way to differentiate your organisation and hopefully enhance the candidate perception of your business,” says McGilton. “This starts from the job advertisement, to screening, interviewing, making an offer and on-boarding.  All these steps help to foster trust and build relationships and opportunities in and for your business.” 

By creating a positive experience for every candidate, even those who are unsuccessful can enhance your reputation. “Critical to this is providing feedback to unsuccessful candidates,” McGilton says. “This is often the worst experience for any candidate, but when it is done in a transparent and professional manner most people are very grateful for the feedback.”

3 easy steps to cut through the clutter

  • Ensure your job ad is clear, concise and targets your ideal candidates
  • Use applicant management tools and screening questions
  • Keep communication lines open – this ensures candidates have a positive experience, even if they are unsuccessful