How to manage a mountain of applications in 3 steps
While some industries have seen a large drop in the number of jobs being advertised, others have more roles on offer, and many businesses are receiving far more applications than usual. Hiring new employees is a busy time under normal circumstances, but when you’ve got an influx of applications, managing, shortlisting and placing candidates can be a real challenge.

So, how can you make sure that you find the right candidate quickly and hire confidently in order to fill the demand?

1. Ensure your job ad is well written

Save time from the start and minimise the number of unsuitable candidates that apply for the role by writing a job ad that attracts the right kind of candidates.

A well written job ad includes:

  • A clear, jargon-free job title that reflects what candidates will be searching for (for example “sales assistant” rather than “sales ninja”)
  • A job summary. Be sure to use short, specific sentences and action words like “manage”, “design” or “create”
  • The skills and experience candidates need
  • Location (be specific)
  • Salary (job ads that display salary information usually receive more applications than ones that don’t)
  • The benefits of working at your company (e.g. flexible working hours)
  • Bolded sub-headings to break up the text.

Right now, it’s also important to mention in the ad how your workplace is operating during COVID-19. This might be whether employees can work from home and what support is available, or how health and safety is being managed in the workplace.

2. Use a simple candidate management tool

Of course, a big part of the process is managing candidates – which ones are suitable for the role, which aren’t, and what communication needs to happen with them.

With SEEK’s free, cloud-based candidate management platform, you can make quick and accurate decisions about candidates. You can keep track of each person as they move through the recruitment process, which means you can shortlist prospective employees easily.

If you include application questions (from a predetermined library of questions) when writing your job ad, the platform will rank candidates based on their answers so you’ll know who to consider first.

You can also select a number of candidates and use bulk actions, such as shortlisting or sending an email to schedule interviews or let candidates know their application hasn’t been successful.

3. Set aside time to review applications

It can be tempting to look at applications as they come in, but it’s worth waiting until you have enough applications to review as a group, this will allow you compare and consider the best fit for your business. In preparation, you can work out what the non-negotiables are in a new hire (for example having a forklift licence) and then allocate specific time to review resumes and cover letters.

If you’re using the candidate management platform, resumes and cover letters are quickly accessible by using the Quickviewer. This means you can preview documents without needing to download them and you can even search within the document for a specific skill that’s required for the role.

By doing this you’ll streamline your system, save time and you’ll also be able to quickly sort through the applications and move candidates onto the next step. If there are a number of unsuitable applicants, using the system to send bulk emails means you can close the loop and ensure candidates aren’t left hanging.

Having lots of applicants for a role can be a great position to be in – but it can add pressure to the process of finding the right person for the role. By following these three simple steps, you’ll be able to manage large numbers of applications faster and more easily, so you can make your hiring decision with confidence.

If you need any advice or assistance with your candidate management, SEEK’s Customer Service team is available to help you via phone, live chat or email 7am–7pm Monday to Friday.