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How To Manage Too Many Job Applications

Are You Getting Too Many Job Applications? Do You Have Enough Time To Look At All Of Them?

This article outlines 3 simple solutions to overcome these challenges and will help you to benefit from this surge in job applications.

We recently ran a report that shows that job applications have increased significantly since this time last year for certain job types. Speaking with small businesses throughout the UK gives us an insight into the challenges they face due to this increase.

The most common grumbles we currently hear are, “I’m getting so many job applications, I’m never going to be able to get through them all!”, and, “why are some of these people applying? Did they even bother to read the job advert!?”.  Does this sound familiar? 

The Vicious Circle

For employers, It’s frustrating to receive unqualified applications; it wastes a lot of valuable time. For a job applicant, it’s equally frustrating to apply for a job which you’re perfectly qualified for, and then not hear anything. The reality is that most employers simply don’t have the time to look through all of the CVs they receive; as a consequence, for many applicants it becomes a numbers game. “If I apply for enough jobs, perhaps someone will get back to me!?”
‘Not getting back to people’ is not good for the company brand. Moreover, not looking at all of the CVs is clearly not ideal either as you could miss out on someone great.

However, there are 3 simple solutions which will mean you can look at everyone to make sure you don’t miss out; and you can still get back to everyone who has applied. 

1. Get The Content Right

Firstly, increase the number of good applications, and significantly decrease the number of bad applications, by getting the content right.

Think of your job advert as a marketing piece, designed to attract the right type of ‘leads’ (job seekers). When scrolling through the job sites, the job seeker will only see the first few lines before deciding whether to click through and read more about the role.  Therefore, don’t start with a big intro about the company.  It’s beneficial to use a few opening questions just to highlight the key characteristics of the candidate that you are looking for, this can really help to encourage good applications and will reduce the number of bad applications.

For example, the advert could start with:

Are you a Carpenter who is looking to get off the tools? Do you have previous experience converting lofts?

In this example, the above questions clearly rule out, or at least discourage, those applicants who are looking to do actual carpentry and those without loft conversion experience. 

To then encourage the very best applications, think of something that sets you apart from other employers, to entice the job seekers to click on the job advert and read more. In the current uncertainty, it is likely that people are looking for stability. So, you could follow up with something like:

Offering a long term, stable career within a well-established family run business.  

Click here to read about writing a better job description

2. Use Candidate Management Software To Manage Thousands Of CVs

Use candidate management software. It’s expensive and excessive for most SMEs to pay for this, especially if they are only recruiting a handful of people a year. However, flat fee recruitment companies will allow you to use theirs for free when you advertise with them. 

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You will be able to review CVs much more quickly. Simple automated processes such as ‘killer questions’, can also be implemented to qualify or disqualify applicants before you even see them.

Here is a 3 minute video on the software we use which demonstrates how easy it is to screen high volumes of CVs: 

3. The Self-Deselection Method

Why not ask applicants to send in a YouTube style video answering 3 questions. This will certainly put off the time wasters and chancers. If you do not feel this is appropriate for the role, then you could ask them to email you with the answers. Candidates will effectively be deselecting themselves by not taking part, and you can focus your time on a much smaller pool of applications. 

Using candidate management software, or some sort of CRM system, will make this process easier.

As an added layer of deselection, you can run an online or face to face group interview, educating applicants on the company and more about the role.  You will be left with a shortlist of motivated and committed applicants who are ready for the face to face interview. 

Are you an employer? Visit our Interviews hub for valuable advice and resources.

Implementing at least points 1 and 2 will undoubtedly have a hugely positive impact on your recruitment campaign, both from a time saving and a quality perspective.  If you are still not finding the time to manage the applications effectively, fixed cost recruiters will usually offer a managed fixed cost recruitment service.

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