It’s official – the UK has experienced the biggest leap in redundancies since the previous financial recession. The Office for National Statistics has reported that 156,000 people were made redundant in the three months to July, which is the most significant quarterly rise since 2009. In all, 695,000 workers have left company payrolls since March and with the furlough scheme coming to an end next month, the feeling is that we could be at the precipice of a jobs crisis.
As a recruiter, no doubt you’ll already be experiencing the effects of this in terms of an extraordinary influx of applications for each job posted. In the second week of September WaveTrackR data recorded an incredible 204% increase in the number of applications as compared to those received between March and June. Jobs are sluggishly rising but there remains a considerable disparity between the two, creating a situation in which it is now normal for recruiters to receive hundreds of applications for a single job – the polar opposite of what we were seeing at the beginning of the year. With the strong possibility that this will only be heightened from November, the question of how to adequately, efficiently and effectively manage an application influx is one that must be tackled by every recruiter.
Here are our tips on how to manage a huge number of applications, maintain a positive candidate experience and ensure quality candidates don’t get lost amidst the tens, hundreds, sometimes thousands of applications received.
The right tech
More applications means a bigger and more complicated workload, which is why the right technology is essential. What recruiters need is a candidate management system that will ensure the entire process runs smoothly and that no applications slip through the cracks. An applicant tracking system will allow you to track the entire recruitment process using notes and status updates and a traffic light system enables you to quickly rank candidates. An incredibly useful time-saving tool is the option to bulk email those applicants that won’t be progressing – a great way to ensure no-one is left without an answer. Given the number of posts on LinkedIn written by extremely disgruntled candidates that have been ghosted by recruiters, this simple act is enormously appreciated.
The right job boards
With a heavily increased number of jobseekers in the pool, there is no need to post your job to multiple different job boards in order to get them seen by as many candidates as possible. Now is the time to focus on only those boards most relevant to the particular job you are advertising for. A reduction in job board contracts will help to limit the number of applications you receive to manageable numbers and decrease your annual spend. A shift in strategy from quantity to quality is needed now. Use your tech to accurately work out which job boards bring you the most hires based on quantifiable data and stick with those.
The right job ad content
Paying attention to writing an accurate job description, including using the right keywords, should help to ensure that your job is seen by quality candidates that match the requirements in terms of experience and skill set. Being clear about the profile that is expected should streamline the selection process and therefore limit applications to more manageable numbers.
Do the right thing
Honest communication is more important than ever right now. Candidates are facing an enormously difficult time, up against scores of other applicants, all hopeful that that they will at least make it through to the interview stage. If they are not successful, they need to be told and not left hanging. Feedback is great but the least candidates should receive is an email to tell them that unfortunately they haven’t been selected this time. Be kind, be compassionate, be professional. Not only is it the right thing to do, it reflects positively on you as a recruiter.
The upside of this unprecedented situation for recruiters is that the candidate pool hasn’t been this big in decades. Talent is rife, you just need a strategy that will ensure you can manage the increased numbers of applications, maintain a positive candidate experience for all, and connect the right talent with the right opportunity.