When your company is hiring, it’s natural to advertise the opening anywhere you can think of to have a large pool of candidates to choose from. Sometimes, though, you can find yourself overwhelmed with the number of applications coming in.
What should you do if you have what seems like way too many resumes to sort through? Here are some best practices for handling a sea of applicants.
Screening and Qualifications
Quantity doesn’t equal quality. Screening each candidate is a crucial first step of the hiring process, regardless of how many applications you have. First, go through each application to see if the candidate meets the basic requirements of the job: experience level, relevant work experience, education requirements, etc. If they do not, separate those applications from the pack to come back to later.
When this initial screening is done, enlist some help from coworkers to look through the qualified applicants, especially if you are the only person responsible for hiring in your company. Have a workflow in place to make it as efficient as possible.
Circulate Resumes Internally
A candidate may not be the perfect fit for the position they actually applied for. It’s beneficial to let others in your organization know that you have a big candidate pool you’re wading through. A candidate who wasn’t qualified for your position could be the best candidate for another role within your organization.
This system of open communication might benefit you, as well. Colleagues and other departments within your company might know of someone they can refer for the position you are looking to fill. According to a LinkedIn report, employee referrals are the number one source of quality hires.
Follow Up with Everyone
It may be time-consuming, but you should follow up with every candidate who applied, even if you choose not to move forward with their application. Maintaining a dialogue with applicants can help you in the future when you’re seeking to fill another position. Obviously, you’ll want to focus on following up with the qualified applicants first in order to set up interviews and select the candidate you think is best for the role. Regardless, even after the position is filled, keep those other resumes handy.
Consider this scenario: a few months pass and the candidate you thought was perfect turned out to be… not so great. Instead of starting a brand-new search for a second time, go back to those resumes you set aside. Are there any other applicants to consider that you didn’t move forward with the first time around? If you followed up with them initially and ended things on a positive note, it’ll be much easier to reach out to them again to see if they are still searching for a job.
Of course, you can always streamline the hiring process and bring in some professional help. A staffing agency like The Reserves Network can assist in recruiting for your open roles, screening and interviewing candidates and presenting you only the ones they deem fit for the job. For more hiring tips, subscribe to our blog!