Tips on Managing a High Volume of Applicants

Yoon Cannon
June 16, 2009 — 2,624 views  
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If you happen to be a business fortunate enough to be hiring these days, how are you going about it? The first challenge in finding your next great hire is to find a way to screen the flood of applicants you're sure to receive; to find the cream amidst all that milk. But how do you do this? There are automated tools out there that can actually help. But, first implement these 4 basic steps to manage the high volume of applicants.

Tip #1: Place more requirements in your ad. If you are experiencing a overwhelming response to your job openings, and you don't have the time or staffing available to weed through it all go back to each of your job postings and place higher job requirements in your post. Be sure to note your desired technical skill requirements, preferred level of education as well as the top personal quality you are looking for in your ideal candidate.

Tip #2: Have candidates apply online. If you are trying to minimize the high volume of follow up calls and emails you can create an online application that replaces their need to email or snail mail you their resume and cover letter. In the online approach you can choose to not post your HR contact information. Many companies even note a "please do not follow up" sign on their online forms, but applicants will receive an automated thank you email once they hit the submit button.

Tip #3: Ask for samples. Hiring well in this down economy means you need to have solid confidence that the candidate you chose is truly outstanding to deliver the skill sets your company is looking for. You can request samples of their work, (portfolio) or in other job functions where a traditional portfolio does not apply you can create a quiz for them to take online. You can create a system to measure how long the applicant took to complete the quiz as well as other variables that are important for you to know about a candidates' performance ability.

Tip #4: Ask for a video. If it is vital for your new hiree to possess strong people skills or strong professional presentation, a great way to save valuable time in the interview process is for the company to request a 1-2 minute video submission from the applicants. This will help you screen through a lot more candidates when you don't have to take the time to individually schedule and meet them for in-person interviews. Make sure you give applicants a step-by-step checklist on how to create their videos. Asking for this additional application step will also weed out the ones who are not serious about being apart of your company.

If your new employee will report directly to someone else in your company make sure you also include that person in your interviewing and hiring process. You will move a lot quicker to finding the right candidate when you can divide and conquer.

About the Author

Yoon Cannon is a systemic business growth coach, consultant and speaker based in Philadelphia, Pa. She specializes in helping entrepreneurs take their companies beyond the Million Dollar milestones through branding, sales & marketing, hiring and training. For more free articles and podcasts visit or call (215) 292-4947 EST.

Yoon Cannon