Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Tips for handling an increase in application volumes

By Rachel Robins, Marketing Manager, Eploy

While candidate scarcity doesn’t appear ever fully to dissipate, another challenge for in-house recruiters, as uncovered in the latest Candidate Attraction Report, is having too many applicants.

Increased application volumes can provide a large selection of candidates to choose from, which is positive. However, the administrative load this can bring presents a challenge, which can harm candidate experience and employer branding if not handled correctly.

Sectors most affected

From the Candidate Attraction Report, we know that the sectors most affected by increased volumes of applications include Business Services, Hospitality, Energy & Utilities, Construction and Education (you can find the full list in the report download).

When is too many, too many?

The Recruitment and Employment Federation reported 1.63 million active job adverts in the UK in the first week of June 2021. This is 300,000 more than three months earlier and around the same level as early March 2020. 

An explosion in job vacancies will inevitably lead to a greater volume of applicants, and a greater volume of applicants requires the capability to manage at scale.

Maybe you need to recruit for entire teams, annual graduate programmes, or renewed demand as we exit the pandemic. Regardless, getting quickly to the most suitable candidates is essential.

What you need to know

  • Candidate Experience- A confusing and fragmented recruitment process combined with volume recruitment can often mean hiring the wrong people and losing the best talent along the way.  Candidate experience is critical; ensuring every applicant is responded to promptly and courteously is key to long-term hiring success.
  • Talent Personas - Having a profile of your ideal candidate and automatically skills matching to this will assist with identifying quality candidates and the screening out of unsuitable candidates. It also avoids problems such as attrition later in the process.
  • Screening and assessing - Application screening for volume recruitment will help get a smaller but more accurate pool of the best talent. Screening and assessing at each stage of your recruitment process will save time and costs too. With the right tools, you can be clever in customising your online application with screening forms that can grade candidate suitability. You can also automatically rule out unsuitable applications with timely and considerate communications and use the opportunity to build your talent pool effectively. 
  • Talent pooling - Are the right people already in your talent pool? Proactive recruitment helps speed up the recruitment process and addresses both volume recruitment and candidate scarcity with better talent pooling and leveraging your candidate database. Having talent pools of passive candidates means that you can constantly engage with them and quickly match the candidates to the vacancy.
  • Speed - A typical recruitment process includes multiple interviews, skills and aptitude tests, background checks and so on. Speed of response handling across each stage of the workflow is critical for positive engagement and experience. Automated CV parsing and profiling will assist with managing the volume, and tag candidates with relevant skills auto gleaned from their information. 

Free resources and practical guides

Download the free Candidate Attraction Report here to see how your industry compares with the sectors most affected by an increased volume of applications. Plus, you can learn what sources work best for attracting the optimum quality and quantity of candidates.  

This short video covers Talent Pooling as a means to proactive recruitment, it includes some great tips for matching candidates to vacancies, shortlisting and screening and placing the right candidates quickly.