If you're in charge of hiring for your company, or just one specific hiring effort, you have likely noticed that whenever you post a job listing, you get a flood of applicants. The job market is still tough for professionals, and if you're receiving dozens or more applications for every open position, you know just how much time and effort it takes to sift through them all and be confident that you haven't overlooked anyone.
With that in mind, you would do well to find a better way to quickly and easily sort candidates, figuring out which require follow-up and which candidates are clearly not an ideal fit. The following tips should help you considerably:
1) Figure out the medium you prefer
Today, you likely receive most resumes and cover letters digitally, but that might not be ideal for your personal workflows, according to Inc., magazine. If you're reading on a screen and find it easy to become distracted by emails and texts, you may be better off printing out every document you get and physically working through a stack of papers.
2) Set time aside every single day
If you get a lot of email attachments during a candidate search, it can feel overwhelming to watch them pile up and think, "It will take me hours to work through all these," Inc., added. Especially if you have a huge number to get through, finding the two, three, four hours or more needed to properly evaluate every candidate can seem impossible. Instead, set aside a half-hour every day to work through them.
3) Look for highly generic words and phrases
If you have your pick of a large number of great applicants, a candidate search can be like a competition reality show: The smallest errors may be the difference between getting a follow-up or not, according to YEC, in an article for Forbes. One such misstep is if a person uses generic language or failed to tailor their resume and cover letter to the specific job.
4) See if applicants followed through on an ask
Likewise, if your job listing asks applicants to do a certain thing or submit specific information, and they don't do it, that can be disqualifying, YEC advised. While even simple errors like that can lead you to dismiss an otherwise great candidate, the odds are good that the best people for the job will be those who follow basic instructions to the letter.
5) Check for the minimum qualifications
You may also get a lot of mileage out of listing bare-minimum qualifications you would find acceptable for a given job, and if people don't meet that level, you can dismiss them out of hand, according to Ideal. Often, companies list "preferred" experience or qualifications, but that leads many unqualified people to apply. Being more specific can make your job easier.
6) Consider tech investments
Finally, if you do all of the above and still get a huge number of applicants, it might be time to get some new software, Ideal said. An applicant scanning and tracking system can take a lot of the guesswork out of the process.