The battle for quality over quantity in job applications

 In Blog, Recruitment Software

Recruitment management is shifting gears to favour the quality over the quantity of CVs received, as HR inboxes overflow with large numbers of applications that don’t meet the minimum criteria stated in the job advert.

Especially in South Africa, with a very high unemployment rate of around 25%, general job boards generate huge volumes of irrelevant applications. Requiring an unholy amount of time to sift through all the applications and identify the worthwhile ones, large volumes of CVs actually make life more difficult by increasing the amount of administration required.

Less is more, with fewer but better quality candidates.

It also means that most employers aren’t able to respond to all the job applications received, which directly impacts the employer brand. In certain types of businesses, applicants may be prospective customers and a bad hiring experience can negatively influencing their purchasing decisions.

While recruitment historically seemed successful when receiving 500 new CVs for one job opening, the ideal is to rather only get 20 relevant ones with five really good applications. Sourcing these high quality candidates will require much more targeted recruitment campaigns aimed at smaller numbers of exactly the right people.

Fine-tuning your approach

LinkedIn and Facebook make it possible to target very specific candidates, based on the information in their job profiles. Pay-Per-Click campaigns and Search Engine Optimisation with keywords and phrases describing a position or qualifications can help channel search results for more relevant applications. Applicant Tracking Systems can also help pre-screen applicants with specific questions related to a job.

In addition to these online recruitment tools there are also plenty of other opportunities to target high quality talent with clever, tactical plans.

Time to get creative

With a strong employer brand in place, HRs needs to communicate the right message to the right candidates via the right platform.

A starting point is to speak to your own staff or survey other key groups to find out where they hang out online after hours. For example, using Pinterest boards for architects, investigating niche communities like Microsoft developer forums, Stackoverflow.com or gaming portals for software engineers, or placing clever posters in the fitting rooms at fashion retailers to recruit new sales staff.

Candidate referrals are another disruptive force. Good people know other good people and by financially encouraging recommendations, HRs can quickly access high quality talent who might not be on other employers’ radar yet.

In South Africa, HiringBounty.com has been very successfully crowdsourcing employee referrals, paying R100 000 in successful hiring incentives to date.

There are now job referral applications that can synchronise with a company’s Applicant Tracking System, offering full social media integration. Every time staff share a job or recommend a candidate they get points that accumulate on a leaderboard as their referrals make it through the interview process to hire. These points can be cashed in for real money, extra leave or weekend getaways.  Creating a fun, competitive environment, this adds a gamification layer to the recruitment process, which is a strong trend in the future of hiring.

Casting out the net

The ideal is to build up pipelines of high quality talent to tap into for future recruitment, rather than frantically searching for appropriate candidates every time a new senior or specialist position at the company opens up.

It’s important to remember that a highly targeted message will attract fewer applications due to the special skills and experience sought. If it takes a while to get response, that’s fine – be patient and don’t panic.

The goal is to wait for the right candidates to respond and not get another whole bunch of inappropriate applications. Campaigns might also run longer or be more open-ended for constant niche skill requirements. But, saving on recruitment agency fees with even a single direct hire should offset the cost of creating and running a campaign. With only a handful of replies, but applications that are spot-on, that’s mission completed.

graylink can help you use recruitment technology and digital best practices to recruit better talent quicker, more efficiently, for less. Use the below form to contact graylink if you’d like to find out more about our full suite of services.

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