Oxbow Bend, Snake River

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

What to Do When You Have “Too Many” Applications

I had a call from an employer client who was thrilled with the response to his employment ad on CoolWorks, but then also perplexed by what to do now. Basically, he had never had the “problem” of having so many applications to process. We call this the paradox of success.

He mentioned something about using personality tests to find the right one, but I quickly steered him away from that. In my humble opinion and experience, the best ways to find the best candidates includes the following:

  • Have a job description that describes the critical components for success.
  • Review the applications to see who best matches what skills, knowledge and abilities you are looking for.
  • Have standard interview questions that focus on performance from previous jobs and ask how the candidate would handle various job scenarios / situations going forward. It’s important to describe real situations that happen at YOUR workplace.
  • Know your corporate (or not so corporate) culture and look for someone who fits.
  • Don’t discriminate. Keep the process focused on the job itself and who the best candidate is to do it regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, age, religion, or sexual orientation.
  • Be consistent throughout the entire process.
  • Document what you did.

It may help to have an applicant management system like our Staffing Center, especially if you receive hundreds or thousands of applications. But, I think the real key is know what you are looking for and review your candidates with an open mind to discover the best candidate.

And, for those candidates you decline to offer jobs, keep these tips in mind:

  • Tell them that they didn’t get the job.
  • Be respectful.
  • Answer their questions about why they didn’t get the job and have a good, documented reason.
  • Be nice.
  • Keep next season in mind and remember that the candidates will most likely tell their friends about their experience applying to work for your organization. Try to keep that whole experience, even with no job offer, a positive one.

The bottom line is always to treat others as you would want to be treated. Now get to work!


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