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Recruitment and HR Blog

How to effectively manage an increase in job applications

28th July 2020

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Are you experiencing an increase in the number of applications you are receiving for your job vacancies? As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, many employers are facing a similar challenge, as what was once a candidate driven job market turns on its head. But do you have the right resources in place to manage this increase in workload effectively? 

In this article, we share our top tips on the best approaches you can take to ensuring your recruitment campaigns are handled with maximum efficiency without damaging your employer brand and reputation.

The UK job market has changed dramatically as a result of recent events. Employers are now calling the shots, with many high-calibre people seeking employment, making now a great time to advertise job vacancies. However, whilst this sounds like a positive change for employers (and indeed it is), it doesn’t come without its challenges.

What are the challenges for employers?

More job applications means more time will be spent on the selection process, reviewing, shortlisting and managing applications, but not making this a priority could result in the following risks:

  • Missing out on great candidates. Even though we’re now in an employer driven job market, recruitment is still fast paced, and candidates can leave the market as quick as they arrived. Making sure you act fast is imperative if you want to secure the best people.

  • A negative candidate experience. Protecting your employer brand is so important when you’re recruiting, so you want to make sure the candidate experience is second to none. But of course, it takes time to respond to all of the applications you receive, on top of having to review new applications, shortlist and prioritise candidates of interest, and this could lead to a poor candidate experience if they are left waiting a while for an acknowledgement of their application.

  • Added workload and pressures. Without the right resources and technology in place, the increase in job applications and the need to shortlist and respond to candidates in a timely manner brings its own pressures to business leaders and HR / Internal Recruiters, especially when to-do lists are already fit to burst!

  • Increase in irrelevant job applications. It is inevitable that employers will experience an increase in irrelevant job applications too, due to the amount of job seekers who may have recently lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many industries will continue to see an increase in job applications, with unemployment levels expected to continue rising much further as the Furlough scheme draws to a close.

How can I efficiently deal with an increase in job applications?

Below, we share our top tips to help you efficiently manage the increased volume of job applications you are receiving or likely to receive if you are preparing to advertise job vacancies.

1. Write an effective job advert

Getting your job advert content right from the very start will help to reduce the amount of inappropriate applications you receive for the role you’re advertising, and of course help encourage those desired applicants at the same time. 

Be sure to list and be clear about the essential requirements you are looking for and, if the job boards you are advertising on support this function, add filter questions focused around these key requirements. The candidate will then have to answer whether or not they have the certain skills or experience you’re looking for, and this will act as a filter to support your shortlisting process. 

2. Consider pre-employment skills testing to highlight superstars

Did you know that 28% of job seekers lie on their CV? Testing applicants' numeracy, literacy, and IT skills before taking them on can put your mind at ease with your recruiting decision and help avoid those costly mistake hires, whilst working as an effective tool to aid your shortlisting decisions.

Whether you’re hiring for an administrative, sales or accounts role, chances are you’ll find pre-employment skills tests that fit with the requirements you’re looking to assess. 

You can find out more about our range of ready to use pre-employment skills tests here.

3. Technology, technology, technology

Having job applications flooding into your inbox can cause all sorts of headaches and lead to reduced productivity. Ensuring you have the right resources and technology at your fingertips is imperative to successfully managing an efficient recruitment campaign.

Consider using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), as this recruitment software will help keep all of your CVs in one centralised place, whilst enabling you to quickly and easily shortlist and respond to applicants, swiftly organise your interviews, and reduce the time you spend on recruitment administration, enabling you to have consistency in communication for employer brand development.

Find out more about our time-saving ATS with advanced interview scheduling capabilities, which is complementary to use alongside recruitment advertising campaigns we manage for you, explore here.

4. Remote Video Interviews

Whether telephone or video screening interviews are common practice for your business or not, it is worth integrating them into your shortlisting process. Although it may seem to create more work in the short term, it will ultimately save you time in the long run, as it will help reduce down the amount of face to face interviews you conduct once you have your shortlist ready.

We have experienced increased interest in our managed recruitment campaign services here at JVP, which are inclusive of CV-Filtering and Telephone Pre-Screening solutions, taking the time consuming work away from the employers we support. You can find out more about how we do this here.


Whilst there are certainly many positives to an increase in job applications giving you more candidates to choose from, it’s clear that it doesn’t come without its headaches. But, if you take the right approach and if you are willing to invest in the right recruitment resources and technology, it will certainly make your job a whole lot easier and free up your time for all those other tasks.

And remember, we’re an online job advertising and marketing company, and we’re here to help! 

To discover how our online job advertising and marketing solutions, from employer branded job advert writing, skills and knowledge assessments, to CV shortlisting and telephone pre-screening of candidates, will help you to quickly attract the best people whilst removing the hassle and high costs from the recruitment process, call the JVP Group team on 01745 774 955, or you can click here to schedule a 20-minute free consultation call.

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