How to handle over-subscribed job vacancies

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Earlier this month, Australia’s department of human services received 41,000 applications for just 1,250 jobs – this might sound like a response many HR professionals can only dream of but one expert says organizations are doing something wrong if they find themselves in this position.

There are simple things every employer can do to prevent this from happening, said Karen Evans, managing director of talent management company – such as “using clear job descriptions and qualification requirements for advertised positions.”

Evans said it was important for employers to remain in a position where they are able to provide feedback to applicants who were unsuccessful, as failing to do so could project a negative image to thousands of future candidates.

“Best practice suggests that following a face to face interview, when feasible, employers should give feedback to candidates if asked,” she told HRM.

“It allows candidates to improve and creates a positive impression of your company’s brand,” she said. “Talented candidates are more likely to apply to companies with a great image, who have a track record of respecting applicants and employees.”

“Remember an interview is a two-way process: it’s a chance for the candidate to see if they want to join the company, as well as a chance for the employers to choose a new staff member,” she added.

The inundated Australian department reportedly told thousands of interviewees that they had not been successful but would not be receiving feedback – Evans says this is a sure-fire way to deter future applicants.

A spokeswoman for the department said that the hiring process was ongoing – and would be for a while – but that 512 of the vacancies had already been filled.

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  • Theo Tiv Gal on 2015-04-30 1:12:53 PM

    I understand the need for feedback and agree but its unrealistic to give feedback to so many applicants. Employers offer are not posting jobs right with few specific details. Some go the other way ask for too much experience and qualifications. There is a happy medium. This only works with the right economic position. You could ask for a Dr. In landscape engineering and its a must you still get 10,000 applicants that don't have the Dr. If economic conditions are not right. People need a job to provide so they skip the requirements. You as hr have to use your time to find the applicant, there is no magic bullet.

  • Mary Anne on 2015-04-30 4:10:13 PM

    This article makes no sense. Is the focus, as the title suggests, reducing the number of unqualified applicants? or is the focus interview etiquette? If the focus is reducing the number unqualified applicants, then I don't think that Ms. Evans has much experience with recruitment, because I can assure her that no matter how clearly you set out the qualifications for a position, you still get an avalanche of unqualified people who apply either because of desperation or because they just don't have a clue. As far as following up with someone after a face-to-face interview, that's definitely the right thing to do, but what does it have to do with getting 41,000 applications for 1,250 jobs?

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