Chris Bogh |

Unprecedented job applications for dwindling opportunities have become a common story in current times. North Yorkshire Police, for example, recently advertised 60 positions and received over 200,000 enquiries, crashing the phone line & causing a logistical nightmare. Whilst this scenario gives recruiters a great opportunity to take their pick of the available talent, the process of managing and assessing hundreds and sometimes thousands of potential candidates would put a strain on the smartest of spreadsheets. Nonetheless, many organisations are slow to invest in professional applications that cater for such deluges, making do with spreadsheets to manage the process.

With recent announcements of large scale job cuts hitting the public sector and unemployment figures remaining high, the jobs market is looking to become increasingly competitive. Recruiters are going to be under considerable pressure to provide effective assessment procedures in order to fill vacancies.

Although many organisations have never experienced such testing times neither have they been in such an opportune position to recruit quality candidates. With so many people looking for work it becomes imperative to coordinate and manage the selection process efficiently. Spreadsheets might offer a low cost, simplistic way of making comparisons but with so many candidates registering the lists are becoming bigger than the screens.

Companies that have invested in online recruitment systems and applicant tracking software are seeing a quick return on investment and are taking advantage of tailored applications to identify, interview and select the best candidates in the market. Modern systems can also be configured to automatically reject unsuitable applicants based on specific criteria and notify them, saving considerable administration time and wasted sifting time.

Adopting the right applications can help to reduce the time and resource needed to manage recruitment. They will allow candidate tracking to be centralised and hiring manager involvement to be coordinated. Interview shortlists and final decisions are made easier as the preceding selection process is streamlined.

Companies trading in their spreadsheets can also take advantage of web-based recruitment solutions to streamline services and improve responsiveness to candidates. This approach reduces any impact on the corporate IT infrastructure and lends itself to integration into business web sites. Distributed organisations also benefit from a centralised coordinated recruitment function.

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