Tips for Employers on Managing Job Applications
There is more to managing job applications than you might think but it’s key to do it well for the best outcome. At the bottom of this article is a very useful ‘how-to’ video showing you just what to do on the website to get this done effectively and efficiently. Meantime…
As you know, the whole point in advertising a job vacancy is to receive applications from job seekers yet, once they start to come in, many employers lose out on their ideal candidate by not handling them in the correct or efficient way. Here, we put together some do’s and don’ts of managing job applications to help you fill that vacancy!
DO ensure you’re receiving notifications from The Grooms List website
When you first register an employer’s account on The Grooms List, the email you provide is the default email address where all your notifications from the website will be sent to. You might use a different email address for billing purposes, and even in your contact details for job seekers to contact you by, but please double-check that the account email address is the correct one for receiving job application notifications. It has been known for employers to have a number of job applications and know nothing of it because the wrong email address has received the notifications!
DON’T wait to review job applications
Something we do hear fairly frequently is that employers will wait until the end of their advertising subscription before reviewing all applications at once, or at least until they have a number of applications to review. Big mistake!
✅ As with all aspects of recruitment, when managing job applications speed is of the essence. Most successful outcomes are won by getting back to the applicant promptly – the international recruitment giants say that for a successful outcome you should contact job applicants within 3 days. That’s a ‘stat’ not to be taken lightly. Yours is unlikely to be the only job the candidate has applied for, and you could miss out on a cracking candidate by leaving it too long before reviewing their Jobseekers Profile and contact them – while they’re waiting for you to reply to their application, another employer is already discussing an interview, trial and/or start date!
DO respond to ALL job applicants, even the unsuitable ones.
Nobody likes to be left hanging, so make sure you take the time to let job applicants know if you’re interested in pursuing their application or not. We frequently hear from employers who’re exasperated at approaching potential candidates who then never get back to them. We also frequently hear from job seekers who’re equally exasperated at applying for jobs then never hearing back from the employer.
✅ You can respond to all your job applicants at the touch of a button on The Grooms List. Even if a job applicant is entirely unsuitable and you’re uncertain of how to politely reject them, you can use the default message template that is sent to candidates when you approve or reject their application from your account area on The Grooms List. This is much preferable to simply ignoring the candidate and leaving them to eventually draw the conclusion that you won’t be pursuing their application. Not only this, but a groom who isn’t experienced enough for your job role now could well be your ideal candidate a couple of years down the line. It’s nice to respond to them by politely declining their application now, explaining why, and keep them confident to apply for your vacancies again in future – especially if you employ live-out grooms! Remember to avoid reasons that might be interpreted as discriminatory, which ACAS explains here.
You can watch a video on how to approve and reject job applications here.
DON’T make assumptions, ask questions instead
Another pitfall for recruiting employers is making assumptions instead of discussing perceived issues with the applicant. The information displayed in their Jobseekers Profile may not be “Gospel” – there may be leeway on the requirements they’ve chosen to display. Just as many employers don’t know what to say in their job advert, many job seekers are equally stumped at knowing what to put in and leave out of their profile. They are open-minded to their next move but have to lay out some basic requirements to even get started.
A recent example of this was over the issue of riding as part of the job:
- A super, well-referenced job seeker saw a job vacancy without riding and applied for it. It looked perfect in every way and offers career progression, but lacked the opportunity to ride. The applicant was wholly prepared to sacrifice the riding in order to progress her career but hadn’t made that clear on her profile or within her application.
- The employer saw that the candidate wanted a job with riding and insisted on taking it at face value, and couldn’t be convinced to contact the applicant. So, without communicating with the applicant at all, they simply ignored the application. The outcome was that the job seeker successfully secured another job, without riding, that offered similar career progression and this employer lost out on a really fab candidate!
Common assumptions employers make:
- Accommodation arrangements – not everyone wants a partner to live with them/not everyone enjoys living alone and will happily share accommodation with team-mates.
- Location – an applicant might have family or friends in your location/they might relocate to secure their perfect job.
- Animals to bring to the job – some job seekers will happily leave a pet with family in order to secure a good job.
- Riding – a job seeker may prefer a job with riding OR a job with greater responsibility/career progression.
- Experience/qualifications – not all job seekers sell themselves well enough in their Jobseekers Profile. We once spoke to a candidate who’s Jobseekers Profile presented the image of a very ordinary yard groom, only to find she had been Head Groom to one of the world’s greatest riders! She had left that out because she felt it too “boastful”!
✅ Never make assumptions or decisions on the candidate’s behalf – always, always find out more from them. If a job seeker doesn’t appear to tick all the boxes of your job vacancy advert, yet has applied for your job regardless, engage with them anyway! The logic behind their application may be too complicated to detail in their Jobseekers Profile or covering letter. The only way you will know is to follow-up their application, otherwise, you risk throwing out your perfect candidate. You’re looking for the perfect candidate, not the perfect Jobseekers Profile.
DO be realistic about wants and needs
It may be tempting to hold out for your perfect candidate, especially if you’re getting a good response to your job vacancy advert. This can lead you to inadvertently make any of the mistakes detailed above – you hang back on contacting applicants who’re only 95% perfect, and so don’t find out that the missing 5% simply isn’t detailed on their Jobseekers Profile until it’s too late and they’ve accepted a job elsewhere! Don’t miss out altogether by hanging out for someone who may never materialise.
✅ Just as job applicants may need to be flexible about their requirements regarding their next job, recruiting employers also need to be open-minded about their ideal employee. You’d be surprised at the number of times a successful, long-term association has been forged between an employer and a “wild card” candidate, who they would never have considered ordinarily! You can find out a lot in your pre-employment checks – you are only contractually obliged to employ the candidate when you have made them a job offer. Before then, make the most of:
Please contact us if you would like to chat with our team about managing your job applications and finding suitable candidates.
Watch our How-To video on managing your job applications