The resume bombardment

by 19 Aug 2009

Q. Q: We are currently getting inundated with unsolicited resumes from people wanting to work with us, some from very talented people. How should we deal with these when we have no immediate opportunities but would welcome them if economic conditions improved?

A. What a difference a year can make. Va cant roles that typically would attract little interest are now being swamped and the number of unsolicited applications being received by HR departments is growing on a weekly basis. HR personnel are dealing with a number of business- critical issues, often with reduced re sources, and acknowledging, evaluating and storing all received applications may be virtually impossible.

HR professionals will tell you their role in recent years has changed from placing peo ple into roles as they become vacant, to de veloping strategies around the attraction and retention of quality employees.

For attraction, this means building a talent pool of quality workers and keeping them interested in working for you, even when immediate roles are not available.

This must be supported by strong candi date care processes, after all, capturing an ap plication from an available candidate or an enquiry from passive candidates should be the start of structured communication. The aim is to ensure your resource model is supporting your employer brand.

There is a full breadth of solutions around candidate care that can be delivered by your own HR department or you can outsource – typically allowing maximum productivity and reduced costs.

Your website, and in particular your career page, can be simple or highly interactive – from attraction to managing the on-boarding of new hires or structured communication to your tal ent pools, it’s about getting the right advice at the beginning to ensure your specific needs are delivered.

Ensure you have a standout, engaging careers section within it that is easily ac cessible and not buried under some obscure heading. What’s more, make sure the infor mation contained within it is interesting and updated regularly.

Within your website, include an oppor tunity for unsolicited candidates to regis ter their details, but ensure you capture key data such as type of position being sought, length of experience and qualifications, to name a few.

Request the names of their last three em ployers; this may provide you with interesting market intelligence and give you the potential to hire relevant and experienced staff.

Getting candidates to enter these details themselves online will allow for easier sorting of resumes back at the office.

Your website can also be developed to en sure that all people who register receive an au tomated acknowledgement of their application.

If people drop resumes off or post them directly to you, develop a standard letter that can be sent directing them to your website to register.

Candidate care can be as simple as mar keting regularly to these registered parties. Send out email newsletters providing them with com pany and industry news. This will keep your tal ent pool engaged with the company and eager to work for you when opportunities arise.

Candidates read the papers and know that many companies are not hiring. But simple steps to acknowledge such applications and keep interested people informed about the company’s performance through uncertain times will enhance a company’s reputation.

We all know economic conditions will im prove in time. Those HR professionals that act now to ensure all people looking for em ployment within their company are provided a positive and professional experience and kept actively engaged will reap the rewards in the future.

By Matthew Mellor – national head of solutions, Adcorp Australia Ltd,