How to handle over-subscribed job vacancies

After an Australian HR department received 41,000 job applications, HRM spoke to one expert about how best to handle such a situation.

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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