The Business Coach with Laura Murphy: “I get swamped with applications”

Question: “Every time we advertise for a job we get so many applications we can’t respond to them all. What are we doing wrong?” Julie

Answer: “It could be that you’re doing nothing wrong. Desperate people will apply for anything so you either ignore the unsuccessful or bite the bullet and reply, however briefly. Consider your choice carefully as every recruitment drive generates publicity and requires reputation management. Last month one long-term unemployed man told me and everyone else in the room how good company A was, even though he’d not got an interview, because they’d actually replied. He’s now an enthusiastic ambassador for that company.

Your recruitment strategy should be geared towards maximising appropriate responses. People self-select so check there’s enough precision in the advert (and the job description/person specification) to allow for self-elimination (making sure that you comply with HR legislation of course). How do you notify vacancies? Is it word of mouth, the company website, the job centre or advertising? The methodology will determine volume of response. How long a time-frame do you have for applications? A short turn-around will deter the casual job seekers.

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Finally, if these are re-appointments then re-think your actual selection process so you pick the right person first time and save money on recruitment.”


Laura Murphy is the founder of mtc2 ltd, a management consultancy, training and coaching company. Laura is an organisation development specialist and business coach. If you have a problem then contact her at [email protected]

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Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality.