8 Tips to Find Your ‘A players’ from a Large Applicant Pool

Drake Editorial


Around the world, unemployment rates are soaring. This is a challenge for companies who need to hire. In an extremely tight job market, managing huge pools of applicants to find the ‘A’ talent is daunting and time consuming.

Here are some tips for HR and hiring managers to ‘sort through the noise’ to efficiently screen and find your star talent:

  1. Start with the job posting

The accurate and speedy screening of large numbers of applicants takes planning, and the best place to start is with your job posting. A well-crafted job posting is essential to attract the highest volume of qualified applicants whilst trying to filter out less suited candidates from applying. Start by setting clear expectations. If there is going to be significant travel time or additional hours, say so, and outline any success factors and expectations.To further filter applicants from applying, list the challenging aspects of the position. Perhaps it is a longer than normal workday or managing a complex team. Every job has its challenges, and you want the right people applying.


  1. Look for red flags

Red flags are early indicator signs of potential problems. They may lead you to disqualify the applicant right away or highlight questions you want to ask.


Red flag examples:

  • When a cover letter and resume are required with the application, check to see that you received both.
  • If the resume (CV) is poorly formatted, or has spelling and grammar mistakes, it may mean that the candidate does not pay attention to details or is not really keen on the job in question.
  • The CV should show exactly what the individual offers, how it relates to the job, including achievements, along with facts and figures to support them. Without this level of focus, the applicant may not be suitable.


  1. Include pre-screening questions

By including a few pre-screening qualifying questions in the application, you can quickly determine if candidates are qualified or not. For example, do they have a particular license or professional credential that is required? Do they have the necessary 3+ years of design experience? Keep questions to a minimum to ensure the candidate application experience is positive.


  1. Evaluate against criteria

When you receive high volumes of applications, you need to effectively evaluate each one against your pre-determined key selection criteria. The criteria will be your desired skills, abilities, experience, and minimum qualifications needed to be considered for the position. The complexity of the role advertised will determine the number of criteria you use. To efficiently deal with the volume and workload, develop a grid screening chart. This checklist will help you quickly judge which candidates meet the selection criteria or not. Eliminate any applicant who doesn’t have the criteria you’ve specified.


  1. Highlight preferred qualifications

In addition to the minimum mandatory qualifications, detail the preferred qualifications that would make someone a stronger candidate for the job. For example, candidates who have the same industry experience in a similar role or those with experience in a high-volume call centre. Sorting the candidates with the minimum qualifications and those who have the minimum and preferred will accelerate your review and shortlisting process.


  1. Create your shortlist

If you are searching for a senior sales role, then you will want to target only those candidates who have both your minimum and preferred qualifications. Keep in mind that the point of a shortlist is to keep it short. Determine how many candidates you are going to move forward with.


  1. Pre-screen your shortlist

To save hiring time, pre-screen your shortlist. Whether by phone or by a video call, you will get a better understanding of the candidates’ skillsets, character, attitude, and overall personality. Did they show interest by doing research on your company? Can they answer any concerns or grey areas you have to your satisfaction?


  1. Conduct a behavioural assessment

A key challenge during recruitment is differentiating candidates who do well in interviews from candidates who will do well in the actual position. Incorporate a fast, online, and scientifically based personality assessment tool into your hiring process. Your objective is to ensure the candidates have the behavioural tendencies that would make them naturally inclined to succeed at a specific job while fitting into your corporate culture before they move through to the interview stage.

52% of talent acquisition leaders say, “the hardest part of recruitment is screening candidates from a large applicant pool”.

Qualified candidates won’t wait forever before moving on to other possible opportunities. You need to take every step possible to quickly screen out those who are not qualified and screen in the ‘A’ players who are.


Dealing with huge applicant volumes is a major block to hiring with speed and efficiency. At Drake, our modular recruitment services such as “screening services” can take the load off your shoulders. With our qualified people, state of the art systems and assessments, we are ready to support you through each and any step of the hiring process. Help is just a phone call away on 13 14 48.

Discover how Drake International’s portfolio of Talent Management Solutions solves your people, productivity, and performance issues.

Looking for more information? Contact Drake today on 13 14 48  or visit us at au.drakeintl.com


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