What is an Applicant Pool?

An applicant pool, also known as a hiring pool, is a group of applicants that apply for a particular position. It comprises everyone who has applied, from underqualified candidates to the most experienced individuals who will most likely be interviewed. The employer's role is to narrow the applicant pool until the ideal applicant is found.

The applicant pool varies based on the position, the level of experience necessary, and the company. There are also variations in terms of who can apply. The hiring pool will be more diverse for jobs requiring minimal expertise or qualifications. If the vacancy is for a high-level senior position, the applicants will certainly be experienced and well-trained.

Employers must screen, interview, and communicate with prospects once they have an applicant pool for a position. There are several resources available to assist with this lengthy procedure. Career evaluations, application tracking tools, and automation will help to speed the hiring process and guarantee that the applicant chosen is a good fit.

Not everyone in the applicant pool will be a good match. That does not mean that the company should dismiss everyone. If a highly qualified candidate does not win the job, the employer may preserve their records for their talent pool, as they might be a good fit for a future position in the company.

How can you understand your applicant pool and make better hiring decisions?

Have no fear if your company is growing and you're in the hiring process again. With higher than average unemployment rates, many people will submit resumes for the jobs you post, but you don't want to hire just anyone.

You'll need to understand your applicant pool to hire the best candidates. These tips will help you gain a better understanding of your applicant pool.

Review the resumes

You'll likely receive many applications for an open position, and although the numbers may look promising, the candidates may not be viable.

As you sift, note how many candidates don't seem to hit the mark. By taking a closer look at your applicant pool, you may find that you may have to alter the language of the posts on job boards.

If you're passing on many resumes because the candidates don't have x years of experience with specific software, you need to modify your posting to clarify that.

You will still get a few resumes from folks who want to try and slip through anyway, but the number of unqualified candidates will decrease, making your search much more manageable.

Reflect on your current employees

Ask yourself these questions when you're reflecting on the kind of talent you've already drawn.

What type of phrases did we use in past job descriptions? Which job boards did we use? Who applied, and what job board did they use? How much time did the interview and hiring process take?

Reflecting on past experiences will help you recognize what worked and didn't. Then you can implement that into your current search. Learn from the past to better your company's future.

Get well versed with job boards

Beginning with the job board, you post frequently and type a phrase that a likely candidate might search for, such as a marketing assistant or social media manager.

What pops up?

Is your job posting very deep in the list of job ads? That may indicate that you're not reaching as many candidates as possible. You may be missing out on those that are the most qualified.

Peeking at what your competitors are doing for similar job openings will help if they're able to hire and retain great employees. It might be worth taking a page from their playbook so you can attract those candidates to your applicant pool.

Put yourself in an applicant's shoes and read your job ad as if you were interested in the position.

What stands out to you? Ask yourself if the wording would entice you to apply for the job, or does the job listing seem unclear or uninteresting? Does it put you off in any way?

  • Experience it for yourself

It is the best way to get a genuine opinion of the process from a candidate's point of view.

It'll help you understand what applicants go through when submitting their resumes. Understanding the candidate experience will help you fine-tune your job ad to attract the best candidates.

Understanding your applicant pool and the candidate experience will only benefit your company. You'll attract better talent and therefore save some time during the hiring process by not having to sift through unpromising applicants.

A brief overview

  • Start by reviewing your resumes and track applicant qualifications.

  • Ask yourself critical questions about current and past employee job listings and what made them successful or unsuccessful.

  • Lastly, experience the process yourself by stepping into an applicant's shoes to help see any flaws in your job ad or hiring process.

With these tips, your applicant pool will get cleaner and more precise. You're well on your way to catching a qualified superstar to add to your team.