Finding the right applicants

There are plenty of job seekers looking for work at the moment. Paired with the economic downturn, this means that if you’re advertising a position you’re likely to attract a larger than normal number of applicants.

To put it into perspective, we currently have Executive Assistant roles we were finding a real challenge to fill 12 months ago. These same jobs are now attracting 170-plus applicants in just a few weeks.

Traditionally, a tightening of the market sees clients wanting to reduce their margins. But recruitment is not the place to cut corners. And sometimes roles just need to be filled fast.

Loss of productivity is often underestimated when placing job advertisements. Not only do you need to write the right advertisement to match up positions and job seekers, you have potentially hundreds of applications to sift through - some great, many lacking in detail and without the required skill sets.

Here’s a rough breakdown of the time really spent on hiring a new member of staff:

Loss of productive time when recruiting directly

  • Ad preparation and writing   2 hours
  • Ad placement (in print/online) 1.5 hours
  • Receiving responses:
  • Receptionist 8 hours
  • Manager 10 hours
  • Collating applications 2 hours
  • Social media/online screening 8 hours
  • Email/phone screening 8 hours
  • Interviewing 11 hours
  • Referencing checking 2 hours
  • Correspondence to successful/unsuccessful applicants 2 hours
  • TOTAL                       54.5 hours                        

As you can see, it starts to add up. When carrying out your own recruitment you also need to consider the experience of the interviewer in regard to assessing the applicants skills and body language. 

A recruitment agency can do the initial leg work as well as help you sort out the ideal candidates from the not-so-serious ones. It’s our job to find the right person for the job. In fact, about 80 per cent of candidates are already on our database.

The first step is to put together an advertisement to run online, where views and applications can be monitored. It sounds easy, but writing a cracking online job advertisement is an art form. Some points to consider are:

  • Make sure the job description is succinct and accurate. A good applicant will be drawn to a role that is clearly outlined.
  •  Ask for specific skills. This will encourage suitable applicants to apply and the under-qualified ones to look elsewhere.
  • Include the salary and location. Often these details are left out but are important to the applicant, who is likely to call for this information (adding to your loss of productivity).
  • Online ads allow you to include links, which can be useful, but don’t go overboard.
  • Use bullet points to highlight important attributes. It’s easier for the job seeker to scan and allows you to make the most of keywords.

Remember that placing an advertisement is a case of you selling the position to the job seeker. Make it stand out and make it easy for the right people to apply. Following these guidelines can help you attract the serious job seeker and fill the role with little time wasted.

Contact Wood Recruitment on (08) 9221 8122 to get help placing ads, interviewing for new staff and finding the best person for the job.



Perth, Australia
Spot on Scott. With Perth companies operating fairly lean already, additional time really is money. A poorly written advertisement, or incomplete processing of applications can really damage consumer facing brands.

Really good case outlined by Wood Recruitment - to use folk with expertise - it actually is a good ROI and will get best results especially for SMEs. I've learned the hard way!

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