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5,000 Queue for 100 Airport Jobs
By Adrian Hobbs

Recently, 5,000 people queued up for 100 jobs at Southampton Airport. Jan Halliday, director of marketing at the airport, said: “The interest was greater than we had anticipated.” This was by no means a freak incident or a one off. A quick scan of the recruitment headlines indicates that this is fast becoming an all too familiar occurrence. Another recent headline shouted: “1,800 people apply for 68 jobs at Tesco”. Other recruitment headlines are just variations of the same recruitment challenge that will knock on many HR doors in 2011/2012.

Quick maths will tell you that there were 50 applications for each position at the airport, and 27 applications per position at Tesco. Some recruitment gurus and trend analysts are suggesting that there could be as many as 100 applications per position by mid 2012. Even if the situation does not get as dire as the worst predictions suggest, it presents difficult challenges that will force many decision makers to question the wisdom of ‘email recruitment’.

In my experience I have found that the one factor that gobbles up hundreds of HR hours is going through CVs and covering letters. If the process is not conducted expertly and with the right tools, at best, only one of three things could happen:

  • Recruitment costs could rocket sky high
  • There could be increased pressure on the HR team or
  • The best candidates will slip through the net.

In the worst cases, all 3 cases could manifest simultaneously. At this point it is difficult to recover if you do not have the right systems in place. A lot of hours and money will ultimately be lost by trying to sort out this barrage of applications.

What are the solutions? There are tools such as a Multi Job Board Posting facility and Management Suite and an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) which need to be put in place before any recruitment begins. These tools come at a fraction of traditional recruitment costs and offer much more value. For starters, the ATS takes away all applications from your inbox and organises them in a database for easy access and convenience.

Added: 20th April 2011

With over 25 years experience in making businesses more efficient, Adrian Hobbs is a pioneer in lean business modeling, employee development and change management.  Find out more about Adrian's company Flex Recruitment.

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