How to successfully manage your applications
Once applications to your role start coming in, it's best to make contact with your candidates as soon as possible, whether it be to reject them or invite them to interview. Chances are candidates will be sending out multiple applications, so it's important to act fast so that your ideal candidate doesn't get snapped up by another company. Equally, if you know you are not interested in progessing some applications further it's best practice to let them know right away - at this stage a short email to inform them of your decision is adequate.
We find that a simple spreadsheet or Google sheet (probably better as you can share with your team!) works wonders for successfully managing applications from candidates, detailing interview dates, offers made etc.
The phone interview
Giving candidates a quick phone call after receiving their applications is a great way of letting them know you're interested in their profile. Moreover, an initial phone conversation will give you a very good idea of who you'd like to meet face-to-face - you'll be able to weed out any inappropriate candidates early on. We recommend telephoning all candidates with decent applications - this shouldn't take longer than 5-10 minutes. It's just a short chat to clear up any uncertainties you may have about their CV (such as an unexplained gap) and ask them about the basics:
If you realise that actually the candidate isn’t somebody that would be appropriate for the role, either tell them there and then if it’s an un-negotiable issue (such as not having the right to work in the UK) or follow up with a rejection email and a short explanation why.
If the candidate is overseas or you would simply prefer to, asking them for a Skype interview is also common practice.
Inviting your candidate to interview
If you can tell during the phone call that you would like to meet the candidate in person, end the call by informing them that you’ll send a follow up email with interview details. Again, it's in both of your interests to arrange this fairly quickly - we try and have interviews set up for a matter of days later.
For our top tips on conducting face-to-face candidate interviews have a read of our interviewing graduates page.