There's no such thing as too many applicants!

39 min watch
William Tincup

This week’s episode is as always hosted by Adway’s own Sara Dalsfelt, Senior Advisor of Digital Talent Acquisition. Joining along is William Tincup, Global HR Guru & President/Editor-at-Large at  

William shares his expertise on all things recruiting and draws the key connection between having “too many applications” (hint: there’s no such thing!) and optimizing the application process to meet the needs of recruiters, hiring managers and candidates.  

Here’s the link to the full session.  

Set aside that stack of applications, pop the popcorns and gain some valuable insights from a true HR strategy Rockstar.  

Background Check 

With one leg planted firmly in the HR world and another one at home with evolving technology, William Tincup is a renowned writer, speaker, advisor, & consultant. He’s written over 250 HR articles, spoken at over 350 HR & recruiting conferences, conducted over 1300 HR podcasts & webinars, and serves on the Board for 20+ HR technology startups. His website is a globally-recognized resource for HR professionals, covering everything from staffing to sourcing, recruiting, tech and top HR news.   

Stop Blocking the Funnel: The Unfounded Fear of “Too Many Candidates”  

  • Think of the candidate funnel as a sales funnel: you are moving prospects through a journey. That journey whittles candidates down further and further through assessments, screenings, communications, and requirements.  
  • The problem: there’s inherent bias in that classic hiring process.  
  • When you look at job descriptions and they say, “must have XYZ,” those must-haves are built from assumptions based on historical data or outdated hiring manager views.  
  • Eradicating bias from the hiring process will let more candidates apply and a diverse array of capabilities will shine through. Capable people should move forward in the process. Why gate the outside? 

There’s No Such Thing as “The Perfect Candidate!”  

Finding the “perfect” candidate is like finding the “perfect” soulmate: it typically involves chasing and catching a giant purple unicorn. A “perfect” candidate is discovered as a result of the recruiting process. A candidate can also have every single “must-have,” but still not be right for the team!  

Assess More Than Just Your Top 3 Candidates  

One reason so many recruiters only assess their top 3 candidates is because assessment candidates charge per assessment. It’s worth finding a company that gives an unlimited cap and lets you assess every single applicant, that way you don’t weed candidates out too early in the process.  

“Weeding Out” Lazy Candidates is a Completely Outdated Bias  

  • A complicated hiring process will weed out even the most qualified and diligent of candidates. In fact, “lazy” candidates figure out how to get things done quickly!  
  • If someone is applying on mobile, which is more and more common these days, if they get disconnected from the process and decide to “move on,” it might have just been a technological error!  
  • We shouldn’t rest on talent. We should meet them where they are and move capable people through the process.  But should the process get more rigorous? Yes!  Especially as the interviews progress and more staff are invested.  

Application Processes < 5 Minutes = 365% More Applicants  

Fun fact: Recruiters can boost conversion rates by up to 365% by reducing the length of the application process to 5  minutes or less. The lower the number of minutes in the application process, the larger the volume of applicants.  

How to Structure the Ideal Candidate Journey 

  • The candidate journey is 24/7, especially in the onset of Covid where everyone is working weekends.  
  • To build an ideal candidate journey: meet candidates where they are. Whether it’s mobile first or syncing with Linkedin, we want to make it easy, welcoming, interesting and compelling for the candidate to complete the application process. That’s how you’ll get the maximum amount of people to apply to your jobs.  
  • If a candidate is “text-oriented,” your entire process should unfold via text message. Make it a back-and-forth, conversational, chatbot experience.  
  • Divide your application process into different stages, i.e. use push notifications to prompt candidates to use their LinkedIn info to fill out the application.  
  • Use smart screening questions/ knockout questions. 

Talk to Your Sourcers, Recruiters & Hiring Managers  

  • Sourcers and recruiters need to be told the job is not to restrict. The job is to open up, be inclusive and bring as many people into the funnel as possible.  
  • Through the process, boil it down to the best ten to hand to a hiring manager. Hiring managers will see a more diverse, less biased result by the time they interact with candidates.  
  • The hiring managers will reap the benefits of a better process.  

Software Hacks to Streamline the Hiring Process  

  • Instead of Google, go to ratings sites and see their assessment categories. 
  • Apply to your own company’s jobs with a dummy profile.  
  • Routinely apply for jobs at competitor companies to walk through their process. Are they assessing early? What are their knockout questions? Are they using PredictiveHire or Brick? What about video interviews?   

William’s Top Takeaway: Change with Your Candidates + Don’t Fall in Love  

  • Don’t fall in love with a set recruiting system! Use a particular tactic until it ceases to be effective with your candidates and then move on to the next.  
  • Don’t become rigid in the hiring process or you’ll stagnate! And always be tracking candidate feedback.  
  • Candidates, like consumers, keep changing. The minute you think you understand them, they will change again.  

Questions from the Audience  

Jim D’Amico, Board President @Atap 

“William and Ryan Leary recently did a podcast “Film School For Recruiters,” where they mentioned that effective videos can be of modest production value. What are your tips for helping these amateur videos stand out to candidates?  ”

  • When we first started to use video, we thought of high-quality, hollywood-esque videos. Now, we’re a-okay using our phones. Being able to turn videos on ourselves made us get comfortable with things happening in the background.  
  • As a society, we’ve become comfortable with lower-grade video quality. We’re not judging people for it. And Covid has sped some of this authenticity up. We’re accustomed to LIFE interrupting our videos as we all work from home. We have to have empathy. 

Tim Sackett, President @HRU Technical Resources  

“If you couldn’t pick any traditional recruiting methods, how would you measure recruitment marketing success within an organization? “

  • Measure recruitment marketing by one metric: **does it make hiring easier? 
  • Additionally: 
  • Does recruitment marketing make it easy for the right people to apply? 
  • Does it make our brand more likeable? 
  • Do we get more candidates? 
  • Always ask applicants how they find you and find out what their turning point was in the candidate journey. 
  • If recruitment marketing isn’t working and we don’t have applicants: 
  • Something is fundamentally broken with recruitment marketing and employer band. It could be something simple as ratings on Glassdoor or not having the right social media for candidates to see us and our culture.  
  • It’s not about looking at a number. It’s about looking at an outcome.  


Don’t hesitate to get in touch with either of us on LinkedIn. See you next livestream! 


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