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| 4 minutes read

Applications rates rising? Top 3 strategies to ensure you don’t miss out on amazing talent.

2023 saw a significant decline in hiring rate across the globe with LinkedIn noting a 24% decline across markets such as the UK and USA. Despite that weakening of hiring volumes, LinkedIn Chief Economist states that there was evidence the rate of decline was slowing. As a result, it is their view 2024 would see a return to stabilisation and potential for a cautious return to hiring at the back end of the year. This decline and stabilisation coincide with a noted increase in candidates applying to jobs across the year. 

In their Global talent trends article, LinkedIn report a 23% increase in the rate at which candidates have been applying for jobs in the UK as an example. The final factor that continues to cause a challenge is the impact of layoffs across multiple industries but particularly in the technology space. So far in 2024, at the time of writing, we have seen 213 different tech companies announce layoffs with approx. 45,052 people impacted, 1,251 people per day. 

With reduced opportunities and increasing applications this causes some fundamental challenges to TA teams to ensure top talent is considered for the right roles. 

“Hiring Challenges noted by The Josh Bersin Company. Time to Hire:45 days (1-2 days longer in 2023 vs 2022). Applicants up by 20-25%”

Given that backdrop there are number of steps companies will have to take to mature their application management processes and limit impacts in the short to long term.

Potential Solutions

There are many ways to pivot your existing strategy to help solve for this challenge. Below are some of the most effective to support your organisation, from fully utilising your existing technology stack, all the way through to tech that may require further investment but supports an improved candidate and hiring manager experience.

  1. Fully utilise your ATS
    Many of the leading application tracking systems have features that are regularly ignored or forgotten about that can help solve for this challenge. One such feature is sometimes known as the killer questions. These can be custom built key questions that can support qualifying an application, to ensure it has the most relevant experience necessary to support the role. Turning this feature on can support a reduction of profiles for your Sourcing team to review and increase the likelihood that the most relevant candidates are identified and supported much more quickly.
  2. Build nurtured Talent Communities 
    In periods of high applicant numbers, a well segmented Talent Community strategy, which is supported by best-in-class content regularly, will deliver a reduction in Time to offer and Recruitment Agency spend. The objective of any Talent pool is to create a warm, engaged, and relevant community of talent against job families that are recurring and critical in nature. Through carefully curated content released consistently, “fans of the brand” are created, which should perform more reliably through your hiring process. With application rates rising you can utilise the Talent Community strategy to offer a much better candidate experience when not selected to move forward in the role. As a result, you will build pipelines of future talent, engaged with rich relevant content, to support speed in the process later when additional roles become available.
  3. Invest in further technology solutions 
    In addition to the two pragmatic and sensible strategies above there are increasing volumes of tech solutions that can support a best-in-class candidate experience in addition to supporting a seamless and speedy recruitment process.

    Top of funnel chat bot
    Applications like RoboRecruiter or Paradox AI plugged into the very beginning of the application process, supercharge the candidate application process, asking key screening questions, serving up relevant job roles and essentially automating the response handling process in an easy and convenient way for the candidate. Removing this activity from a Sourcers capacity, will provide more opportunity to perform the necessary headhunting activities on those critical and challenging positions that are not impacted by this surge in applications.

    Technology enabled Screening. 
    A huge amount of lost time in a process is always in the organisation of a suitable time for all parties to partake in a meeting. This can occur during screening but also across every stage of interviews. A remarkably simple introduction of a calendar matching software like Calendly solves this issue instantly and again supports candidates with a best-in-class experience eliminating needless wastage in an already time restrictive process flow.

    Once we have a date and time, we can focus on improving the screening experience. Another potential byproduct of having Generative AI built into the Sourcers toolkit would be accurate instantaneous note taking, whilst conducting a verbal screening call. This allows the Sourcer to focus on engaging the suitable candidate instead of having to dual focus on note taking as well as having an interesting conversation.

    Integrated Recruitment Operating Systems 
    Having a consistent Recruitment operating system like AMSOne that integrates across your ATS, CRM and HCIS, with Stack and rank technology built in, enables your sourcing function to get to the most relevant and suitable candidates in a much quicker fashion. eliminating wastage in reviewing profiles that just do not meet the spec. In addition, time saved in having a system that overlays across your talent ecosystem, enables seamless disposition of candidates into Talent pools or more suitable live vacancies again supporting time efficiency. 

Overall, 2024 looks to bring with it a diverse set of challenges than the year that proceeded it, but with some tweaks to using your existing tech as well as some further investment, your organisation can come out on top with the best available talent in your market.

While we’re still seeing a year-over-year decline in hiring, the rate of decline is slowing in certain regions and countries, which we can take as a sign of stabilization.


ams, high volume hiring, innovation, rpo, talent acquisition, technology, candidate attraction, digitial & technology sector, future of work, hr tech, talent climate