How to Reach Qualified Applicants in Time


By Danielle Look

How to Reach Qualified Applicants in Time

Spoiler alert: Speed is the secret sauce to winning the war on talent.

Job-seekers are applying to many jobs at once. In some cases that could be because they want to shop around and find a perfect match, and in other cases it may be because they can’t afford to miss a paycheck and need a new job right away. 

In either instance, the first employer to respond will have the attention of the applicant, and a leg up on the competition. After that, make it your number one priority to get them through the hiring process as quickly as possible, and with the least amount of friction.

Here are three ways to reach those qualified applicants in time. 

Want to have this blog in podcast form?  Check it out here.

1. Confirm Receipt of Application 

Do this as soon as possible; do not wait until you’ve reviewed the application. This is your chance to make a good first impression with the candidate, so be quick to respond, be kind, and set realistic expectations. Say something like, “Hi [applicant name] - this is Danielle with Team Engine Landscaping. Thanks for your interest in working at our company! We have received your application and will be in touch with next steps within the next two business days.”

If you’re doing this manually, you’ll need to diligently check your inbox for new applications all hours of the day and week so that you can fire off the message as soon as new applications come in. The good news is this process can also be automated, either through an email auto-responder or through applicant tracking software.

PRO TIP: In the message acknowledging receipt of the application, try concluding with an engaging, open-ended question such as, “Why are you interested in working with us?” This is an effective way to start gauging candidate responsiveness as early in the process as possible. 

2. Evaluate & Screen Efficiently

Remember, speed is essential to winning the war on talent, and removing friction points (for both you and the candidates) can do a lot to speed up the process. Reviewing applications and screening candidates is a time-consuming (and mind-numbing) part of hiring that is ripe with opportunity to create efficiency. But how?

The Undercover Recruiter reports that AI recruiting is key to growth in 2022, so if you want to keep up with the pace of the industry (and, hopefully, with the high volume of candidates in your talent pool), you’re going to need some kind of screening automation to separate the wheat from the chaff as quickly as possible.

Here are three ways to eliminate friction and automate steps in the screening phase:

Do not require resumes to submit an application. This is an example of high friction for candidates, as many either do not have a resume, or do not have access to it on their phone where they are likely applying from. The goal should be to make it as quick and easy to complete an application as possible.
Use an ATS that’s designed to screen blue-collar workers on factors like responsiveness, commute time, relevant experience, history of job-hopping, and required certifications, licenses, or documentation. I’m partial to Team Engine because it ranks applicants after considering all these factors, so you get a stacked deck with all the aces on top when it’s time to review applications.
Communicate by text message. Pew Research has found that 83% of adults age 50-64 own a smart phone, and the numbers are even higher for younger adults. Text messaging is less invasive and more convenient than a phone call, and most people won’t pick up an unknown number anyways. Whether you’re setting up an interview or just clarifying information on their application, you’ll get a faster reply if you start with a text.

3. Respond to ALL Applications in a Timely Manner

It’s important to put yourself in the applicant’s shoes and think about the experience you’re delivering. According to Glassdoor, the average length of time it takes for most applicants to hear back from employers is around 10-14 days, and the vast majority (75 percent) never even hear back at all!

But what if you got back to your applicants in 24 or 48 hours? Even if you decide not to move forward with that candidate, letting them know your decision within a few days of their applying makes a positive lasting impression in their mind that might encourage them to apply again in the future, or to tell someone they know about the opportunity.

And if you do want to move forward with them, you naturally want to get back to them as soon as possible—before your competitors do.


Automating the repetitive and time-consuming aspects of your hiring process can help you reach more qualified applicants faster—which is the name of the game. By confirming receipt of applications, screening them efficiently, communicating with applicants by text message, and responding to all applications in a timely manner, you can eliminate many friction points for candidates. These measures will also free up your time so that you can focus on the important task of finding the best possible candidate for the job.

If that all sounds good, but overwhelming, you’re not alone. That’s why so many landscapers depend on Team Engine for the speed and efficiency they need to win the war on talent. The HR software has helped hundreds of blue-collar companies instill proven best practices in their hiring and retention processes, including many ways to automate the repetitive (but very time-sensitive) tasks in that process. Sign up for a free trial today to see how the software can help you reach those qualified applicants even faster, and with less work along the way.

Author bio:
Danielle Look (based in Denver, CO) is the Content Marketing Manager for Team Engine. When she’s not building audience at Team Engine and keeping them informed on industry best practices in hiring and employee retention, she writes about immersive entertainment in Denver and markets for a commercial haunted house in Indiana. 

Team Engine boilerplate:
Team Engine’s software helps labor-intensive companies build, manage, and retain their blue-collar workforce by delivering proven best practices in hiring and retention, tools that get the job done, and a way to automate the repetitive (but very time-sensitive) steps in that process. With Team Engine, companies can find quality applicants, reach out to applicants first (before competitors do), reduce interview no-shows, and communicate with current field staff via text messages.

Tags: hiring , Recruiting , Competition ,