How To Track Applicants As A Hiring Manager


preparing for first interview

As the title suggests, when you’re working as a hiring manager, your main job is to supervise the recruitment process. Whenever there are vacant positions available in your company, it’s your task to send out job postings, as well as to screen the applicants. If you think that this is going to be just an easy-peasy responsibility, think again. In some cases, you would need to deal with thousands of job hopefuls, which means a huge number of online and physical applications that you’ll have to sift through.

Do you have an organized system that could efficiently sort out a huge barrage of applications, thereby helping you determine, in a hassle-free manner, which ones aren’t qualified and which ones get the rights to proceed to the interview process? Without a proper tracking system in place, every workday is going to be a headache for you.

If you need help along that line, you’ve found the right resource. Here are some of the best tips on how you, as a hiring manager, can better track applicants:


1. Employ A CRM Tracking System

You may already have heard of a CRM system,which is usually used in sales by a lot of businesses. But, the benefits of having a CRM system in place isn’t only limited to sales and marketing. It can even be beneficial as early as the hiring process.

What is a CRM system?  In essence, this system helps you manage customer data. With such a tool, you’re able to keep your customer details intact, track all of the interactions and progress concerning your customers, as well as manage customer accounts. In this case, you can also use it to manage applicant data.

Here are other benefits of having a CRM system in place:

  • Enables you to organize applicant data
  • Helps ensure accuracy and efficiency in your job
  • Segments or groups applicants effectively
  • Improves your communication process with the applicants, and with the rest of the hiring team
  • Creates better application reports


2. Keep The Application And Hiring Process Simple

The application and hiring process of companies need not be too complicated. The end goal is to have the right and qualified applicant that meets the standards of the job required to be done. If this can be achieved in the simplest possible way, then do so. With the right recruiting metrics, this is entirely doable. That way, you’re also able to simplify your work and avoid any unnecessary complications.

Don’t force yourself on a process that’s cumbersome to keep up with. For instance, in your tracking system, you may want to focus only on the following highly relevant information when sorting:

  • Notes
  • Name
  • Skill
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Location
  • Qualifications


3. Keep Your Physical Applications Organized

With the online applications, this may not be too hard to keep up with when you now have the CRM system in place. As for the physical applications, however, this is where the challenge begins. But, even if you feel like you’re drowning in a sea of papers, there’s still a way for you to effectively manage the whole chaos without causing you so much stress.

Here’s an excellent process to follow:

  • Have separate file folders, classified according to the following:
    • Strong applicants for each position
    • Mediocre applicants for the position
    • Unqualified applicants
    • Applicants with strong qualifications, but for other positions
  • Insert your notes for each applicant directly on their resume, thereby cutting down the number of papers for you to sift through
  • Have a proper labeling or color-coding system.


4. Take Advantage Of Calendar Reminders

Even when you already have a CRM system, there’s still so much for you to gain from the use of calendar reminders. Whichever type floats your boat, go for it. You can either choose from the classic, handwritten planners. You may even go for the more gadget-inclined cell phone or gadget calendars.

The calendar still remains to be one of the most effective ways to stay on top of tasks that have to be accomplished. This enables you to follow up with applicants at the right schedules, and also create hiring schedules that work best alongside other job functions that you may also have to comply with. With the calendar, it is a guarantee that you don’t miss out on any follow-up calls that you may have to make.


5. File Again After The Interview Process

During the interview process, your CRM system and your physical folders may also still be full. In the hiring cycle, it’s usually only after the hiring process that the number of applicants can be significantly cut down. On your CRM system, you can create these files digitally. That’s little work to be done.

But, with your physical files, it’s recommended that you work with index cards. During the interview process, have an index card for each applicant. On that index card, write down your notes about that specific applicant. Then, file these cards into the following categories:

  • Candidates to save for future reference, hiring, or other positions
  • Candidates to send rejection letters to
  • Candidates to call for a second interview


6. Always Keep Important Documents

There may also be some applicants whose documents you wish to review. When sorting through their physical files, don’t be tempted to immediately dispose of documents that you feel you may not need. Keep them until the hiring season is over, at the very least. Do this even with a CRM system in place.

The documents stated above pertain to the following:

  • Certificates
  • Diplomas
  • Resumes

That way, should you need to look back on certain applicants, you don’t have to make any second guesses as to which one submitted which document.



Working as a hiring manager isn’t always the easiest position to hold. There’s so much for you to do as far as staying on top of the hundreds or thousands of applicants is concerned. Also, add that up to the reports that you have to make, and other tasks to complete. To be an efficient hiring manager, you owe it to yourself, the company that you work for, and to the applicants to stay organized. Your goal is always to end up with the best choice for your company. If you’ve long been struggling, these tips are sure to put you back on foot again. Start applying these tips, and, soon enough, you’ll have better and more efficient working days.

Jeff Butler

Jeff Butler Internationally respected speaker and consultant, Jeff Butler helps bridge generational gaps between Millennials and companies looking for their talent and patronage. Butler has quickly built his reputation as a memorable presenter with tangible solutions for attracting, retaining, and engaging Millennials as employees and customers. Within just the past three years, he has spoken at two TEDx events and multiple Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Amazon, and LinkedIn.


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