Article: A surge in job applications: What can recruiters do?

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A surge in job applications: What can recruiters do?

According to a recent LinkedIn insight, even in the times of crisis like this, there are companies that are still hiring are likely to see more applicants than usual. Here is how recruiters can focus your efforts and build a diverse shortlist of quality candidates.
A surge in job applications: What can recruiters do?

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm, with countries around the globe impacted at varying degrees. Some of the earlier hit countries like China and South Korea are slowly on their road to recovery, while others are working hard to keep the situation under control, and their communities safe.  


The economic impact of the pandemic has been felt across industries, resulting in contractions in hiring and job uncertainties. Companies that are still hiring are likely to see more applicants than usual. In times like this, the role of recruiters in supporting and connecting with their candidates is more important than ever.

We did a deep-dive into the roles that have seen the highest % increase in job applications in India, Singapore, and Australia between February and March 2020. Roles that have seen an increase in applications include customer service, HR, administrative, and strategy related roles. Read on to find out the top roles in each of these countries, skills required for them, and recommended learning courses.

What does this mean for you as a recruiter?

Recruiters who are still hiring are likely to see a surge in applications.  David O’Leary, Senior Talent Advisor at LinkedIn on his three tips to manage your search:

  1. Build a clear job description that is diverse in thought and experience
  2. Set a cap on the number of applications
  3. Increase application qualification steps through screening questions

Another important thing to consider is skills, which are an objective way to evaluate a candidate. When scoping out a role, identify top skills you’re looking for. This can help define the role and attract the right candidates. Here are some ways to identify these skills:

  • Do a discovery session with your hiring manager to scope out the key skills which will be needed for the candidate to succeed in the role
  • Analyze high performers in that role and the skill sets they have in common
  • Observe industry trends and look at what competitors are hiring for

What does this mean for you as a candidate?

With decreased hiring activity, you may be facing stiffer competition. Having the right skills can give you a competitive edge and better position you for open opportunities. LinkedIn has partnered with Microsoft to launch a global skills initiative aimed at bringing digital skills to 25 million people worldwide. Get free access to the skills and learning courses here and get started a role-based learning path. We have also provided a list of relevant LinkedIn Learning courses below to highlight some of the most popular courses for each role.

Stand out on LinkedIn with verified skills

One feature both recruiters and job seekers can tap into is LinkedIn’s Skills Assessment. The Skills Assessment feature allows members to take tests on selected skills to showcase their proficiencies. This feature allows recruiters to easily narrow down candidates with the skill sets they’re looking for. For candidates, it’s a great opportunity to have their skills validated and become more discoverable on LinkedIn. 

Roles with the highest % month-on-month growth in applications between Feb 2020 and March 2020



Corporate Strategy Specialist

  • Skills required: Competitive analysis, Business development
  • Suggested LinkedIn Learning courses: Business Development: Strategic Planning, Building a Competitive Matrix

Human Resources Business Manager

  • Skills required: Talent management, HR Policies
  • Suggested LinkedIn Learning courses: Strategic Human Resources, Motivating and Engaging Employees

Employee Relations Specialist

  • Skills required: Employee relations, Performance appraisal
  • Suggested LinkedIn Learning courses: Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh on Creating an Alliance with Employees, Coaching Employees through Difficult Situations

Business Consultant

  • Skills required: Business Analysis, Team management
  • Suggested LinkedIn Learning courses: Business Analyst and Project Manager Collaboration, Managing Virtual Teams



Human Resources Business Partner

  • Skills required: Employee Engagement, Talent Management
  • Suggested LinkedIn Learning courses: Strategic Human Resources, Diversity Inclusion and Belonging

Human Resources Manager

  • Skills required: HR policies, Employee Engagement
  • Suggested LinkedIn Learning courses: Human Resources: Leadership and Strategic Impact, Motivating and Engaging Employees

Marketing Manager

  • Skills required: Marketing Strategy, Digital Marketing
  • Suggested LinkedIn Learning courses: LinkedIn Learning course: Marketing Tools: Digital Marketing, Online Marketing Foundations

Business Development Manager

  • Skills required: Business Development, Sales
  • Suggested LinkedIn Learning courses: Business Development: Strategic Planning, Key Account Management



Customer Service Officer/Specialist

  • Skills required: Communication, Time Management
  • Suggested LinkedIn Learning courses: Customer service foundation, Managing customer expectations for frontline employees


  • Skills required: Data Entry, Office Administration
  • Suggested LinkedIn Learning courses: Administrative Professional Foundations

Executive Assistant

  • Skills required: Diary Management, Executive support
  • Suggested LinkedIn Learning courses: Administrative Professional Tips


For recruiters receiving a large number of applications, building a diverse shortlist of candidates should remain front and center of the recruitment process. Screening candidates by skills rather than experience can help remove unconscious bias and provide everyone with equal opportunity.

This article was first published on LinkedIn.

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Topics: Talent Acquisition, Skilling, #JobsNowAndBeyond

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