What is an Applicant Pool?

Definition of Applicant Pool:

An applicant pool consists of all the applicants who are applying for a particular position. The size of an applicant pool can vary depending on the job description, the amount of experience required, the intensiveness of the application process, the competitiveness of the compensation offered, and the avenues through which the job is advertised to potential candidates. In recent years, applicant pools have been growing as a result of online job postings, which make it easier for job seekers to both find jobs online and apply to them with ease.

While the internet may have streamlined the application process for candidates, it has simultaneously made the job of the hiring manager much more difficult. One study estimates that, on average, 250 resumes are submitted for every corporate job opening, a daunting figure. Sorting through inflated applicant pools is time consuming, which is why many employers and recruiters turn to applicant tracking systems (ATS) and pre-employment tests to help organize, categorize, and filter candidates based on their qualifications.

As it relates to using pre-employment tests, the size of a company’s applicant pool may influence an organization’s decision concerning when in the hiring process to administer tests. Companies with very large applicant pools may benefit the most from using pre-employment tests very early in the hiring process because the data gathered from these tests can be used to narrow down large applicant pools at the front-end. Employers can choose to advance only the candidates who score well enough on the tests to the next step in the evaluation process, allowing hiring managers to spend their time and resources on candidates who meet the basic requirements for the position.