Introduction: Building a Job Applicant Tracking Spreadsheet

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Given the economic climate, it shouldn’t be surprising that many employers are finding themselves swamped with applicants, especially for entry level roles. Yet  if you are small business without a dedicated HR team, this can be a bit of a nightmare. This spreadsheet will help you manage the process better and hopefully make sure your dream employee doesn’t slip through your fingers!

Step 1: Choose Your Weapon!

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Most of you will already have a copy of Microsoft Excel installed on your computer, but just in case you haven't and don't feel like shelling out, then Open Office Calc is a pretty good alternative. It's free and while not quite as powerful as Excel, will do this job well enough. Alternatively, Google Docs has a decent spreadsheet option that's easy to share between multiple users and update in real time.

Step 2: Getting Started

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Next, open a new spreadsheet and give it a title. We've gone for 'Applicant tracker', but you can call it whatever you like.

Step 3: Contact Details

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Next, add some basic contact information. Name, Address, Phone number and Email are all pretty essential, for obvious reasons.

Step 4: Further Information

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Now it's time to add some fields that are more specific to the role. Here, we've gone by 'Current position', Years of relevant experience', 'Education'  and 'Professional qualifications'. We've also added 'CV reference' in order to help locate CV files that are stored elsewhere, along with 'Call to interview', 'Interviewed' and 'Outcome' to help record the interviewing process.

Step 5: Filtering

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It's a good idea to use the filter function to allow the columns to be sorted by results. In Excel, it's a case of simply highlighting the row and selecting the funnel symbol.

Step 6: Save As a Template

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It's worth saving the file as a template now, which means that it can be used for each new position that you have. This also helps consistency too and means you can compare data between spreadsheets much easier.

Step 7: Ready to Go!

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And there you are! Remember though, this will only take you so far. For handling large volumes of inquiries across multiple positions, teams and locations, it may be worth looking at specialist software or outsourcing altogether. In the meantime, if you'd like to download the completed spreadsheet, you can access it here. Good luck and happy hiring!

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