Definition of an Applicant

I have recently been reviewing material concerning the definition of an "applicant" for tracking purposes. I'm familiar with the 1978 definition for traditional applications and have read up on the clarifications released last year for internet/electronic applicants.

My question concerns soliticed resumes you receive as a result of an advertised position in a newspaper, magazine, online, etc. By submitting a resume, is the person "expressing an interest" in the position or are they considered a full blown applicant at that point?

Or....are they only considered an applicant after you've had them fill out the company's employment application form?

It makes a difference in terms of who you track in your flow log - everyone who sent in a resume on the position or just those you have fill out the application form itself?



  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • We consider an applicant as someone who submits their resume as a result of a classified ad we have placed in the newspaper. As long as they use our method of applying (fax resume, e-mail resume, walk-in, or whatever method specified in the ad) and meet the qualifications of the position we consider them an applicant. If someone submits a resume in response to an ad we have running for a press operator and they have no experience as a press operator we would not consider them an applicant since they would not be able to fill the position. We would not log their resume. We log all received, qualified resumes on our Applicant Flow Log. We can only guess as to their gender and race. If they then come in and complete and application and employee data record, we would know for sure what their gender and race are and would transfer that information to the applicant flow log.
  • When I advertise through a newspaper, a posting at a school, in a professional periodical (any media other than the electronic resources such as Monster, etc.), I state in the ad that a completed application is required, and I ask interested individuals to send me only their contact information using e-mail, fax, phone, or mail. I don't ask for resumes. As soon as I get the info, I send them an application and data sheet and tell them to include a resume if they wish. I allow enough time for the transaction to be handled by mail, but have found that e-mail or fax is used 99.9% of the time. I ordinarily have a completed application, a data sheet, and a resume back within hours, or at the most a couple of days. All applicants are recorded on the log, but in the "disposition" column, we note the ones that are not qualified, those interviewed, offers, and acceptances.
  • I will tell you that neither the EEOC nor the OFCCP people can tell you how to classify your applicants, although both will try. We do not consider a person an applicant until they fill out a company application. Nobody fills out a company application unless we have an open recruitment period. We do not have an open recruitment period until we advertise in a paper or through the job service office. Anybody who fills out an application is interviewed. At that point we can intelligently fill in the demographic data on our tracking chart.
  • We have a statement on our website and on job postings, that individuals are not considered to be a job applicant until they have completed our job application.
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