Applicant Pool


The term applicant pool refers to the total number of individuals from which an employer can select a candidate to fill a job opening.  The applicant pool is typically assembled by the company's human resources department, and includes those individuals that have sent the company their resume or completed a job application.


The process of assembling an applicant pool starts with a position description, along with the job's desired and required skills and experience.  Once publically posted, job seekers will submit their resume for consideration and / or complete a job application.  At the end of the posting period the human resources department or recruiter will assemble an applicant pool that consists of all possible candidates.  This list will typically include these new applicants as well as individuals that may have applied for a job in the recent past.

In large companies, the applicant pool may consist of hundreds of possible candidates.  At this point in the process, it's the responsibility of human resources personnel, or recruiters, to narrow this list to those individuals that appear to be a good fit for the opening.  There are a number of techniques used to create a short-list of candidates; including application reviews, keyword searches, as well as screening interviews.

Once completed, the human resources representative or recruiter will present the hiring manager, or interview team, with a narrowed applicant pool of around twenty candidates.  From this list, approximately five individuals will be selected for an interview.

Related Terms

active job search, age discrimination, Americans with Disabilities Act, affirmative actionbackground check, pre-employment drug testing, workplace drug testing, non-disclosure agreement, employment eligibilityelevator speech