Opening the door for the uninvited, a plea for open applications


Open applications are an undervalued part of most organisations human recourse strategy. Reading, selecting and organising, next to the communication with those who send in these applications, is a time and resource consuming undertaking. Most will be left unused, so it seems much more practical to send out well defined applications and select applicants on well defined experience and expertise. Although this way of attracting talent is a very important part of your HR strategy, you miss out on a lot of talent, loyalty and new insights normally not considered when you just work in this manner.


Those who apply without being invited to do so, putt effort in reaching out, knowing the chances of success are small. Not only because they have an interest in your organisation and what it does, but also because they believe they can contribute in meaningful ways. Contribute in ways you may not have considered, with talents you might have missed as being beneficiary to your organisation.


Each organisation with a healthy curiosity to develop and grow in ways not yet considered, should provide an open door for those who come knocking uninvited. Especially organisations, who work in fields where certain knowledge or skills are in short supply, can benefit from a pool of open applicants. Key is to ask them the right questions, making selection easier and the intensions of these new guest better understood.


What would be your dream position in our company and why? (100 words or less) and What unique skill or knowledge do you posses that can contribute to our company and why? (100 words or less) would be a very useful question to ask. Next to a resume, add the question Why did you decide to send a open application to our company? and you have a good understanding of what this person can do for you. Unimpressed with the way language is used or a lack of creativity? Just say thank you (please take the time to do so) and move on. Struck by the answers you are given? Contact those in your organisation who should know about it and keep communicating with the applicant. Either send an invite for a talk or keep them in mind when the right positions becomes available or is created.


If done well, opening up to a group of motivated and original applicants, with skills and ideas your organisation might need, can contribute to the growth and culture of your organisation. Creating a pool of enthusiasm and loyalty might even save you some time in the end. It's worth the effort!