In our highly digitalized world, using online job applications forms for recruiting top candidates is no news anymore. Major companies, retailers, and corporations use them to differentiate applicants and obtain relevant information about them in between the CV and the face-to-face interview.
Well-made job application forms give companies direct and indirect data about candidates (background, values, spelling and grammar, literacy, comprehension skills, critical thinking, etc.). While some standard application forms only require general information, others tap into the candidate’s views on critical professional issues.
However, many candidates complain that the online application forms often deter them from applying to that specific company. Today, we will look at the essential criteria for designing a well-made online job application form that stands out from the crowd and helps both potential candidates and companies reach their desired results.
The Ingredients of a Well-Made Online Job Application Form
One of the things many companies tend to forget is that the job application form has as a primary purpose the extraction of information that candidates do not usually put in their CVs.
1. Make the Application about the Applicant
If you fill out the Kmart application online – and we suggest you do if you want a job at Kmart or just want to test a really useful form, you will learn that the form requires basic information, which is usually already available in an applicant’s resume. Besides info like minimal contact data and some mentions regarding education, the Kmart application form focuses on the candidate’s availability, preference for some worked hours, store location preferences, a short personal and professional history, and more.
Most resumes already contain the candidate’s contact details, employment and education history, and some references. The primary goal of a proper job application form is offering the candidate enough room to reveal more than just past job titles, but personal details on how he/she views themselves working for that company, what expectations he/she has, and so on.
Requiring a social security number from a candidate is a bit of a stretch. However, asking the candidate to write a short paragraph about his/her values regarding working directly with customers will help you find the candidate with the best potential.
- It will also help the candidate offer you the best he/she has in writing. CVs do not allow the candidates to express views, opinions, preferences, ideas, suggestions, and career wishes, but a good job application form will.
2. Make the Application Form Comprehensive, Easy, and Tech-Savvy
As we have said above, not all candidates are fond of online application forms. A study published in 2014 showed that around 80% of job seekers found online application forms to be time-consuming, stressful, and discouraging.
Quoting the survey results, we have learnt that “applicants would be deterred from completing an application if they encountered tech hurdles (60%), couldn’t upload their résumé (55%), couldn’t follow up on the application’s status (44%) or couldn’t complete the application on a mobile device (20%).”
If we look at the tech trends of our world, we quickly realize that, by now, applicants have become even more picky when it comes to application forms than they were in 2014. Do you want to hire top talent for your company and use online application forms at the same time? Here are some tips to create the perfect document:
- Keep it simple: remove the fields and information that you are likely to find in a CV from the application form; keep the technology as simple as possible as well;
- Tap into people’s transferable skills and potential: build your application so that it tests for written skills, computer literacy, critical thinking, leadership, and so on;
- Mind the tech: there is nothing more frustrating than a website generating errors when you spend hours filling in forms and uploading files to it;
- Adapt your application forms to the current digital trends: allow for mobile applications, design your own Android app for online applications or application tracking, and more.
- Offer application tracking means to candidates; the next frustrating thing is to send an application into the digital void, not ever knowing if it reaches the destination or if a human ever reads it.
Not caring about the way the form looks and behaves means not caring for hiring competent and promising candidates, which defies the purpose of hiring for talent in the first place.
- An excellent job application form which follows the criteria above will enable candidates apply for a job in an easy and efficient manner and engage with your brand in a natural manner; engaged employees are the happy ones and the ones willing to work for you and advertise for the brand naturally.
3. Make Each Application Form Job-Specific
When a candidate fills in an online application form for a company, he/she wants to know that the application matters to the prospective employer. If you hire salespeople, offer a separate and different sales form that taps into the experience, education, transferable skills, job description, and work ethics of a salesperson.
If you want to hire for the management department, a specific, well-made job application form will help you sort through the resumes better and faster, while giving you a clear picture of who to call for an interview.
- Specific application forms will help the candidate better understand what type of employee you are looking for, your conditions, work ethics, requirements, flexibility, and willingness to offer your people room for growth within the company. They will apply to give their 100% to the form and speaking about the job they want 100%.
Some application forms come with a handful of questions that you are probably going to repeat during the interview. However, those job-related questions will give you a good insight into the candidate’s personality and professional stance before you even get to talk to the candidate in person during the interview.
- In turn, a job-specific application form will offer the candidates the chance to prepare better for the interview, do their homework, and impress you with their personality, skills, and potential.
4. Each Online Form Should Come with a Paper One
If you have a robust online application form, you may go home in peace, confident that top talent will come to you with open arms. However, never put all your eggs in only one basket. Allow candidates to fill the paper version of the online application form and deliver the CV and the application in person to your office, corporate headquarters, or store.
Statistically speaking, hiring managers sift through paper applications faster than they do with online forms. If a person takes the time and effort to write down words on paper, print papers, and deliver them in person to the office, that person clearly wants the job.
In other words, while offering this opportunity to the less tech-savvy or digitally trusting candidates, you can also value their commitment according to the effort they seemed to be willing to make.
- In turn, this strategy will enable more candidates to apply for the job in the manners they consider best; they will be more willing to apply if they have multiple choices at their disposal.
5. All Applications Should Come with an Answer
We know that nobody has the time to write a rejection letter, but if you want to attract top talent and enlarge the pool of extraordinary candidates for your company to grow, you should offer them at least some form of feedback.
Take the time to check each online application form and write to the candidate the reason why they will not be called for an interview. The world is full of talented young people not knowing what they did wrong and not knowing how to improve their job-seeking strategies.
Stand out from the crowd and tell them whether it was their lack of job experience, their grammar, or their unprofessional CV.
- The feedback will help the candidates to learn from their mistakes, so they can do better next time.
A well-made online job application form should attract top talent and give them the sense that the hiring brand values them and is willing to invest in them. A standard document with no personality and no real interest in hiring the best people for the job will deter candidates and will hurt your company’s employing reputation in the long term.
ImageSource: Deposit Photos