Almost everyone, at some point, has filled out a job application. Maybe it was for a summer job, or a retail position—or perhaps your current role started when you completed an application through an automated hiring system.
Filling out a job application typically isn’t a memorable experience.
The act of filling out a job application suggests that an applicant is looking for a change, or a new start. Maybe they’ve been in the job market longer than they’d hoped. They might be dealing with stress or anxiety. They also might be very excited to be applying to what sounds like their “dream job.” Whatever the case, it’s important to consider an applicant’s point-of-view when creating a job application process.
Getting beyond the application itself, remember that this could be their first interaction with your company. Even if they don’t apply now, you still want to create a connection.
Our point: keep sight of the applicant’s experience. One of the easiest ways to do so is to fill out your own job application.
When you fill out your own job application, you gain and entirely new view into the experience.
No matter the industry or career, job applications should gather information required to determine if the applicant is qualified for the position. A best practice is to review your application with legal counsel to ensure you are not asking questions prohibited by local, state or federal law. With that said, you can still tailor your application and process in ways that improve the experience for job applicants.
If you’re using an automated hiring system, here are some steps to help you test your job application process:
- First, set up a personal email account, or create a new one if you don’t want to use an existing one.
- Apply for one of the jobs that’s listed on your company’s automated hiring system.
- As you apply, take notes, and consider a wide range of questions.
- Are you asking the right questions to get the information you need? Will an applicant’s answers help you decide whether or not to take them to the next step in the process? Can they communicate their talents, and explain how they’ll fulfill the demands of the position?
- Can you automate the process? For instance, can your system automatically pull data from sites such as LinkedIn, or from an applicant’s resume or online portfolio? If so, does your system format their information in a professional way? Or does it take an applicant even more time to re-format the info? In addition, are applicants able to upload or write a cover letter that explains their interests in your job, and why they’re a good fit?
- What does the application say about your company or your department? Does it “look” and “feel” like your company and brand? Is your company’s logo on the application? Have you included your colors and fonts? Does the application reflect your marketing?
- Finally, how long does it take to complete the application? Studies show that longer applications lead to lower completion rates. You want your applicants to feel like filling out your job application is a good use of their time.
Once you’ve completed the job application, the testing process continues.
After you click “send,” it’s time to test the auto-responder:
- Do you receive an auto-reply message right away? Do you even get one?
- How does the auto-reply message read? Is it too formal? Not formal enough? Does it match the tone and voice of your brand? (Keep an eye out for our upcoming “Art of the Autoreply” post, which will dig deeper into the auto-response message.)
While there’s no one-size-fits-all template for the “perfect application,” here are three tips to consider as you reevaluate your own job applications:
- Ask questions that fit the job, and build the application accordingly. In some fields, professional experience is the most important factor; in others, education or required licenses matters more. The right mix, depending on the job, will help your applicants provide the information you need.
- Strike a balance. You want job applicants to feel that your company respects their time. Create questions that flow into one another, and use multiple choice questions, as well as “click all that apply” options where you can. Remember: a job application that takes a few minutes to fill out will drive a higher completion rate than one that takes an hour!
- Be consistent in your style. The tone should fit the voice of your company and brand, and reflect the atmosphere of the department that’s hiring. Along these same lines, consider ways to improve the interface so the process is as user-friendly as possible. An interface that is easy to use—and reflects the company’s personality—will help job applicants move through the application quicker.
Ready to automate your application process?
myStaffingPro’s application tracking software gives you all the tools to create powerful, easy-to-fill job applications. Candidates can pre-populate fields via social apply or resume parsing, cutting their application time and increasing your application completion rate. On-the-go candidates can even fill out applications via mobile devices.
Our support and integration teams are based in the U.S., and will configure your software to fit your unique process and needs. Our solution even includes candidate support, so applicants with technical questions can contact us with software issues—instead of their potential employer.