Job Application Basics: Start Getting the Applications You’re Not Receiving

Has the job of HR professionals ever been trickier? Between promoting your company’s brand, supporting passive recruiting strategies, and using social media, it seems like HR teams are juggling more plates than ever.

Meanwhile, there’s the persistent challenge of balancing quality with quantity where actual applications are concerned. No company wants to wait close to two months to fill an opening. Unfortunately, that’s the average time between opening and onboarding. And the hole in the org chart isn’t going to fill itself.

Whether you’re a corporation that receives 250 applications for every job post, or a small business with a staff of 10, the theory remains the same: the more applications you receive, the more likely you are to find “the right one.”

Job Application Basics

But what about the job applications you don’t receive?

What if 100 people started your job application, but only 40 finished it? Or, what if 10 started it, but only 4 finished? If a 60% drop-off sounds farfetched, it’s not. In fact, statistics suggest that’s the percentage of people who actually quit filling out online job applications in the middle of the application process. And some hiring experts say the number is even higher. Why?

Well, do you remember your favorite job application? Chances are you don’t. Why would you? Filling out a job application isn’t meant to be a memorable experience. A necessity maybe—but so are root canals and colonoscopies.

Consider the candidate’s point of view.

In our recent articles, we’ve focused quite a bit on building connections with passive job seekers. We’ve talked about how important it is to highlight your culture. But let’s not overlook another fact: there are lots of active job seekers out there too.

When they open their preferred job seeking app, and search their parameters, your job application may be their first experience with your company and brand.

What they experience when they get there may make all the difference.

It’s likely that this discovery, and the application process, will take place on their smartphone. As we mentioned in an earlier article, more of today’s job seekers are going mobile-first:


The intersection between mobile job applications, social recruiting and compliance is one of the most important topics for HR professionals today. Download our latest Spotlight report, “Mobile and Social Strategies Help You Maximize Time for Candidates and Your Company” to read more about issues that matter in today’s competitive recruiting environment. It’s available now.

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The Basics: Keep Your Job Applications Simple and User-Friendly

Once they’re on your application, their urgency and excitement can quickly turn into a feeling of “meh” depending on how it functions and flows. Consider:

  • Does your application allow them to apply and submit in real-time, or do they have to come back to finish later?
  • Does your application function in an intuitive way, from how it looks on screen, to how it works across devices mobile devices?
  • Is your application filled with the types of redundancies that turn job seekers off? For instance: does it require multiple log-ins, or ask applicants to paste information from their resume rather than allow an easy upload?
  • Do applicants have to answer similar sounding questions as they scroll from page to page?

Is there a one-size-fits-all template for every job application?

As far as we can tell, there isn’t an ultimate application that meets every need. But here are six tips to consider to help improve your chances of getting the applicants you’re not currently getting:

    1. Ask questions that fit the job, and build the application accordingly. For instance, does professional experience matter more than education in your field? The right mix will help your applicants provide the information you need.
    2. Strike a balance. You want job applicants to feel that your company respects their time.
    3. Create questions that flow into one another, and use multiple choice where you can. Also, create questions that offer a “click all that apply” option.
    4. Make sure the tone of the application fits the voice of your company, and reflects the atmosphere of the department that’s hiring. If this is indeed an applicant’s first glimpse into your company, be sure the application highlights your brand in a positive way.
    5. Create an interface that is easy to use, and reflects the company’s personality. This will help job applicants move through the application quicker.
    6. Be as user-friendly as possible. If possible, avoid drop down “read more” arrows. Can they upload their resume from their phone?

In the end, the faster an applicant can fill out a job application, the more likely they are to do so. A five-minute application process will usually get a higher completion rate than an hour-long one. Before they even start to question whether or not the application is worth their time, make it easy for them to land on the “send” button.


Increase Your Job Application Completion Rate

Most large and mid-sized companies use an application tracking system (ATS) to assist with creating, tracking, and submitting easy-to-fill job applications to career websites or online job boards. myStaffingPro’s configuration tools allow you to set up job requisitions and applications that speed up the application process for candidates, while reflecting your company’s unique brand.

Contact myStaffingPro Today