Before you even meet a candidate face-to-face, a well-crafted job application will help you get a better sense of the competencies of your candidates, as well as protect your business from costly hiring mistakes.
Follow these five tips to optimize your job application form so that you can more effectively evaluate your candidates, while also improving the candidate experience.
Start by reviewing the conversion rate for your job application pages. If you find that candidates are viewing your job application page, but the majority are not filling out your form, take a hard look at the questions you ask. Are you asking questions that are repetitive? For example, if you ask a candidate to upload their resume, you don’t need to ask for their previous employer on your form.
The vast majority (83 percent) of job seekers wish for fewer than 15 questions. Just like the forms you create for your marketing offers, you should only ask for the information you need to make a decision at this first stage of the hiring process. While you want to make the experience easier on the candidate, you also want to make sure you get the information you need to assess the candidates. If you have a recruiter, meet with them to ensure you are asking the best questions to evaluate candidates.
Having a candidate complete a short-answer question can help you screen candidates for qualities that are hard to distinguish through a resume, such as the ability to problem solve and think on their feet.
For example, HubSpot Partner PCR Agency, asks candidates to explain, in 150 words or less, “If you could be doing anything, what would you do?” and “What are you geeking out about these days?” These questions are helpful in identifying the best possible candidates early on in the hiring process, since they provide a good measure of a candidate’s personality and writing ability.
The last thing you want is to lose out on a qualified candidate because the application process was too frustrating to complete. The key here is to make it super easy for candidates to upload their resumes. With HubSpot, you can create a form field that allows candidates to upload their resume by simply creating a new contact property with the field type “File upload”.
One way to keep your job application form short while still getting the answers you need is to use dependent form fields. Dependent form fields allow you to ask qualifying questions based on previous answers. For example, by using dependent form fields, you can provide candidates with two different ways to submit their resume: submitting their LinkedIn profile or uploading a file. In this instance, dependent form fields let the candidate choose the process that works best for them. You still get the resume, and they get to "choose their own adventure", so to speak. Win-win!
Another example could be asking on the form if the candidate is a student. If they are, the next question might ask them their graduation date. This is especially helpful to know if your business offers internships to current or graduating students.
Remember, don’t make things too complicated for the user. 3 in 5 job seekers who have begun an application did not finish it because there were too many steps or it was too complex - so when in doubt, keep it simple.
After optimizing your application form, test out the application process yourself. Bonus points if you have another member of your team who hasn’t been so close to the creation process go through it as well.
Most job seekers wish it would take them less than 20 minutes to complete the application process. So test it out yourself - are you wasting your candidates’ time?
You may find that going through these steps from the candidate’s perspective uncovers some additional opportunities to improve your form and the candidate’s experience.
Hiring the right employees is crucial to growing your business and avoiding costly mistakes, but it’s also a time consuming task. A good hiring process supports two groups of people: your company and your potential employees. In an increasingly competitive market for top talent, getting the experience right for both is critical. By optimizing your application form, you’ll make your time spent screening candidates more effective, and make it simpler for qualified job seekers to apply. In the end, you’ll be bringing in only the applicants with the most promise and help avoid spending time interviewing candidates that don’t fit with your culture.
Have other tips for optimizing your job application form? Share in the comments below!