The Application: Get the Right Information Fast
by Caleb Larkin
The Application Process
An application is the first interaction a future employee has with your company. Making the best first impression with candidates is critical. The number one complaint applicants make against employers is an application that is complicated, confusing, and unnecessarily long.
A custom application offers the flexibility to determine what works and what doesn’t
The key to a short application is determining what information is vital and what information is simply convenient. One vital bit of information to collect on every application is the minimum qualifications. Job questions offer the perfect solution to easily gather data. Three to five job questions with a quick answer can be essential to filtering applicants.
A custom application offers the flexibility to determine what works and what doesn’t. The SHRM Blog suggests that a custom application is the best way to start potential employees off on “the right foot.” It’s about finding that balance between what you need and what they want.
Balancing Information and Convenience
Setting up the best application comes down to a careful balancing act, where the information you need is weighed against the time and effort it takes an applicant to provide that information. When creating an online application, avoid questions that (1) take a significant time for the applicant to answer, (2) are unnecessary, duplications, or invasive, or (3) require the applicant to search the Internet to find the answer.
The best idea is to make a compromise and let applicants submit an application quickly and easily, but not sacrifice necessary information in order to make a proper hiring decision. A two-stage application, also known as a “short application” is the ideal solution.
A short application allows all applicants to apply by filling out contact information, uploading a résumé and answering three to five job questions to determine their minimum qualifications. You will spend less time reading lengthy applications for candidates, and the short application will let you immediately see who is not qualified. The short application will make your candidate’s first experience with your company one where they will feel that things work in a streamlined fashion.
A custom application allows you to find that balance between what you need and what they want.”
This process works similarly to Indeed Apply or other mobile friendly application processes. It’s a five-minute process that increases your applicant traffic significantly. This process requires sending an invitation to the application to complete the second stage of the application. This is where an applicant will provide more details such as employment history, references, education, and additional questions.
Additionally, the two-stage application process helps with compliance. You can now have all applicants go through the same application with ease, capturing the EEO information on every applicant, including veteran and disability statuses. You will have integrated an automated interview screening process, screened out applicants automatically and invited the rest to provide additional details. All this information can be collected before the candidate ever steps in for an interview. However, the second stage only allows those meeting certain criteria to continue on and does not give license to ask everything on the application.
Two pieces of information should never be collected at the time of application, first or second stage: An applicant’s date of birth or their social security number. If you are collecting this information to run background checks on the candidates, gather the information at the point of running the background check, not before. Following this process will help you stay compliant. There are some states that have a “Ban the Box” initiative, which is an effort to remove the question regarding previous criminal history from the application. Always make sure the whether or not state you are posting the job in has this initiative and make the necessary changes in order to remain in compliance.
For more information about the application set-up process, check out our most recent webinar!
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