There is no such thing as a universal application form that would work in every situation and with every target group exactly the way you wish. However, there are certain effective practices backed by various pieces of research and tests you can follow to ensure your form helps you collect the applications of suitable candidates and manage them comfortably.
What is an application form, and why should you use it?
An application form is a form that candidates fill in to apply for a position. The application form is an effective way for the recruiter to collect the candidate’s necessary information, including the consent to process their data.
Application forms are used both on career pages and recruitment landing pages
The contact information of people who applied through the application form is much easier for the recruiter to manage since all information is directed straight to the recruitment software. If you ask the candidate to send their details to the regular staff email address, your inbox will be full of application emails, it’ll be complicated to get an accurate process overview, and candidate management will be time-consuming. It will also be complicated to act under full GDPR compliance.
Here are five main tips for creating effective application forms
1.The application form affects the number of candidates you get
Many questions float around in our minds while creating an application form. What information do I need? Which fields should I add? Is name, phone number, and CV enough? Or should I also ask for a motivation letter, level of education, LinkedIn profile, or language skills? Maybe I won’t need their CV at all?
The common knowledge is the more fields you add to the form, the fewer candidates you get. Therefore, by adding specific requirements to your application form, you avoid the so-called random applicants.
But the shorter the form, the more candidates you get. This way, you can get a wider choice of applicants, however, it does not guarantee better candidates and might mean longer hours spent on candidate management.
2. Keep your target group in mind when adding fields to the form
Know your target group when choosing between different form fields. For example, people who do not use computers in their day-to-day work (such as various manufacturing and customer service positions) might not have a well-presented CV.
Asking for a CV in the first step of the application process might mean you lose potentially suitable candidates. Instead of requiring a CV, make the form simple and add only fnecessary fields: name, phone number, email, and current employer. The rest of the information can be asked later over a phone call.
If you’re recruiting for positions where you can already predict a storm of applications (such as assistants and marketing specialists), then it’s useful to ask them to reply to a specific question on the form.
Or maybe there is a certain requirement the applicant must be qualified for? Perhaps higher education or a language skill? Add the option to tick a box to immediately exclude the candidates that do not meet your requirements. Then you won’t spend extra time going through their applications to discover that they don’t fit the position.
3. The application form must be mobile-friendly!
The tendency to apply via mobile phone is increasing, so it is significant that your application forms adapt to phone screens. You should also keep in mind that it is much easier to fill in a shorter form over the phone, and people might not have their CV saved on it. You don’t have to worry about mobile-friendly application forms in RecruitLab as application forms built with RecruitLab adapt easily to various devices.
Also, think about whether you’d like to ask them for consent to keep their data for future opportunities. In that case, you can create a valuable candidate database and make your recruiting much more effective.
Maybe you’d like to add them to your newsletter list or conduct a background check? Whatever consent you need from your candidates, RecruitLab’s application form makes it easy to ask.
5. Think about the confirmation message
Think about the confirmation message the candidate sees after applying. Will you let them know immediately about the next steps or direct them to your blog? Maybe you even have extra materials to share about preparing for a better job interview? That is a clever way to keep candidate’s attention even longer and create a clearer picture of your organisational culture.