More and more businesses are relying on online job application forms to source candidates that they may want to hire. But as effective as online job application forms can be, in many cases businesses still find that they either end up with tons of mediocre applications to go through with only a few promising candidates – or very few applications.
Needless to say neither of those situations are ideal, which is why you should try to follow a few important rules that can make your online job application forms much more efficient:
- Shorten the form by asking smarter questions
If your form is way too long, many job applicants won’t want to fill it out – or may do so a bit haphazardly. That is especially the case if the questions that you ask are repetitive and cover material that is already in the CV or resume that they’ve attached.
The best way to shorten your form significantly is to ask smarter questions that require smarter answers. A handful of open-ended questions that require unique answers can provide you with far more information about whether a candidate is suitable than tons of simple ‘yes or no’ questions.
- Make sure your error messages are clear and helpful
Mistakes can happen when filling out online job application forms – particularly because there will be a number of required fields. On your part it is important to ensure that the error messages that are displayed clearly pinpoint the problem, so applicants can address it quickly.
If your form is especially complicated it may be a good idea to recommend how some errors can be solved.
- Use a simple and user-friendly design
Keep in mind that the online job application form that candidates are filling out will reflect on your business and should be simple and user-friendly to attract more candidates. Considering the amount of people who rely on mobile devices, it should also use a responsive design.
Try to make sure that your form looks clean and straightforward. As far as possible use a single-column layout and set the size of each field depending on the length of the answer that is expected.
If you find building a custom online job application form tricky, there are options that can make it a whole lot easier. For example you could try the AidaForm Online Form Builder.
On top of that you may want to use other tricks that could help you to shortlist candidates. One that is common among HR practitioners is to bury specific instructions somewhere in an important part of the application (e.g. the job description) to immediately identify which candidates took the time to read it.
Ultimately your goal should be to create an online job application form that is easy to fill out and simple, and yet provides you with the information that you need to shortlist viable candidates quickly. That should make it a lot easier to hire candidates, and make the entire process smoother too.