Six Elements of a Great Job Application Process

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Let’s face it: just about everything you do as a recruiting organization depends on your online job application. Every paid ad, every email, and every recruiting event drives attendees to complete an online application at some point.

So you’ve likely spent massive amounts of time analyzing and designing the perfect job application process — one that’s incredibly easy to use and seamlessly converts candidates to applicants.

Oh, you haven’t? Then here are six things to consider as you get started.

  1. Make applications mobile

We’ve said it before: mobile recruiting is recruiting. Mobile devices have become so prevalent that having anything less than a fully mobile-optimized career site and application process is like leaving candidates (and money) on the table. After all, a recent Glassdoor study found that 58% of candidates are looking for jobs on their phones, and 35% would actually prefer to apply for jobs from their phones. Having a mobile-optimized application will lead to more candidates per job, and there’s another bonus: everything you do to improve the overall application process will benefit desktop applicants as well.

  1. Let ‘em upload resumes and profiles

Resume extraction technology can make job applications quick and easy. Make sure your resume extraction technology allows applicants to not only upload a resume, but grab it from Google Drive, Dropbox, or any of the other major cloud storage options. The same goes for LinkedIn or Indeed profiles. Job seekers spend a lot of time perfecting their online profiles, so your application should make it easy to use profile work they’ve already done.

  1. Keep it short

The fact is, your online application is probably way too long. Why ask for a full application when the candidate is not yet being actively considered? Better to rethink the way you engage potential candidates and ask for the bare minimum as a first step. Once you have determined they’re a viable candidate, you can have them fill out a more complete application. Provide the kind of extraction technology described above to get information about experience and qualifications, and you’ll get more candidates per job — especially those who are currently employed and won’t make the effort to fill out a full application.

  1. Do the two-step

Better yet, automate a two-step application process that extracts resume/profile qualifications up front and then sends out a full application link automatically. That way, you get more candidates and more valuable sourcing data whether the candidate completes a full application or not.

  1. Apply later

Make sure your application has an “apply later” option for mobile candidates who may be interested in your job, but don’t have the time, focus, or opportunity to apply right away. An easy process that captures an email address and sends a link to the application for later completion will convert more mobile candidates.

  1. Remarket those jobs

Ecommerce sites learned long ago that abandoned shopping carts represent a huge sales opportunity. They send emails reminding shoppers of the items in their cart, with a link to easily get back to the cart and complete the sale. The same concept applies to jobs. It’s likely that most of the candidates who start an application never finish. Set up an automated email that lets them know you want their application, reminds them to finish, and gives them an easy way to pick up where they left off.

So there are six elements of a truly great application process. How many of these are part of your online job application?

The truth is, the recruiting industry tends to lag behind the rest of the online world when it comes to web capability. But that’s actually good news for employers who are willing to put in a little effort. If you implement just a few of these elements, you’ll be head and shoulders above most all other organizations.

If you want to learn more about job seekers’ attitudes and preferences, check out Jobvite’s 2020 Job Seeker Nation Report.