So, is your company doing the employment application two-step yet? No, I’m not talking about dancing; however, if your application process is full of too many lengthy or complicated moves, you are doing both your organization and potential applicants a disservice – and your candidate pipeline dance card will NOT be full. Make applying to jobs easier.
In my previous installment of this Applicant Conversion blog series, I touched on the importance of having a streamlined recruiting process. In that discussion, I focused more on smaller tips/tricks to make the application process more user-friendly for applicants. In this blog, I’ll take a closer look at how you, as HR professionals and/or hiring managers, can materially adjust this process to convert more career site visitors to applicants.
Now Hiring: Resumes vs. Applications
In many organizations today, applicants apply by submitting their resume via email. The pro to this is that you’ll probably get plenty of applicants. The con, of course, is that with such an easy submission process many of the applicants will not be qualified for the position. Unfortunately, this approach requires you to physically review each of the resumes to make this determination.
At the other end of the spectrum are organizations that require applicants to complete a full online application upfront for consideration. The pro to this is that you’ll tend to get a higher percentage of qualified applicants. The con is that asking for this more detailed information upfront tends to lower your overall number of applicants.
Use Fewer Sections in First Step of Employment Application
Here’s a way to get the best of both worlds. Break your application process into two steps:
- Step 1 – Gather some of the bare essentials from applicants. This includes items such as their resume, core contact information, etc. For our clients, we also advocate that they ask some brief job-specific questions in this first step. This results in very little time required of your applicants, keeping your conversion rate high. At the same time, since you’re now able to automatically view qualified applicants who meet basic minimum requirements based on their answers to job-specific screening questions, you’re in a position to spending time following up only with applicants who merit consideration for a certain position.
- Step 2 – Get the rest of your application information only from those applicants moving forward in the selection cycle. For those who meet minimum criteria and advance to a certain step in your process, you may now click an icon to invite them back to your careers portal to complete the remainder of application information you require. This includes things like prior employment, education, references, etc. Asking for this later in your process results in better conversion of visitors to applicants, with the added bonus of more complete information in a single database.
Using this approach will help you maintain a high applicant conversion rate while still providing you consistent applicant data across the board. In turn, you still accomplish the goal of having all data about your applicants in one place – notes, background, correspondence, etc. As I said earlier…make it easy for applicants and easy for you!