Not Getting Job Applicants? Convenience Could Be The Key

In previous posts we have hit on job posts and working on the technology behind everything. Now let’s move on to those little things like CRB which can do to make things more convenient for your applicants.

These are the things that they probably won’t even notice when they are filling out their application, but they would notice if they were not there. They will make your candidates glide through your application process so smoothly that they may even come out of it thinking “Hey, that wasn’t so bad, this place really has their sh*t together!”. What more could you want?

Passwords

The first thing you can do involves the creation of their candidate account. The majority of application processes require candidates to create an account including a username and password. Now if you don’t have or want this, ignore what comes next, but everyone else pay close attention.

DO NOT MAKE ME TRY AND GUESS YOUR PASSWORD REQUIREMENTS!

I haven’t even gotten to the damn application yet and you’re telling me I am doing things wrong! Not only that, but you’re telling me that you can’t communicate well. If you have to have requirements for the passwords, make sure that they are prominently displayed near the password section before submission. No one wants to have to go back in and fill things out twice because you didn’t tell them they needed a symbol in their password. Not to mention going back four times for those of you who NEVER tell us what we need so we just have to keep guessing.

There is a capital letter, lowercase letter, number, symbol, eight characters…what else do you want!?

There is a capital letter, lowercase letter, number, symbol, eight characters…what else do you want!?

Linking Applications and Posts

The next thing you can do is connect the application to your job post. This way you don’t require your applicants to input the job they are applying for. The number of times I had to go back to previous pages to find the exact title of the position for fear that any slight variation might not go through was ridiculous.

Applications are easy enough to customize that not including the job title, and making your candidate do it, just seems lazy, and you already know my opinion on being lazy (not good). This is what we like to call a barrier to entry; each action your candidate needs to do raises that barrier. You DO NOT want this to be the last straw causing a great candidate to leave your application.

Don’t let this be that last hurdle you this guy can’t jump over

Don’t let this be that last hurdle you this guy can’t jump over

Autofill

Something else you can do to make your application process better is including a resume upload and parse/autofill option. This takes effect when the application wants candidates to rewrite all of the information they laboriously slaved over to make perfect in their resume.

But in your form, they DON’T HAVE TO!

They just upload, import, or copy/paste their resume and the software will take their information and fill out all those little boxes for them; it’s like magic!

Mom doesn’t have to spend four hours filling out boxes with information she is sending in her resume?! More time to play with me!!!

Mom doesn’t have to spend four hours filling out boxes with information she is sending in her resume?! More time to play with me!!!

This way candidates aren’t pissed off while spending an hour writing in all the info they know they are sending with their resume. They can focus on other parts of the application process, like screening questions, assessments, not hating your company for being technologically inept…you know, all the important stuff.

Mobile Ready

Speaking of being technologically inept, the best thing you can do to make things convenient for different job industries and their candidates is to make things mobile capable. We all know this is the age of the smart phone, so if you haven’t realized that applicants are going to be looking at your career site, your job posts, and even applying to your jobs from their mobile devices, you need to get with the times. Many people these days not only have a phone but also a tablet, and sometimes these replace the need for them to get a computer.

Getting each and every part of your application process not only functioning on these devices but working and looking great on them will keep your company thriving with incoming applications. It will also make them more integratable with all of the new job apps coming out like Jobr, Indeed Job Search, Job Search by CareerBuilder.

Look, he just applied for a job with your competitor!

Look, he just applied for a job with your competitor!

Searchable Tabs

Another technological upgrade you can do is to make sure that any time there is pull down tab, like choosing states and countries, make the tab searchable. I cannot tell you how helpful this became when my scrolling function broke temporarily (yay computers!).

All I, and the rest of the candidates applying, had to do was start typing a few of the letters and BOOM, there our desired choice was. This will also make any mobile version of an application even easier to use. This is because their screens are smaller and cannot typically show the entire list from these drop-down tabs.

Photos

Now, I have been talking about things you can add to make things more convenient, but I want to just touch on two things that should be absent from your process. Number one is no mandatory pictures, because duh. I’m sorry if I sound like a bratty teenager, but requiring a photo of applicants just screams discrimination.

Obviously, there are some systems that include a candidates’ LinkedIn photo if they upload their resume from that source. But making this mandatory sends a creepy/sleazy vibe to candidates, especially women. Asking for a photo also severely inconveniences applicants who then have to make sure they have a recent, professional photo, which not everyone will have.

Unless you are a modeling agency this is something you should STAY AWAY from. Otherwise, you could not only scare candidates away, but you could open your company up to legal action for discrimination. Don’t forget that EVERYTHING acquired in the application and interview process is taken to be used to make the hiring decision.

SSN

Number two, please do not ask candidates for their Social Security Number in the application. I know that you will need it at some point, especially if you do background and credit checks, but if that time comes they will be more than willing to give it to you then. This has to be the most uncomfortable and invasive question in any application I have taken, and I have encountered some pretty strange questions so you know how strongly I must feel about this.

We are all taught from a young age that our SSN is precious and must be guarded safely. Then the minute we need to apply for jobs we have to just type it into your forms and send it over to your database, not even knowing if you will be the company we will be working with?

It may be convenient for companies, but it is inconvenient and intrusive for candidates who then have to keep an eye on their accounts to make sure nothing got stolen during the process since this is the age of data hacking. You don’t need it yet, and requiring it is alienating candidates. You better believe I talked to a bunch of other people about this and while some do it reluctantly, others just move on to a company that won’t pry into something so personal before even offering a phone screen.

How we all feel when we see SSN: _ _ _-_ _-_ _ _ _

How we all feel when we see SSN: _ _ _-_ _-_ _ _ _

Length

As a wrap-up for the convenience discussion, I would like to end with length. When it comes to applications, shorter is better. We all know that you need certain information, and skimping on that can be a problem, so that is not what I am saying.

What I am saying is don’t send out applications that take an hour to complete, then require another hour of assessments, especially for low paying positions. Much of this length can be avoided by upgrading your technology as previously mentioned.

But double check to make sure that you aren’t asking redundant questions (one application asked me the same question three times…not good). Also, if you have assessments (more on those later) make sure they are not only based on data science but also a reasonable length, like those from Cangrade that take about 15 minutes.

Don’t make your application feel like this.

Don’t make your application feel like this.

If I missed anything that you feel would make the application process more convenient for candidates, please let me know in the comments. My next post will be about making things more convenient for hiring managers through screening candidates, so make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it!

Image credits: http://gogmat.com/blog, http://burneylawfirm.com/blog/2012/04/19/more-reason-to-increase-legal-professions-barriers-to-entry/, data.whicdn.com , http://www.jwtinside.com/job-applicants-seek-convenience-of-applying-through-mobile-devices/, ©2012-2016 Dracu-Teufel666Silberfuchs / 300 images

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