Adding an application form to your job advertisement is a good practice. It urges them to apply now instead of requiring them to write an email – something they need time for and can easily forget. An application form works like a call-to-action in an advertisement, prompting a ‘spontaneous’ action. It also ensures that all applications sent to you are kept in one database and don’t require manual addition from your mailbox (not to mention that it also ensures compliance with the recent GDPR regulations). Now, what should such a form look like?
1. Keep it as short as possible.
Don’t ask for too much information as it may discourage your prospective applicants. Limit the number of fields to a minimum that will allow you to judge their fitness for this particular vacancy. You can ask for the salary expectation and their availability but bear in mind that all the other details, such as work experience, skills, and education are already in the resume they submit with the form.
2. Use close-ended questions.
Instead of asking open-ended questions such as “Why should we hire you?” or “What can you bring to our company?“, use close-ended questions and make the applicants choose from available answers. This will make the process much less time-consuming for them, and it will be much easier for you to search for candidates and filter them.
3. Use short processing data consents.
Since the introduction of GDPR, data consent clauses are an absolute must. But, you don’t have to make them painful for prospective applicants. Make sure your clauses are short, to the point, and clear for everyone. Seeing many clauses, each 300-words long will surely discourage people from applying.
4. Things to avoid at all cost
On the other hand, never ask about the following in your application form:
- Information that you presumably will find in the attached resume, e.g., their education, work experience, additional skills, and certifications. It’s a waste of their time, and your ATS will import that info from their resume anyway.
- Marital status, children, etc., – this is none of your business, and it’s illegal to ask about it – it can mean a lot of GDPR-related troubles.
- Interests, hobbies, etc., – it’s not relevant in the recruitment process, at least not in the early stages. It brings nothing to the process and only makes the form longer. If you want to know what they do after hours, you can ask politely during the interview.
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