In scientific disciplines, before running any experiment, researchers would make sure to pilot it. The same good practice should be implemented by companies before posting a job and having job seekers apply for it. In other words, the apply process job seekers will be going through should be first tested by you—the employer—to see how it works and feels.
Today, virtually all job applications start online. The digitalization of the apply process should contribute to increasing its ease for employers and applicants alike. But sometimes job seekers get frustrated by the complexity and length of the apply process, and may give up before completing it. In a recent survey by Nexxt, 89% of job seekers said they would be more inclined to apply to a job if the apply process was simple.
As an employer who cares about providing applicants with good experiences—which will help your company make a good impression from the outset, you should go through your own apply process with a critical eye and look for things that distract and frustrate you: they’ll most certainly spark the same feelings in the applicants.
Going through your own apply process allows you to assess if the experience can be improved upon. Start by evaluating your job description, keeping in mind that wordy and obscure ones may be keeping talent away. Then review the information you’re asking applicants to submit. What’s your first reaction? Do you find yourself thinking, this process can be simplified? Or we’re asking candidates to submit the same information in different formats. Instead, figure out the information you REALLY need during the initial applicant screening phase. The applicant’s contact information, resume, and cover letter should suffice for now. If the apply process takes more than 15 minutes, which, according to a recent demographic survey, is the maximum amount of time applicants (especially young ones) are willing to spend on a job application.
Testing your own apply process also allows you to check that everything is flowing properly, there are no broken links, and loading time is reasonable. It’s also crucial that, with an increasing number of job seekers filling out application via mobile devices, you ensure that the platform you chose is mobile-friendly.
Another aspect you should pay attention to when going through your own apply process is the number of steps required. Remember: every additional step increases the risk that the job seeker won’t complete the process.
So, go over the entire application process a few times. Put yourself in a job seeker’s shoes. There’s no evidence to say that lengthy applications help you find the best candidates by screening out unmotivated ones. Often times, the good candidates highly value their own time and won’t spend it on a cumbersome application process.