Five Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve the Job Application Experience

Within our businesses we are always looking for ways in which to improve processes, create efficiencies and a good flow that align with goals and ultimately have a positive effect on the bottom line. Attracting the right candidates to fill vacancies or for succession planning is very often top of mind for upper level executives and it falls to the HR professional to develop and implement effective strategies for recruitment. The application experience is a great place to start tweaking as it is often the first touch a candidate has with your organization. Eliminate the Search The absolute first step to improving the application experience is to ensure that your organization career or employment section is easy to find on your website. It is surprising that something so important is often buried in a large website or obscurely hidden. Ease of navigation is as important for applicants as it is for customers. Personalized and Improved Communications More than ever people are using the internet to look and apply for jobs. Your website must be carefully designed to ensure a positive user experience. If you accept applications through a portal consider utilizing software that sends out a personalized confirmation of receipt to the applicant. It’s off-putting for the applicant if they are not 100% certain that it has been received on the other end. Personalizing the communications is key, ensure that the autoresponder captures the applicant name and inserts it into the message. It is all too easy to lose the human element in online interactions but when the effort is made communication is improved and the applicant feels as though they have made a good decision in selecting your organization. Detailed Job Descriptions Applicants want to make informed decisions. Don’t skimp on the details in the descriptions. When more information that is made available within the job posting expectations are clear for both parties and there shouldn’t be any surprises.  Try to include as many or all of the following details; starting date, pay range, and benefits and perks (these are great hooks and should be used), along with the skills and experience needed to be successful in the position. If you can take it further also consider including the day-to-day job description and the timeline for interviewing and what to expect during the hiring process. If you really want to wow and woo the candidate pool consider including contact information and encouraging the potential applicant to reach out to a real person if they have any questions or require clarification. Optimize for Mobile Users

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People now use smartphones more than desktops for job searching and applying. It is absolutely imperative that your website is optimized for mobile users. It doesn’t end there though; most applicants will not have their resume stored on their mobile device. Make it easy for the end user to import their resume from cloud storage, some companies have stopped taking resumes entirely and allow applicants to apply via their LinkedIn profile. Lessen the Application If the current application process that you have in place is long and tedious you risk losing potential candidates. Avoid a cumbersome and repetitious process. For example; an application process that has the applicant upload a resume only to be instructed to fill out separate textboxes with the information contained within the resume is repetitious and this is a time waster for the end user. A short and easy process free of frustrations is better for all and reflects positively on the organization. Remember that, for some, the application experience will give way to the employee experience so it’s best to start it off on the right foot.

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