8 Tips to Improve Your Job Application Experience

May 9, 2017

Think about how the job application and hiring process has changed in a few generations. From word-of-mouth to the local paper to online professional networks and job sites, a lot has changed in just a few decades.

Today, according to Pew Research, among Americans who have looked for work in the last two years, 79% utilized online resources in their most recent job search and 34% say these online resources were the most important tool available to them.

Applying for jobs has become extremely convenient largely thanks to mobile devices. In fact, Pew Research also notes that 28% of Americans (53% of 18-29 year olds) have used a smartphone as part of a job search, and half of these used their smartphone to fill out the application.

But with more and more people searching and applying online and via their smartphones, this new digital convenience is often just a façade. Take a look at some of the top problems job seekers face when applying online via a smartphone:

  • 47% accessing content that didn’t display on the phone
  • 47% reading non-mobile optimized job content
  • 38% entering a large amount of text
  • 37% submitting required files or supporting documentation
  • 23% saving and bookmarking jobs
The employee experience begins with the job application and hiring process. Have an amazing culture? Ground-breaking product? Exponential growth? All this success could get diluted if a potential employee gets frustrated while applying. Look at this status my job-searching friend recently posted: “Why are the cards stacked against the potential employee? Things like ‘I can’t be a reference for you due to company policy’ or re-entering the same information after I’ve already uploaded my resume or shared my LinkedIn profile. Not to mention the waiting game and the quality of the interview… if I even get one.” We’ve likely all felt this way at some point. Many companies may have a slick post on a 3rd party site, but once you click ‘Apply,’ you’re immediately transferred to an often tedious and, dare I say, ‘archaic’ application process.  

What can we do to improve the job application process?

The good news in all of this is that it’s possible to improve the job application and hiring process for your prospective employees. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
  1. Conduct a content audit. Consult hiring managers, HRBPs and anyone else involved in the hiring process to determine the critical information you need from applicants. Ensure that information is front and center, and get rid of the rest!
  2. Conduct a UX audit of the application process. Loop in designers and developers to create a user-friendly experience that scales mobile, desktop and social networks.
  3. Remove repetition (i.e. if an applicant uploads a resume, don’t have them input their experience manually on the next page.)
  4. Ensure your EVP (yes, you should have one) is interwoven throughout the process. Your company culture and vision should shine through in all of your candidate-facing communications, from the job posting to the offer letter.
  5. Create hiring resources- recruiter checklists, interview toolkits – for recruiters, HR coordinators, and anyone who interacts with candidates in the first round.
  6. Build an employee referral program! Make it easy for employees to refer quality candidates with a clear-cut process and incentives.
  7. Ask for continuous feedback from both applicants and new hires via an online survey or small focus group.
  8. Talk to us!
  I could share more ideas, but the point is, invest in setting the right tone during the hunting and hiring process. And give us a shout if you need a hand!
Bethany Shepard

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