As recruiters, we hire all types of individuals from entry-level to executives, interns to experienced professionals, internal employees and external applicants, and full-time to temporary workers. How do we capture the appropriate information that will assist us to make an informed decision for each type of hire? In most cases everyone who applies completes a standard employment application that has been written and approved by Human Resources. But do the questions on our employment application take into consideration that the new graduate looking for their first professional job has no or very little relevant work experience? The application experience for potential hires can often attract or repel your prospects. This causes us to miss out on hiring top talent, and decreases our applicant pool.
As applicants begin your employment process, they are excited they have found an opportunity that they can relate to or feel qualified for. Do you know how many applicants take the bait and run, or stay on “the line?” If your process doesn’t feel right or comfortable, they may make the decision to exit and apply with one of your competitors.
So how can we make sure we throw out the right “bait?” Start by asking yourself these questions:
- Do we really need all of that information for a temporary worker who will leave us after completing a three week mailing project, or filling in for someone who is on vacation?
- Is it necessary for your current employees, interested in advancing their career, to complete an entire application all over again?
- Is that five page application always necessary and appropriate for everyone?
My experience as a recruiter tells me that the recent college grad would like me to know what leadership roles they had in school organizations or what interesting school projects they completed. The intern might want to tell me what they would expect to learn by interning with my organization and what skills they might bring from their educational experience. The front desk receptionist applicant wants me to know about their customer service skills and what telephone systems they have used. So after I collect the necessary contact, education and employment information, adding additional application questions that are directly related to the job is a great way to ensure they complete your application and feel like you have a real interest.
The ability to create these online questions can be very powerful and useful. The applicant will have an opportunity to tell you why they are a good fit for the job and you will have better information to evaluate. An added bonus is the ability to score the answers to your questions to more quickly narrow down your applicant pool and focus on the prospects who best match your needs.
If your applicant tracking system doesn’t give you the flexibility to create questions specific to particular jobs, you may have many “fish tales” to tell.