If you are a looking for a Carpenter or Tattoo Artist, is the first thing you ask a resume and complete an online job application form? Or do you want to see some recent work?
A short history of the Online Job Application Form
One of the first things I try to change or improve is the online job application form when I get my hands on an old Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Too often someone has digitalised an even older recruitment process, in the days when we were still pushing paper resumes from one desk to another, and created an online job application form that is so long it will discourage most potential candidates to apply (if lucky, only 30% finish submitting a job application form).
For example, why is everybody still asking to fill in a field with a street name? That question was useful 15+ years ago, when you send someone a confirmation or rejection letter by post. Nowadays you don’t need to know that kind of information until you hire someone. So why ask ALL applicants to fill in this detail at the start of the application process?
The biggest problem, and frustrations for job seekers, with the first ATS was that everyone wanted the job applicant to fill in as much information as possible, so the recruiter could easily search and filter at a later stage. The promise by the ATS-vendor was that, by building your own corporate cv database, you could reduce the use of recruitment agencies, saving you time and money. Afterall, are the best candidates not the ones who already showed an interest in your company?
Nice theory, but in practice corporate HR and recruiters didn’t use the cv-database. They only used the ATS too automatically post a job to as many jobboards as possible. And they created lenghty online job application forms because that was what HR wanted and the ATS-vendor could build (and adviced to do).
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The future of Online Job Application Forms
Luckily the ATS-technology got smarter with cv-extraction software and more “intelligent” search possibilities. And the online job application forms changed with it, from 7 pages to 1 form.
But what has remained is that a traditional resume is mandatory to finish your job application.
That is about to change. The future of job applications is much more personal and tailor made. Not an One-Size-Fits-All recruitment process. But an online assessment, test or virtual reality simulation prior submitting an application, for jobs where you can expect a high response. And an easy “Call me later” option for candidates that are high in demand.
Recruiting for high in demand positions is much more about personal connections and relations, engagement, interactions and an easy way to respond. That’s a big change from the traditional and transactional apply process that is used by many, if not all, large corporate organisations today.
But it must change. And it will change. The big enabler for this change are mobile devices, in combination with the use of social media. People read emails and check their favorite online social network 15 times a day on their smartphones. An direct “instant” application for jobs from mobile phones will soon become mainstream. If you are serious about improving the application ratio to maximise your job marketing efforts, it will be essential that you provide more options to respond.
Organisations and recruiting agencies that have launched a responsive (mobile) website already started to implement various ways to respond or apply. It forced them to re-think the current job application process and provide alternative ways to respond. A few examples:
- Simple online job application forms (with minimum required fields)
- Forward Job (to an email-address)
- Send-Me-A-Link (to receive an apply link)
- Call the recruiter (with a click on a button)
- Call-me-back option (leaving a phone number)
- Live video interviews
- Asynchronous video interviews
- Apply With LinkedIn/Indeed/Dropbox profile
More and more firms are accepting an online profile, usually a LinkedIn profile, to begin the hiring process. This opens the door to many passive job seekers who are not in job search mode and don’t have an up-to-date resume ready, or who look at the job on their mobile device. In the future a job application will be just a click on a button, without the need to fill in an job application form.
Are you ready for the future?