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KISS — Easy Rules for Online Applications


In life and in business the every-day activities should be easy and simple. People like simple.

I keep hearing horror stories about poor candidate experiences which tend to make me cringe. A couple of months ago I attended a networking event presented by Dan from Broadbean. He gave a painful demo of a bank’s online application process. When I say painful, I mean – he was dying on the stage. The demo was undertaken in real-time to demonstrate the problem, and it was very unpleasant to watch. Hat’s off to Dan for sticking at the presentation – the heckling was fierce. Before Dan made the presentation, I was wondering where I might put my head if he showed one of our client’s sites – thankfully this didn’t happen!

I cannot state this more plainly: you must get the application process right. If you don't – you’ll either have too many applications, or not enough. It’s that simple.

Here’s some considerations:

1. Don’t make people register with your site unless you intend to build an online relationship with them. What’s the point? It’s just another password for them to remember, it’s just more private data for you to consider as part of your data retention and privacy policy.
Solution: Ensure that you use the right entry method/form type for the job.

2. Don’t ask people to give you information that you don’t need or won’t use. The data protection act states that you cannot knowingly capture and store information that is not relevant. It’s illegal.
Solution: Monitor your data capture. Maybe even talk to a lawyer.

3. Get the length of the application form right. Too short or not enough filtering questions and you’ll receive too many applications. Too long and you won’t receive enough candidates to fill your recruitment hopper.
Solution: Regularly review your application with hiring managers and candidates.

4. Get the right data at the right time. I often see companies capture referees on their graduate application forms. Typically, only around 1-2% of applicants are going to have their referees contacted. So if that’s a grad campaign attracting 2,000 candidates you will have over 1,900 elements of data capture that is outside of data protection regulations.
Solution: Check with a lawyer!

Keep it simple, and monitor it. Watch out for the tell tale signs of it not working – not enough applicants, too many phone calls to your recruitment phone lines, hiring managers choosing to ‘go it alone’. These are all symptoms of the process not working.

From Recruitment 2.0
Susanna Cesar Morton


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