When a candidate applies for a job, the main part of the experience is the application form itself. And yet, even though everything else is just extras around it, this is the part that some companies fall down on!
The most important thing with regards to candidate experience from an application form is usability.
Is the form: difficult to read? Badly set out? Very long?
If your form is in an unusual font, a very bright/faded colour or is in a similar colour to the background then you are making it unnecessarily difficult for your candidate to read your questions. Obviously, your form should be branded well by using the company colour in your font but having something as simple as a white background isn’t difficult and is clear whilst still looking professional.
If the questions aren’t in a logical order or if you have your form set out in an unusual way, you are again making more work for your candidate and they are less likely to want to fill out the form. If you have lots of scroll bar options, it can make the form not user friendly by causing multi scroll conflicts i.e when you are scrolling down the application form and your mouse goes over a scroll choice question.
Try and use drop down lists instead of scroll bars within the application form – they are much more user friendly and don’t conflict with the page scroll. They also take up less room on the form and so shorten the length considerably.
Instead of having all the sections the candidate needs to fill in on the same page or even one after the other, have a navigation guide at the top or the side so the candidate can see where they are in the form, how much they’ve filled in and how much they have left to do. They will also be able to easily go back and change something if they need to.
Another main issue is collecting too much unnecessary data too early in the process. On one form I saw, you had to enter in your next of kin and your National Insurance number on the first page – the company doesn’t even know if you’re eligible for the role yet and it’s already asking very detailed questions which wastes the candidate’s time and clutters the company’s system with data you don’t need. This is also important as it ties in with a principle from the Data Protection Act 1998, which states ‘Personal data shall be adequate relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed’
Use GNDs (gross negative disqualifiers) to ensure that the candidate is at least eligible for the role before you can collect all the data you need from them. Obviously, collecting registration information from the candidate before using GNDs is useful as it stops anyone trying to re-apply once they’ve been regretted but make sure it’s just important information for registration.
Picture Credits: L&JHome