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4 ways to simplify your application process (and attract more job candidates)

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By Adam Robinson, Inc.

In today's competitive hiring market, employers need to put extra measures in place to keep prospective job applicants engaged.

For most job seekers, the job search and application process can be daunting and time consuming. But many of today's job seekers no longer have the patience for lengthy, complicated job applications -- meaning to attract top talent in today's tight labor market, you need to make the process simpler.

According to a study from The Center for Generational Kinetics, a workforce demographics and research consulting firm, more than 60 percent of Generation Z job seekers are only willing to spend 15 minutes or less on a job application.

If your organization requires job seekers to complete long applications, you're likely turning prospective applicants away. And with the unemployment rate at a historic-low, the last thing you want to do is lose the interest of qualified talent. Below, I've outlined a few steps your team can take to make the job application process more streamlined and engaging.



1. Make your applications short and sweet.

Depending on the organization and role, some job applications are several pages long -- or lengthier. And in many cases, parts of the job application are redundant, which creates a more frustrating experience for job seekers. For example, a job seeker might be required to upload his or her resume and manually fill in work history on the application form.

Today's job seekers demand simple applications. If your applications are too long, they won't hesitate to consider other opportunities instead. All you really need to ask for with the initial application is general contact and background information.

Consider only requiring job seekers to include their name, email address, telephone number and resume, with an option to add a cover letter explaining their interest. Any other information you might need, you can gather during other steps in the hiring process.


2. Include an option to apply via mobile.

According to a recent study from Glassdoor, 58 percent of job seekers look for new opportunities on their phones and 35 percent would prefer to apply to open roles via their mobile devices.

Once you have a simple application in place, it's also important to ensure it's mobile-friendly. Not only can typing a ton of information into a job application be time consuming on mobile, but applicants also might not have their resume files saved on their mobile devices.

Instead of requiring job seekers to type every detail from their resumes or upload their resumes via mobile, offer an option to simply include links to their LinkedIn profiles or portfolios. Anything you can do to make the application process easier on candidates will help you secure more job applicants in today's competitive hiring market.


3. Leverage prescreen surveys.

Since job seekers are more likely to apply to your open roles once you have simple, mobile-friendly job applications in place, you might receive some applicants who aren't a fit for your open roles. To help your team avoid spending time on unqualified applicants, you can tap into prescreen surveys.

Prescreen surveys can be sent to job applicants automatically as soon as they apply to your open roles. These surveys typically consist of several true/false questions, some of which are "knock out" questions, weeding out applicants who aren't a fit. If you need someone who is available nights or weekends, or who has a specific certification, you can include these questions in your prescreen surveys so only applicants who meet your needs move forward with the hiring process.


4. Send text messages to candidates.

Beyond researching and applying to open roles, today's job seekers -- especially those in younger generations -- are always on their phones. As a result, an effective way to communicate with candidates is via text messaging.

Rather than risk playing phone tag or an email getting overlooked, text messaging candidates can boost engagement -- keeping job seekers excited about joining your team and speeding up your hiring process as a whole. Leverage text messaging to coordinate interviews, share directions to your office, remind candidates of critical hiring process steps, and more.

The low unemployment rate means job seekers have the flexibility to be more selective when it comes to researching and applying to new roles. By meeting the demands of today's job seekers with a simple application process, you can stand out from competing employers and build a team to top employees who will drive results for your business.

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