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How to Properly Create an Online Job Application Form and Find the Best Candidate

Creating an online job application form may seem easy with the tools available nowadays – but it isn’t as simple as you may think. If you aren’t careful you may end up shooting yourself in the foot and making it difficult to find the best candidate.

In some cases your form may be too general and attract tons of responses that you then have to sift through one by one to find the few that are promising. Or conversely your form may not be user-friendly and you could end up with very few (or no) responses.

To avoid those issues, there are a few steps you need to take so that you can properly create an effective online job application form:

1. Identify what you are looking for

Before creating the form itself, you need to know what qualities you’re looking for in a candidate. Think about what kind of person you want to hire not just in terms of professional skills but also work ethics, personality, and the way they do their job.

2. Don’t overlook any necessary information

While you’re thinking of great questions to put in your form, it is easy to forget the basics. Be sure not to do that, and make sure your form requests necessary information such as the name of the applicant, their contact information, education, work experience, and so on.

3. Make things crystal clear

Applicants should be crystal clear on exactly what they need to fill out in each and every field of your form. To ensure that is the case you should check that your questions are crystal clear, and maybe use hints or placeholder text as an example.

Other ways that you can improve the clarity of your forms are by sizing the fields appropriately, highlighting mandatory fields, and using checkboxes or dropdown lists.

4. Ask smart questions

Smart questions are questions that require applicants to provide creative and unique answers. They will let you learn far more about each applicant than simple and straightforward questions would.

For example if you’re hiring someone for a marketing position, you could ask how they’d run a particular campaign. That’ll let you learn about how they approach such tasks, and allow you to narrow down your options more effectively.

5. Keep it short and stick to what’s important

Nothing will put off applicants more than a form that is several pages long and will take them ages to answer. As a rule you should try to keep your form as short as possible and make sure that every question is important and necessary.

6. Allow applicants to upload their resume

Although you may not feel the need to look at the resumes of applicants after they’ve answered the application form – it is useful to request them nonetheless. With the resumes in hand you’ll have another tool that you can use to evaluate potential employees without adding to the complexity of the form.

7. Fill it out yourself

As a final step you should try filling out the job application form that you’ve created in its entirety. When you do you’ll be able to see what applicants will experience, how difficult it is to fill out, and how much time it takes. Based on that you can make improvements if you discover that it isn’t very user-friendly.

Following these steps should help you to create far more effective job application forms. It may take time and several drafts, but at the end of the day you’ll find that it will enable you to find the best candidate for the job far more quickly.