This is the fourth post in a five-part series on hiring for low-skilled employees. Our data comes primarily from helping post over 1,000,000 jobs in the building services, janitorial, and security industries.
The best explanation for this is that most traditional job application templates are long, cumbersome, and unnecessarily ask difficult questions.
The number one way to increase your applicant volume immediately is to reduce friction in the application process. Your application should be extremely easy to complete. If it’s not, you’re going to lose a lot of potentially good candidates along the way.
Keep your application no more than one page in length and use the following formatting and tips to increase your applicant volume.
Section One: Basic Information
This is standard information and quite obvious, but only include the information you absolutely need. Items to include in this section:
- Personal Information: Only ask for one phone number and one street address.
- Education: Reduce the fat on this section by simply including a checkbox of “highest level of education completed.” This is usually all you need to know.
Section Two: Job-Specific Questions
This is arguably the most important thing to include in the job application, but we see many companies reserve these for the phone screen. These questions are simple, low-commitment questions that require a checkbox or a quick answer.
Placing these at the top of the application will generate micro-commitments from the applicant and make them feel like they’ve gotten far along in the process. This will lead to a greater likelihood of them completing the laborious job history section
- Physical Requirements
- Proximity to Job
- Salary Requirements
- Employment Eligibility
- Certifications, equipment experience, etc.
- Work shift availability
This also opens up room in the phone screen to connect with the applicant on a personal level and gain trust. Now that you know they’re capable of doing the job, OK with pay, and live within close proximity of the job, you can use the phone screen in a much different way.
Section Three: Job History
Traditionally, a written application will have room for three previous jobs. This places unnecessary pressure on the candidate and is a common place for them to stop the process.
You only need to know whether or not they’ve held a job before, and in many cases you don’t even need that; so why ask?
The main reasons we see job history as the biggest stumbling block for applicants are:
- Previous employer’s phone number and address. More often than not, this is useless information. Yet, it’s a real stumbling block as they feel the need to find this information for you. If they can’t easily find it, they’ll stop the process.
- Exact Dates of Previous Employment. It can be quite difficult to remember the exact dates you were employed. Do you care to have this information in the first place?
- Can We Contact Your Manager? Most companies we work with never actually contact the manager at the previous place of employment for an applicant. This question can commonly create a lot of stress especially if that applicant didn’t have a great relationship with their previous manager. If you’re not going to contact them - don’t ask!
Virtually every company hiring low-skilled employees believes they need more applicants, but few think about what they’re actually asking on the application. By reducing friction points on the application, you will improve your applicant volume and not spend money doing it.
Keep an eye out for the fifth and final part of this series coming soon: Mastering Messaging in Your Recruiting Process.
To make sure you don’t miss it, scroll to the bottom of the page to subscribe to the blog!