A woman sits at a table on a balcony working at a computer.

Is Your Application Process Frictionless?

The job application is a crucial part of any hiring process, but it’s also one of the most criticized aspects of the experience. From time-consuming forms to too many hoops to jump through, many job seekers have faced frustration and even given up on potential opportunities due to a tedious or overly complicated application process.    

In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of frictionless application intake, best practices, common frustration points, and how to address them. 

The Importance of a Frictionless Application Process  

A streamlined application process can make all the difference for candidates. Here are some key reasons why.  

It Improves the Candidate Experience  

The last thing anyone wants is to be bogged down by a complicated and time-consuming application intake. Candidates often judge the overall quality of a company by the investments they make in systems, processes and communications. So, make sure this first impression is a good one.  

It Reduces Drop-Off Rates  

A lengthy and confusing application process can be a significant turn-off for candidates, leading to high drop-off rates. By streamlining the process and making it easier for candidates to apply, you can increase the pool of qualified candidates applying for your roles. Candidates often form an opinion of how your firm generally values people by how your process is (or isn’t) designed to respect their time and energy.  

It Saves Time and Resources  

The less time you spend sifting through messy and incomplete applications, the more time you can dedicate to other tasks, like interviewing and narrowing down the best candidates. Consider using the combination of basic email automation and a great communications strategy to effectively communicate with candidates at scale throughout their journey.  

It Attracts Top Talent  

Creating an application process that focuses on a positive candidate experience gives you the added benefit of attracting top talent to your open roles. The best candidates are likely aware of the demand for their skills and experience in this highly competitive and candidate-short market. They have many options, so make sure their path to apply to your organization is smooth and barrier-free, or they’ll bounce to the next best thing faster than you can say “404 error.”  

Common Friction Points in the Application Process and How Address Them  

Time-Consuming Forms  

Many applicants become frustrated when employers ask them to fill out lengthy forms with information already listed on their resumes. To avoid this friction point, consider using a more intuitive and efficient applicant tracking system (ATS) that can pre-populate fields based on the information provided in a candidate’s resume. The more convenient the process, the better.  

Multiple Steps  

Gone are the days of viewing lengthy, multi-step application processes as a good thing in the name of thoroughness. Instead, job seekers expect a quick and efficient experience that’s fully digitized and mirrors the best consumer experiences they enjoy every day. Think Amazon or Google. Requiring applicants to complete multiple pages of forms, provide additional or redundant documentation, and complete various assessments only adds to their frustration and takes time they could better spend elsewhere. Put yourself in the job seeker’s shoes, take a user-centric approach, and make sure you treat others with the UX you’d like to see.  

Lack of Transparency  

A considerable frustration point for candidates is when they don’t hear back from the hiring manager after submitting their application. It’s essential to have a clear and concise communication plan, even if the candidate isn’t the right fit for the job. Let candidates know what to expect, such as how long it will take to hear back, whom they can contact for updates, and whether they will be informed even if they don’t get the role. Regardless of the hiring outcome, showing the utmost respect and transparency will leave them feeling good about your firm and your brand (Yay! You just made a promoter out of a candidate—and maybe they’ll be back for a role that’s an even better fit.) 

Five Best Practices for Streamlining Application Intake

1. Simplify the Intake Form 

The application form is often the first point of contact between your organization and candidates, so it’s important to make it simple and easy to complete. Consider reducing the number of fields, using clear language, and avoiding complex questions. Also, make sure to use an intuitive, accessible, and easy-to-follow design compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design 

 2. Avoid Redundancies

A common pitfall to many application forms is asking for redundant information. Asking candidates for details that you already have or can quickly obtain from their resume or other sources increases the time and effort required to complete the application, potentially leading to frustration and a higher drop-off rate. Think about how irritating it can be to spend the first 15 minutes of your doctor’s appointment repeating information the provider already has. Avoid doing this to your candidates and they’ll be glad you did. 

3. Provide Clear Instructions

Providing clear instructions on how to complete the form can help candidates navigate their applications with ease. Explain each step of the process and what information you need from the candidate. This can reduce confusion and increase the chances of a successful application. Consider a UX that shows the candidate their progress as they complete the steps. This low-key gamifies their experience and incentivizes them to follow it all the way to the end.  

4. Allow Resume Uploads

Allowing candidates to upload their resumes rather than manually entering the information can reduce the time and effort it takes to complete an application. With the ability to upload their resume, candidates can easily provide the information hiring managers need to make informed hiring decisions. Pro-tip: Few things are less pleasing than uploading one’s resume and also having to enter everything manually. Avoid this if possible.  

 5. Offer Mobile-Friendly Options

Did you know that 58 percent of candidates look for jobs using a mobile device? With more people using their smartphones and tablets to apply for jobs, it’s crucial to ensure that your application site is mobile-friendly. Use responsive design so that no matter how candidates are accessing your recruiting workflow, it’s visually sound and technically reliable.   

Enhancing Your Employer Brand and Reputation Through a Frictionless Application Process  

A simplified application process is beneficial to job applicants and the company itself. When applicants have a positive experience with a company’s hiring process, it showcases the employer’s commitment to excellence, to people, and to the details. This creates a positive perception of the company, its employer brand, and its brand overall, making it more attractive to top talent—people who are also potential consumers of your product or service.  
When a company invests in making its application process simple, efficient and straightforward, it signals to potential employees that it values their time, takes the hiring process seriously, and makes the right investments in systems and processes. On the other hand, nobody wants to work for a company that doesn’t prioritize technology and the user experience. So, make sure your company has the right tools, people and processes to create a winning experience for all.

Partner With an IT Leader for an Optimized Hiring Process  

As a leading information technology (IT) staffing firm, TeamSoft knows the importance of having a seamless hiring process. 

Don’t let outdated and cumbersome hiring practices hold your organization back. Instead, invest in an efficient hiring process to attract qualified applicants and improve your employer brand.  

TeamSoft is here to help you every step of the way, from streamlining your application process to finding top talent for your organization. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our IT staffing solutions and how we can help take your hiring to the next level.