This is an extract from our full guide ‘Could Application Forms & Career Portals Actually be Damaging Your Recruitment Campaign Prospects’.

Employers often redirect job seekers from an online job board to their own career portal that contain application forms. However this could damage the success of their recruitment process.

Our research team investigated the outcomes of a major volume recruitment employer who used a career portal. We found that for every 50 job seekers who went from an online job site to a career portal, a mere 4 actually completed the application form.

Recruitment Genius conducted focus groups with job seekers to investigate why they did not complete application forms. We discovered that applicants found career portals too confusing and there were lots of other employees who did not stick obstacles in their way.

It is believed that the primary benefit of application forms is to quickly remove the “lazy” job seekers. Nevertheless, you can never blame a candidate for not completing an application form because they are either too busy or find them too confusing.

Applicants actively avoid application forms

We were constantly astonished by the strong negative views towards application forms when conducting focus groups. We heard lots of stories such as:

  • Applicants applying to jobs where certain answers would result in a rejection one day but accepted another
  • A retail bank rejected candidates who “were not prepared to up-sell financial products”, despite the job advertisement not containing a single reference to sales

Career portals can be off-putting

Career portals start with the best intentions. To differentiate you as an employer of choice, to underline your employer brand and to communicate what you ideal candidate should be like.

However it often confuses applicants. A way of understanding this in a deeper level is to delve into the thought process of an applicant:

1. They have limited time and will only search for a relevant jobs
2. Job seekers favour a “one-click” apply function and is expecting to use this method
3. By taking jobseekers to a career portal you are at risk of destroying channel momentum
4. When job seekers arrive on your portal they need to make a transition orientation. You need to quickly explain where they are; what to do and why they should do it
5. They clicked on your job advertisement for a reason. Don’t overload them with unsubstantiated claims about your company

Remember, it is much simpler to press the back button and click on a competitor’s advertisement who made it far easier to apply.

If you don’t use Recruitment Genius

  • Question if you are actually gaining any benefit from the application
  • The applicant was already planning to apply for the job, the career portal therefore offers little benefit
  • If the application form is still needed – allow the job seeker to apply via the website they saw your advert on
  • When you receive an applicant’s details, send them an email to continue the application process. Ensure the link takes them straight to where they need to be
  • Remove irrelevant questions that don’t add any value
  • Ensure all applications are clear and simple
  • Review all CVs that did not complete an application form and ask yourself “Why should I invite you for an interview?”  Contact the best and either request them to complete an application form or to come in for an interview
  • Identify what the application form found that the CV did not specify

If you do have Recruitment Genius

We have made your life a lot easier if you require application forms to be completed. And this is how:

1. Whenever you upload a new job, you can upload an application form or URL you want applicants to visit
2. We advertise your job and allow the job seeker to apply directly via the online job board. This leads to dramatically higher application rates
3. We can strategically email applicants asking them to download your application form or visit your URL
4. Those applicants who don’t complete the required documents are sent an email reminder three days later
5. You can review applicants who did not complete your application form. If any of those have the potential you are looking for, you could initiate them to take action

You can also benefit from our automated video and telephone screening system to help identify talent. This is a free service Recruitment Genius offers that allows you to ask applicants up to five questions. We invite them to answer your questions using a webcam on their computer or mobile device. This way you can pre-screen applicants to identify if you want to invite them in for an interview. To find out more take a look at our guide ‘Save Time and Make Better Decisions Using Video Interviewing’.

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