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What is one way you can simplify your job applications to attract better talent? 

To help you best simplify your job applications to attract top talent, we asked hiring managers and recruiters this question for their best insights. From getting rid of the cover letter to using only online applications, there are several ways companies could streamline their job application process to make it less cumbersome and more appealing to quality candidates.

Here are 15 ways these leaders simplify their job applications to attract better talent:

  • Get Rid of the Cover Letter
  • Sell the Company Mission
  • Optimize it for Mobile
  • Streamline the Process and Make it Transparent from the Start
  • Consider Asking for Video Resumes
  • Use an Applicant Tracking System
  • Limit the Time for Completing Applications
  • Trim Your Questions to Ask for Only Relevant Information
  • Use Linkedin’s Easy Apply
  • Eradicate Unnecessary Must-Have Skills
  • Provide a Realistic Job Preview With a Video
  • Cut Down on Mandatory Questions
  • Stop Making Applicants Re-Enter Info Manually
  • Get High-Quality HR Software
  • Use Only Online Applications

Get Rid of the Cover Letter

Let’s be honest, the cover letter is most applicants’ worst nightmare. While cover letters could give good insight into why an applicant wants a job, high achieving companies who find unbelievable talent like McKinsey & Company don’t require cover letters and don’t suffer from lack of talent as a result. Getting rid of the cover letter is a good way to attract better talent because it’ll cut through the fluff and focus on experience, achievement, and potential – which should be screened for in the interview process

Adam Shlomi, SoFlo Tutors

Sell the Company Mission

Workplace culture is more important than ever, but too many job postings focus on mundane skills that apply to a wide pool of applicants. Think big: What is your company about? By focusing on your long-term vision, you’ll narrow the hiring field to those who’ll further the broader aspirations of your business.

Linn Atiyeh, Bemana

Optimize it for Mobile

One excellent way to simplify a job application is to optimize it for mobile. Most job seekers appreciate ease of access, and mobile-friendly applications integrated with apps like LinkedIn make the entire application process a breeze. For highly qualified applicants especially, a mobile-optimized application is more attractive than a lengthy initial application. Streamlining your post to be mobile-friendly and only have exactly what you need will narrow your results and show you exactly who you need.

Kevin Callahan, Flatline Van Co.

Streamline the Process and Make it Transparent from the Start

Better talent includes competent candidates that are critical of their time and resources. When submitting applications, they expect a streamlined process. If the application has multiple parts which demands a certain amount of time to complete, disclose the application process upfront. It’s deceiving when the application process is lacking transparent communication and visible online/formatting.

Strong candidates may start the process and abandon it because one part of the application guides them to another part without a clear explanation. Some processes lead the candidate to the ‘unknown’ territory where they aren’t sure when the application process ends. It’s similar to a visitor shopping on an e-commerce site. They fill their cart yet fail to complete the transaction. Either the checking out process is overwhelming or slow. Something is amiss that is sending the good minds elsewhere, even if it’s last minute, they realize it’s not worth the time & investment.

Sasha Laghonh, Sasha Talks

Consider Asking for Video Resumes

Consider asking for video resumes. While this process is different, it’s more efficient for both parties. Interested candidates can record a 2-3 minute video about their experience instead of building a resume from scratch. Hiring managers can get an idea if their previous background and personality may be fit with the company before the first round of interviews even take place. It’s a win-win for both sides.

Jodi Neuhauser, Ovaterra

Use an Applicant Tracking System

One way you can simplify your job applications is by using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). An ATS automates many of the tasks involved in recruiting, including processing applications and generating automated applicant notifications. This allows recruiters to spend more time on the most important aspects of the hiring process, such as conducting interviews and making offers. ATS can also help improve the candidate experience by providing automated reminders about the application process, enabling applicants to submit their information online, and notifying them when they are a candidate of interest.

Adil Advani, Stream Digitally

Limit the Time for Completing Applications

One way we keep our applications simple and accessible is to limit how long they take to fill out on average. We specifically design our job applications to take less than 30 minutes to fill out for someone with average experience in our industry. One reason for this is because we don’t think job seekers are incentivized to apply for jobs that make it too difficult to complete the application. The other reason is that candidates need basic minimum experience to apply to most entry-level roles we offer, that are usually discerned at a glance. We are huge proponents of fair work-life balance, so we want our new hires to enjoy a positive candidate experience through understanding our company values and culture from the application all the way to getting hired.

Shawn Munoz, Pure Relief

Trim Your Questions to Ask for Only Relevant Information

A job application is designed to give employers the ability to determine whether the candidate should be contacted for a follow up. Rarely do you need all of the questions you typically see to make this determination — and don’t get me started on cover letters. So, before you add all sorts of questions about the candidate, ask yourself: “What information do I need to be able to confidently contact this person?” You can always ask more questions later. Isn’t that what an interview is for

We once worked with a manufacturing client who was asking all the generic questions you’d expect based on a standard 3-page paper application. But we figured out that they only needed two things to make the decision to contact the candidate: technical aptitude or on-the-job experience. Their application completion time went from a 30+ minute process to less than two minutes. And their application completion rate jumped through the roof.

Justin Vajko, Dialog

Use LinkedIn’s Easy Apply

Advertise your job openings on LinkedIn, and use the Easy Apply option. Most savvy job seekers take advantage of LinkedIn when looking for that perfect job. LinkedIn is a free and easy platform to use when applying to a large volume of job postings. The Easy Apply option makes it even easier for applicants to submit their resumes and get in line for the interviewing process.

Alex Carroll, Caliber Games

Eradicate Unnecessary Must-Have Skills

Humans constantly judge themselves and determine whether they are a right fit for a job or not before applying, and what can make it worse is having a lot of must-have skills in your job description. If they don’t have up to 80% of these must-have skills, job applicants will likely overlook the job, even if they are one of the top talents. Therefore, ensure that you stay clear of unnecessary ‘must-have’ skills. A great way to do this is to ask yourself if each must-have skill will affect the general output of the position. If not, then the skill can be categorized under another section like ‘nice-to-have’ skills or ‘additional skills. Doing this will reduce the chances of getting top talents discouraged.

Simon Bacher, Simya Solutions

Provide a Realistic Job Preview With a Video

Alongside a traditional job posting, also create a video message that provides a first-hand look at the role you are hiring for and/or your company culture. A simple way to get started is to give current employees the opportunity to participate in feature interviews, where they can share the specifics of the job, insights about the department, and the company culture. Realistic job previews provide a visually appealing, honest, and practical look at a typical day on the job and are the perfect tool for taking your application quality to the next level.

Jason McNary, Brandon Blackwood

Cut Down on Mandatory Questions

The longer the job application, the lower the applicant’s diligence to fill it. Especially if the form is rich in many mandatory open-ended questions, requiring the potential employee to give a longer answer. To simplify job applications, marking as few questions as possible as mandatory is necessary. This ensures that no candidate is overwhelmed by the number of questions and that the application does not take long to complete. In turn, the answers of those who choose to complete the optional fields can tell a lot about the particular candidates. The fact that they decided to give an additional answer certainly works to their advantage. This shows which candidates are committed and thorough, care about the work, and aren’t applying “just to get a job”. In turn, the answers supplement knowledge about the candidate, allowing recruiters to evaluate them better. Although optional fields do not directly contribute to attracting top talent, they show which candidates are the best choice.

Nina Paczka, Resume Now

Stop Making Applicants Re-Enter Info Manually

If you still require applicants to re-enter details from their resumes into a separate form, don’t! There is no need for candidates to painstakingly re-type pages of personal details. This extra work signals that you do not value candidates’ time and is likely to turn away talent out of frustration. If your systems need this information to be in separate fields, then invest in software that automatically extracts the text from supporting documents or enables auto-fill applications from sites like LinkedIn.

Kate Duske, Escape Room Data

Get High-Quality HR Software

Invest in software that can parse candidates’ resumes. There’s nothing more aggravating for someone applying to jobs than uploading a resume and then having to copy and paste every individual line into a separate box. You can simplify your job applications and make the process smoother for applicants by remedying this. Investing in high-quality HR software both improves candidates’ opinions of your business and simplifies the application process.

Vimla Black Gupta, Ourself

Use Only Online Applications

One way you can simplify your job applications to attract better talent is by using an online application form. This will allow you to collect all of the necessary information from candidates in one place, and make it easier for you to compare candidates. The alternative is to use a paper application, which can be more time-consuming and difficult to keep track of.

Luciano Colos, PitchGrade

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