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Improve Your Job Application Process in These 9 Easy Ways

Hey you! Yes, you. Potential candidates are not completing their applications because your process is tiring. Improve your job application process with these tips.

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Hey you! Yes, you. Potential candidates are not completing their applications because your process is tiring. Improve your job application process with these tips.


The moment a role opens up in your company, the clock has already started ticking. You have limited time to find a candidate who will fit the position and the company culture like a glove. To achieve this, your application and hiring process needs to be streamlined and efficient, both for you and the candidates experiencing it. After all, you’re trying to make a positive lasting impression on anyone who interacts with your company, whether or not you hire them.

That said, what’s your job application process like? Do you make potential candidates jump through impossible hoops and move the goalpost further and further just for them to get to the interview stage? If you want to attract top talent in an already competitive job market, you have to provide an exceptional candidate experience. This will give people a glimpse of what it is like to work at your company. 

That’s why a complicated application process, lack of rejection communication, and confusing interview processes can create a bad candidate experience for job seekers. Not to mention, people talk. So if one person had a bad experience when applying to your company, then a number of people probably already know about it. The secret is as good as out. 

You may be asking yourself, “Doesn’t this mean I’ve just weeded out the bad seeds from my pool of candidates?” Wrong. This means top candidates might never apply to your company again, and they’ll tell their friends about it, who also won’t apply - rinse and repeat. Yikes!

Now let’s talk solutions. How can you improve your job application process by breathing new life into your organization’s candidate experience? It’s quite simple really, and you might already have the tools you need to optimize your application process. 


1. Look at the numbers first

...specifically your applicant drop-off rate. This is the percentage of candidates who start your online application process but don’t finish it. This metric will help you gauge your current position and where you should be. 

The applicant drop-off ratio = The no. of applications started: the no. of applications finished. 

For example, if 80 applications were started and 30 were finished, then the drop-off ratio is 8:3. The figures you get will tell you whether or not you need to improve your job application process. 


2. Do it yourself

If you don’t experience a problem first-hand, then you might not see the urgent need to solve it. This is why most companies do not know just how bad their job application process and candidate experience is. Hence the need to put yourself in the job seeker’s shoes and experience the application process for yourself. 

That’s right. Apply for your own jobs once in a while. It could prove to be an eye-opening experience. 


3. Make it user-friendly

The best way to improve your job application process is to make it easier, and you can do this in several ways. First, address features that would make any online form easier to complete or more user-friendly. Ask yourself questions like:


  • Can the candidate complete the application process without creating an account?

  • Can you save your application halfway through and finish it later?

  • Are there a few steps in the process?

  • Is there a bar measuring your progress during the application?

  • Is it easy to upload documents?

If your answer to any of these questions was a “no” then you definitely need to improve your job application process. Take some time to address these pain points for the betterment of your candidate's experience. Additionally, if your current applicant tracking system (ATS) doesn’t allow those changes, then think about switching systems or using an Employee Experience Platform (EXP) to boost usability. 

Consider redesigning your application process if it’s complicated. If your industry requires a detailed application for regulatory reasons, you can add a short video on your website clarifying the application steps. It also helps to clarify the steps from beginning to end so that candidates know what to expect. This could be a handout at the interview, an email after an application is received, or a flowchart on your website careers page. 


4. And don’t forget mobile-friendliness…

According to this 2020 study by Appcast, 60.7% of job applications were completed on a mobile device, while 39.3% on a desktop. This goes to show that lots of job seekers apply to jobs on their phones, especially since many of them look at postings while they’re up and about. They might be applying for jobs while waiting in line somewhere, having a cup of coffee, or on a commute. So they will want to finish the application process on the device they’re currently using and not later on a desktop. 

So if the application process is not designed while taking mobile responsiveness and ease of use into consideration, most job applicants will abandon the application. This is why you need to properly optimize your application experience for a variety of devices. Test the application process across all desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. 

It’s good practice to make sure the text is legible and condense the number of actions within your job application process. Also, allow your applicants to upload their resumes directly from LinkedIn, Dropbox, and Google Drive by giving them multiple upload options so they can stay on their current devices. 


5. Communicate with candidates

Do you want to know what the top complaint among job applicants is? It’s a lack of feedback. If you’re not communicating with candidates throughout the job application process, whether or not you’re moving forward with an interview, then you should be taking notes. Even a short email can go a long way. You want to establish a relationship over time, not just in a single interaction. 

And even though no one likes rejection, it’s better than ghosting your candidates and giving everyone the closure they needed. You can even tell them the number of people who applied. Trust me, it makes it easier to deal with rejection when you have an idea of what the competition looks like. Additionally, include extra steps like asking rejected candidates to apply directly for future positions. 


6. Compare notes with your competitors

Consider going through your biggest hiring competitors’ application process on desktop and mobile and see how yours compares. Take note of the elements of their process that are better than yours. Afterwards, analyze your findings and identify the components your company can improve on or adapt. 

Having the best application process in your field has significant benefits. If job seekers keep abandoning your applications because they are time-consuming or frustrating, then your competitors will have the upper hand. 


7. Let the company culture shine through

When job seekers apply for a position at any company, they will do a lot of research to gain an edge and an idea of what it would be like to work there. Both of you want a good personality fit, so website copy, images, and videos conveying the company culture can be very helpful. Examples include a company mission statement, special outings, company awards, employee experiences, and bios. 


Read also: Why Employee Testimonials Could be the Secret to Helping You Hire Top Talent Faster (With Tips on How to Get Them) 


8. What about the interview?

Don’t just focus on improving the application process and forget about the interview stage. It’s equally important so streamline it. Candidates will always be happy to have a pleasant interview experience. Have someone greet and guide them to each meeting. If the interviews are longer, plan for breaks with snacks or other office-appropriate beverages. An office tour can also help candidates better understand the workplace atmosphere. 


9. Feedback, feedback, feedback

Feedback helps everyone, not just the candidate so you should want it. Ask for feedback from the candidate via post-interview surveys, email, or phone. Use the results you get to assess and improve your job application process. 


Read also: Why insightful feedback should be a civil right in job search 


In closing, even though improving your job application process and candidate experience is a huge undertaking, it is worth the investment. When you have an efficient, streamlined mobile-optimized process, it will reduce the applicant drop-off rate to ensure everyone gets to the submit button. 


The increased number of candidates in your pipeline will help you save on recruitment costs and hiring time so your company can fill roles with better talent much faster. 

Meta Description: Want to get the best talent for your open roles and reduce hiring time and costs? Read on to learn how to improve your job application process.

Written by

Sandra Musonge

Sandra Musonge is a part-time writer at Fuzu with over five years of experience under her belt, helping numerous B2B and B2C clients with their content needs. She writes to inspire and not just to inform. Her educational background in Biochemistry has given her a broad base from which to approach many topics. You can find her enjoying nature or trying out new recipes when she isn't writing.

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