Online Job Application

Creating and Implementing Online Job Applications Effectively

A job application is more than a form that somebody completes to apply for a job, and it’s more than just an advertisement for an open position.


In fact, a job application is an introduction to your company as a whole. It’s a place to give an applicant a reason to WANT to work for you while they sell themselves as a potential hire.


Having a job application that accurately reflects your corporate culture can also help ensure that you’re getting applicants that will mesh nicely with your existing employees.


You’re not a generic company so don’t put out generic applications. Inject some personality into the application in your wording, maybe ask some fun questions, and let that company culture shine through.


Improve the Application Process With Online Forms

Traditional job applications have always been paper forms, and in fact many people still use them (particularly in retail jobs).


While they may seem convenient, in reality paper applications just don’t stack up to the advantages of using online job applications.


By posting a position online, you enable job seekers to find their ideal position, speed up the review process, reach a larger applicant pool, and save your company money (and trees!).


Allow Job Seekers to Self-Select the Best Positions

Not every applicant knows precisely which position they should be applying for when they decide they want to work for your company. They may recognize your company name or brand and simply be browsing the “Careers” section of your site.


Oftentimes job seekers come to a site intending to apply for one position but find another that’s a better fit for their skills or aspirations.


Online job postings make both of these situations possible, meaning that you’re more likely to have a large, well-qualified pool to draw from.


Quickly Categorize and Review Applicants

If you’re trying to fill five positions in five separate departments using paper applications, you’re relying on candidates to accurate self-identify their desired position.


And you still have to review each application individually.


Instead, using specific online applications for each position allows you to use filters to minimize how many applications you review at one time.


You can filter by position and responses to initial yes/no questions, narrowing the field of relevant applications you must review.


Once you’ve gotten a more manageable number of applications, you can use open text analysis on the open ended questions. This lets you compare responses side by side to find outstanding applicants, vastly decreasing your review time.

Hire Further by Extending Your Reach

Online applications also increase the reach of your applicant pursuit exponentially.


Paper applications rely on foot traffic, while a digital job posting can reach anyone with an internet connection.


Additionally, an online job posting allows you to put a link to the application directly in the post. This eliminates emails asking for an application, and it cuts down on “applications” that are nothing but a non-descript resume.

Save Money and the Planet

Paper applications are expensive. You pay for paper, ink, printer repair, etc. And that doesn’t include lost human resources time creating and printing the physical documents.


You’re already paying for a website, so adding links to your applications is virtually costless.


If you want to expand your search even further, you can reinvest the money that you save with an online application into paid placement on internet job sites.


Whether you’re interesting in cost savings or tree savings, online job applications are an easy choice.

How to Construct a Basic Online Job Application

Everyone has filled out a job application that felt truly impersonal. These forms imply that a company will treat their employees impersonally as well.


There’s also the reverse problem, in which the freedom of the digital format leads to dozens of overly personal questions.


An online job application reveals as much about the company who posted it as it does about the applicant, so you want to make sure yours is sending the right message.


To determine the right message for you may requires some thoughtful reflection about your company and the position you are hiring for.


The best place to start is by first getting the fundamental application elements in place, such as:

  • Contact/demographic Information
  • Education
  • Skills/Professional Assessment Questions
  • Previous Work/Experience
  • References
  • Work Eligibility and/or Criminal History
  • Schedule Availability (if you’re looking for part time employees)

When you build your baseline, generic application online, you then have an easy-to-copy place to start for future applications. This eliminates redundant work in the future, while maintaining a consistent baseline for all applications.


Once you have a solid foundation you can expand to questions that delve into requirements for the position and relevant skills.


Adding position-specific questions will help in determining if an applicant is actually a good candidate for the position. It will help you to know right off the bat if they have the proper skills and should be interviewed.

Further Applicant Evaluation Using Open Ended Questions

In addition to the basic data-gathering questions, there are two questions that should always be on your application:


Based on the job description, what skills/qualifications do you have relating to the position you are applying for? Why do you want to work with us?  

These questions can reveal a great deal about your applicants.


The first question tells you whether or not the applicant really knows the details of the position they are applying for.


It also creates space for them to elaborate on non-resume skills that can set them apart.


Sadly many candidates don’t take the time to complete background research on a company before completing an application, and this question will help you weed those people out.


Remember when adding open ended questions: start the conversation, don’t ask for a life story.


Job applications give you the ability to collect consistent information from all of your applicants. By having your applications online you can expedite your application creation and review processes, as well as expand the quality and quantity of the applications you receive.


Grab the survey template in the top right hand corner of this page, and start saving time on the hiring process right now. Then go grab a snack and give yourself a pat on the back.


Above and Beyond - Advanced Job Applications


Try adding in some Automated Email Actions to really streamline your application process.


You can use them to send a confirmation email to applicants, a copy of the application to the hiring Manager, and even have an email set on logic to send a repudiation message to recipients that did not fit the basic position requirements.


Here’s a guide to creating these Automated Email Actions.


Sometimes applicants would like to download a copy of their application for their own records.


Adding a Review Action will allow them to review what they wrote before submitting their final application as well as download a PDF copy for themselves.


All of those open ended questions can be a little tough to go through one by one.


This is where Open Text Analysis comes in really handy. By organizing all of the open text responses into text buckets you can easily organize your applicants and find the strongest responses.


Survey Examples

Online Job Application