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We receive hundreds of applications per job advertisement. Sorting through and narrowing down to the right applicant can be a time consuming endeavor, especially if you don’t have an effective application process. Once you put an application online, people from all over the world with various levels of experience can and will complete your application, […]

We receive hundreds of applications per job advertisement. Sorting through and narrowing down to the right applicant can be a time consuming endeavor, especially if you don’t have an effective application process. Once you put an application online, people from all over the world with various levels of experience can and will complete your application, regardless if they meet your stated qualifications. Key indicators on your application can give your personnel a very good idea on whether the applicant is a fit or not, and help prevent the endless drain of resources reviewing applications can be. You cannot control who applies for a position at your organization, however by making a few subtle you can rule out over 80% of all applicants within one minute of reviewing their application.

If your application is setup properly in less than a minute, per application, you are able to determine the applicant’s interest in working for your organization, work history, professionalism, ability to follow instructions, availability, and critical thinking ability. Through an effective application process you can tell whether an applicant has the core skills necessary to work for your organization before even speaking with them. The following are my tips for setting up an effective application:

1 Way to Apply

Only allow applicants to apply for a position through one method. The best method for quickly screening an application is online. Tell the applicants in your advertisement that they must fill out the application online to apply and that you do not accept phone calls or faxed resumes. This will allow you to automatically rule out anyone that can’t follow simple instruction.

10-15 Minute Application

The easier it is to apply at your company the more unqualified applicants you will receive. Make them work to apply for your position. This will at a minimum let you know how interested they are in the advertised position. Do not make it as simple as e-mail me your resume. The application process should take between 10-15 minutes. Ask hard questions. I recommend including the following in your application:

Contact Information & Background

Specifically watch what e-mail address they use for a contact method. If they use an unprofessional e-mail address, rule them out. I like to see a variation of their name. If I see an address like hotstud1976 or bahamama I automatically rule them out. They don’t get it.

Education

Depends on what level of education you are looking for, but you can rule them out immediately if they don’t meet your minimum.

Hours of Availability

Does their availability fit your needs? If no, rule them out.

Work History Questions

A series of simple Yes or No questions that can help you rule someone out.

Examples:

Have you ever been terminated from a position or asked to resign? If yes, rule them out.

Have you ever applied for a position with your organization? If yes, review their past applications. Determine why you ruled them out the first time – chances are you’re going to rule them out again.

Essay Questions

Making them answer difficult questions will help you determine how well they critically think. Answering these questions will show a commitment to their desire to work for your organization. These questions are extremely important and will give you much insight into their thought process.

Examples:

Why are you interested in this position? If the answer is regarding desperation rule them out. The answer should be a combination of what they like about the position/company and what they offer.

Have you ever quit a job before having another one lined up? If they quit a job without having a job lined up I would stay clear. This is generally an indication of a poor decision maker.

Tell me about an instance you had with a difficult customer? Ask questions specific to work history. This can help you determine whether or not they are a good problem solver. Also, questions like this take thought and time. If they leave the question blank or answer it too simply you know they aren’t interested in committing the time to your company. Rule them out.

How did you find out about our company? This can be a short or long answer. I have found that many times people are applying for so many jobs that they don’t know where they found out about your organization. If they cite a resource that I am not currently advertising on I rule them out. This information is also excellent for determining where your job advertisement is most effective.

Typos, Misspellings, Proper case

If the applicant submits an application with typos, misspellings, or do not use proper case I rule them out. They did not take the time to review their application before submission.

Don’t make application fields required

Tell applicants to fill out the application completely, but don’t make them by having required fields. A blank field will tell you immediately that they aren’t interested in putting the amount of time in to properly apply. Also, this will tell you if they can follow simple instructions.

Resume

Make the applicant copy and paste their resume into a field. If the applicant cannot accomplish this minor technical task they are probably not a good fit for your organization if they will be performing any work with computers.

I will be focusing on the rest of the application process in later posts. I appreciate any feedback or comments.

If you are a potential applicant of CMS you have found all of the information you need to get past the first screening in our application process. Congratulations.

By Last Updated: April 8, 2021Categories: Blog4.7 min read