How to Improve Job Application Completion Rates

Based on a survey of various recruiters, the average application completion rate is as low as 10.60%. This means more users today fail to reach the end of an application process, and businesses could lose out on recruiting potential talent. 

Tracking the application completion rate helps to hire managers to optimize their recruitment processes and ensure there are no unnecessary drop-offs.

In this blog, we will explore some of the challenges hindering individuals from completing the application process and address how to resolve them.  

Challenges to Getting Candidate Candidate Applications

Here are some of the challenges experienced by candidates in completing the application process: 

Too many questions

One of the most common problems candidates face is lengthy and time-consuming forms. Some applications take too long to fill, leaving the candidate demotivated to reach the end of the process. In some cases, applications might also be considered boring and repetitive. 

Many forms often contain irrelevant questions that are of no use in the recruitment process. For example, many applications fail to incorporate the essential aspects of the job role and stick to generic information. This also leads to the collection of data that is unusable. 

An un-mobile-friendly application

Eight in ten people stop engaging with non-mobile optimized pages the moment they land on one.

Your application page or form must be responsive on all devices. Think mobile-first, there is huge chunk of population which is mobile users. Applications planned only for desktops will make it difficult to attract and engage with the phone users.  

Job descriptions that are too long

A lengthy or confusing job description (JD) discourages applicants from applying for the job. The vagueness or ambiguity in JDs is also a contributor to this disinterest.

Candidates must be able to understand the position, scope of work, and list of duties and have a good idea of the offer to be encouraged to apply for a job.  

Double logins

Some technical difficulties can also result in dubious applications. One of the common conflicts is a double login. People do not wish to log in to multiple platforms to submit forms and applications. The process must be straightforward and effortless. 

Similarly, slow sites are also a problem, 53% of people abandon mobile sites that take more than three seconds to load.  

6 Process Adjustments to Improve Application Completion Rates

Here are a few common tweaks that organizations can make to their application process to ensure a lower rate of abandonment:

1. Be strategic with sourcing channels

Note that only 36% of the average working population is actively looking for new jobs and positions. This group is further divided between many channels and avenues.

Some might depend on LinkedIn, others a job platform, and some a recruiter. This means having the right strategy with sourcing channels is critical. 

Use a hiring tool or dedicated ATS for all your hiring needs.  Have a single point of contact or a hiring manager to cover all avenues. 

2. Keep questions to a minimum

Statistically, a job application must take only five minutes to complete. Anything longer will force the candidate to lose interest. Run tests to determine if you meet these demands. Ask a few people within your team to also apply and run an A/B test. 

A good rule of thumb with hiring applications is that they must not have to respond to more than twenty-five questions. While 25 is already a high number, anything more than that is sure to have drop-offs. The fewer questions, the better. 

3. Create a streamlined application journey

For starters, maintain a consistent format. Do not expect candidates to jump between pages, upload too many documents, or provide information that is difficult to fill on the phone. Use a single dashboard to collect all the data from various channels. 

Further, allow users to save and return to the application form and complete it at their convenience.  

4. Use online assessments for different roles

As mentioned earlier, a one-size-fits-all solution will not work with hiring. Ensure you tailor-make your forms and assessment processes for each and every role.  

Today, some hiring platforms provide real-time updates and automation systems that can help shortlist candidates easier. The same is helpful with sending feedback, scheduling interviews, follow-ups, and rejections. 

5. Add employer branding elements

The application process must become a representation of your company brand. Ideally, it should match the tone and voice of your company culture.

Encourage candidates to begin the application process by providing insights about the work environment and ethics. Highlight the benefits of the job in the JD to further push them. It’s also critical to remain honest while setting these expectations. 

6. Track and optimize your funnel data

Analytics is the spine of optimization. They help better the hiring process and ensure a smooth and seamless system.

The requirement funnel consists of stages like awareness, interest from candidates, the application process, and selections. Each of these stages must be leak-proof to ensure better turnovers. 

In Closing

Finally, apprehensions from the candidate’s side cannot be fixed; making the job offer and process attractive is what’s in your control. Incorporate the above suggestions into your approach to streamline the application process to the best of your abilities. In addition, create a talent network and ensure that you keep candidates up-to-date on new opportunities.


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