Minimizing applicant drop-off while maximizing quality applicant flow

Posted by Jesse Applehans on 1/7/19 8:17 AM

In recruiting, applicant tracking

Constructing an effective job application in today’s market requires creating an appropriate balance between simplicity and quality control. More often than not, job seekers will quit in the middle of an application and fail to ever complete the process.  Losing out on those potential candidates can be the difference between capturing top quality talent and struggling to find a body to fill a position.

Luckily, with modern Applicant Tracking tools and experts keeping up with the ever-changing hiring trends, there are plenty of ways to combat the looming issue of applicant drop-off.  The first thing to remember when determining the contents of an application is that the strategy will (and should) differ depending on the position and the market in which the job is posted.  A customizable application experience is absolutely necessary to effectively capture quality applications. 

For example, the average application length for an hourly position should typically be shorter than that for a management or corporate-level salaried position. Likewise, a market that has a lower unemployment rate or is in a less-populated area may want to simplify the level of screening to facilitate higher applicant flow versus a highly populated area with a large candidate pool who could potentially screen with more strict criteria.  Catering to your audience with these types of configurations can make a big difference in overall applicant completion rates.

In general, the goal is to strike a balance.  A quick, easy, user-friendly and mobile-driven experience is definitely a necessity when it comes to reducing drop-off.  In fact, studies cited by state that “The biggest driver of application drop-off is the time it takes to complete an application. Completion rates drop by a staggering 365 percent if the application takes longer than 15 minutes to complete.”  It is certainly important to maintain that easy-apply feel, but on the other hand it is also necessary to incorporate enough screening questions to effectively identify qualified candidates and pin-point key requirements, therefore saving time for managers during the screening process.  Some of the questions below may be helpful in defining your custom application experience and finding the process that works best for your candidates:

  • How short can we make the entire application from start to finish while still capturing relevant information?
  • What questions are necessary in order to identify necessary qualifications?
  • How can we eliminate redundancies and reduce unnecessary steps in the application?
  • What can we do to save time for managers as they sift through applications, screen, and interview candidates?
  • How can we make the application experience as easy, accessible, and straightforward as possible for the candidate?
  • Which positions should contain in-depth vs. minimal screening? (i.e. can we include assessments and more comprehensive questionnaires for higher level positions?)

One last factor to consider in the process of crafting the ideal application is to have a  reporting system in place to identify what strategies have been successful and what can be adjusted on an ongoing basis.  Tracking tools can help keep track of applicant drop-off rates, allow subtle adjustments to be made to continually monitor and reduce the number of incomplete applications.  Running reports on application scores, recruitment sources, and other relevant analytics can further ensure that each source and application is continually driving quality applicant traffic.

Click here to learn more about how a digitized platform like talentReef can provide an industry-proven custom application experience and associated tracking tools to combat candidate drop-off and better-find your next best employee.

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