Publication Date: March 08, 2016

Are your online job applications too long and daunting? According to a CareerBuilder study, 60 percent of job applicants abandon online job applications because of their length or intricacy. You could be losing out on top talent and/or receiving poor word-of-mouth from the applicants that are annoyed with the drawn-out process.

While traditional thinking says a lengthy application will weed out the bad applicants, while the good talent will take the time to fill out the information, the opposite is actually true. Top talent knows their time is critical and that they have numerous chances at getting a good job. The hires you’re wanting aren’t going to take the time to fill out a long application.

According to this SHRM article, recruiters and HR professionals can do these things to increase the number of completed applications:

  1. Remove the “nice to have” questions that aren’t required. A study from Appcast showed completion rates drop by roughly 50 percent if there are 50 or more questions on a job application. If you don’t need the information upfront in order to move on in the hiring process, don’t ask it on the application.
  2. Don’t ask applicants to re-enter their employment history when you’ve already asked for their resume. It’s too time-consuming and applicants hate repeating the same information that’s on their resume.
  3. Don’t make applicants create an account to log in to submit their application. Requiring double log-ins turn off applicants and will decrease conversions.
  4. Don’t ask for references until you’ve reached the offer stage of the hiring process. Asking for this information so early in the hiring process isn’t necessary.
  5. Ensure your online job applications are mobile-friendly. If your application isn’t easy to use on phones or tablets, you will lose a good majority of applicants. Allowing applicants to apply through LinkedIn or to upload their resume from Dropbox or Google Drive will help increase completion rates.
  6. Find the sweet spot with job descriptions. The content and length of job descriptions can also affect the number of completed applications. Try to write your job descriptions between 250 and 2,000 words. Make sure all of the important details are included, but don’t overwhelm applicants.

Read the entire article on the SHRM website.