There is no hard and fast rule in dealing with employment application forms. Under most labor laws across countries, the choice of hiring procedures and recruitment operations is considered part of the employers’ management prerogatives. Employers can stipulate and come up with their own application procedures as long as they are reasonable and not contrary to law, morals, and public policy.
In line with this, the drafting of application forms is a crucial stage for them. Bear in mind that such forms are not just there to record the applicant’s basic and work-related information, but is significantly influential with the dynamics of the whole application process. A poorly-written job application can bring about wastage of resources and time. On the other hand, a well-organized job application form can contribute to overall success of the company by recruiting suitable candidates within a short-period of time.
What You Need to Know About Application Forms
Employment application forms play a significant role in every company. Traditionally, aspiring job applicants are provided with a paper-based application form during the initial stages of application. Nowadays, most companies rely on online application forms because of its flexibility and greater accessibility. However, regardless of the medium that your company chooses to use, here are some important points that you need to know about job application forms:
Creates a link between the company and the job applicant.
As you may have observed, applicants must fill in and complete an application form before he or she can proceed to the succeeding stages of recruitment. In line with this, it is the said document that allows the employee to get to know the company. The information inputted by the applicant provides avenues for the hiring managers to get to know the former and decide whether or not he or she is suited and qualified for the said job post.
Fosters a sound HR documentation and system management.
According to research, application forms are one of the most classic and credible ways of screening an applicant. Other than the said function, they are also used even after the application process. For applicants who successfully passed all the stages of application, the form serves documentation that the HR department will be using in crafting a career development plan for the newly hired employee.
For those who failed to make the cut, it is not the end of the road for them. Their resumes and application forms already formed part of the records of the HR Department. This implies that if there are future job vacancies, and the HR personnel is convinced that your qualifications match the demands of the job, then you’ll be given another chance to apply.
These are some of the reasons why employment application forms are important. In building your form, you should keep the preceding points in mind.
Tips in Organizing Application Forms
Organizing an application form is not that easy. Since there are various factors to consider such as the nature of the job, the market trends, the platform to be used, the preferences of the company, and more, hiring managers must be keen and meticulous in dealing with such forms.
They should know what are the critical inclusions as well as the exclusions that they should avoid. Bear in mind that organization is all about establishing a logical and systematic framework. Every aspect of the application form must be in harmony with one another. Here are some concrete writing tips that you may consider:
Set up clear and comprehensive objectives.
Similar to business plans and strategic plans, a well-organized application form is a product of a thorough and holistic planning initiatives. Coming up with clear and straightforward objectives is a good way to start your application form. Recruitment and hiring processes work well if there are agreed upon and sound objectives.
Know what to include and what not to include.
Generally, application forms embody questions and inquiries regarding the applicant’s basic details, work history, honors and awards, work-related experiences and highlights, and other significant qualifications and optional sections such as references.
Aside from the inclusions, you should be well-acquainted with the questions that are not welcomed in most application forms. These refer to the following:
- racist questions;
- discriminatory inquiries such as those pertaining to gender and religion;
- questions pertaining to the political affiliation of the application;
- inquiries about the previous salary benefits of the applicant; and
- other incriminatory and unreasonable questions.
As much as possible, stick to the point. The form must be used as a tool in documenting and assessing applicants rather criticizing and a means of making prejudices and judgment.
Use flexible and reliable programs, software, and templates.
As discussed above, online application forms are preferred because they are user-friendly and convenient for both parties. On the hiring managers’ end, online or electronic application forms are easy to manage and organize. Distance and communication barriers will never be a problem. In terms of documentation, you can have multiple back-ups to ensure that the files are secured and stored properly.
Furthermore, you can also research and download reliable and credible application form templates that can hasten your work. Using updated templates can help you understand the dynamics of application forms. All you have to do is to personalize them and execute the necessary edits.
Put more attention in crafting targeted questions.
Aside from being descriptive in character, you can also add behavioral and critical aspects in the form. You can ask substantial questions that can stir the minds and emotions of the applicant. The current trend is leaning towards adding more behavioral and situational questions that test the candidates personal and professional ethics and line of reasoning.
Don’t forget to put limitations.
In the end of the day, you should consider that the form is just used for initial screening. Avoid bombarding the applicant with too many or inappropriate questions. Set limitations and reserve those questions that are appropriate for other forums.
To conclude, organizing an application form is like solving a puzzle. You have to ensure that each piece contributes to the development of the whole.