Application Forms – your first chance to communicate with potential employees

Anthony Haynes writes: I like this post from Juliet Wilson for two reasons. First, simply thinking of application forms (and, by extension, other recruiting documents) as two-way communication — rather than just for the purpose of eliciting information — is creative.

Second, the overall import of the post is to bounce oneself out of a ‘default’ mentality where one simply does whatever everyone else does, without challenge. Since I read this post I have designed some recruitment documents for a technology start-up and found that, with the post in mind, I approached the task in a far more creative manner.

Juliet Wilson

For many people, the application form is the first firm of communication they have with you. There will of course be the candidates who already know about you and want to work with you. However, many may not previously have been familiar with your work, they may have read the supporting documents and hopefully your website, but the application form is an undeniably interactive form of communication.

If you want to get the best applications for your jobs, make your application forms user friendly! What I say below may seem really obvious, but it’s astonishing how frequently people make simple mistakes that make application forms annoying.

Go through the form yourself to make sure you’re not asking the same questions in different places and that your application form, person specification and job description all fit together without contradicting each other.

Think carefully about whether you really need to know the…

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