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The Dos and Don’ts of Your Healthcare Job Applications 

Time is a precious resource and if you are like most people, you try to guard it as much as possible.

For those performing hiring and recruitment activities within healthcare organizations, this means shortening the length of time it takes to review and hire applicants.  One way to do this is to collect as much information as possible upfront in the hopes that a decision can be made under the guise of time-savings without consideration of the applicant experience.  

Does application length matter?

Short answer, yes!  If your application is too short, you miss out on the chance to collect vital information on your applicants.  If your application is too long, you run the chance of pushing applicants away.  Research has shown that 60% of applicants fail to complete an application due to length or complexity.  Not only do drop off rates affect your ability to reach top talent, but they also increase the cost that it takes to acquire new employees.  So how do you fix the drop off rate problem and find an appropriate length application that captures all of the information that you need to make an informed hiring decision?  

Short and sweet application

Well, to start, keep the application as short as possible.  Don’t turn off potential candidates with a never-ending list of questions that only benefit you.  The candidate experience matters and leaves a lasting impression even after an offer has been extended.  How someone is treated in these early stages sends a message to candidates and employees alike, which will affect your retention rates down the road.

Top talent knows their value and how important their time is, so if they perceive that theirs is being wasted, they may not even bother to pursue an opportunity with your organization and search elsewhere.  Remember that candidates are evaluating you just as much as you are evaluating them.

Try collecting very basic demographic information in the application and using the remainder of the hiring process to gather other necessary information.  

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Resume (if applicable)
  • Consent to receive emails and SMS text messages

This information is enough to get you started and on the path to having more conversations with interested candidates.  This certainly doesn’t mean that every single person that applies will be a qualified candidate, but you aren’t deterring those that are.

One other piece of advice to help reduce your application drop off rate is to make your application (and as much of your hiring process as possible) mobile-friendly.  By making your application easily accessible to job seekers, you increase your chances of having applications completed, and provide a much better experience for applicants. 

Leverage job descriptions

Clear job descriptions that provide an accurate depiction of what the job entails will save you a lot of headache, and reduce the need to have a lengthy application process.  For example, if any employee needs a driver’s licence and reliable transportation, include that requirement in the job description.  If the job requires specific hours, include that information and let the applicant decide if that works for them.    Ideally, you want to provide as much pertinent information as possible to applicants so that they can make an informed decision on whether or not to even apply.  

Leverage pre-screen surveys

Another great tool that will help you qualify applicants is a job-specific pre-screen survey.  Once again, you don’t want the survey to be too cumbersome or lengthy, but rather, short and succinct to act as another avenue for gathering invaluable information on your prospective candidates.  Hireology data shows  that the most salient surveys are composed of True/False questions of no more than ten statements total, so think about the most pertinent pieces of information that you’d like to collect or verify, and create statements around those items.  Drawing from the previous sections example, include the statement “I have an active driver’s license for the state of _____.”

For more skilled positions, you can include a statement such as “I have an active license/certification for the position that I am applying for.”  In both of these instances, an answer of “False” would automatically deprioritize them for you and your team, indicating that you shouldn’t spend any more time with that applicant.  

Strengthen your hiring process

Next you should evaluate your current hiring process to determine if there are certain milestones that can be used to gather information that you’d otherwise request on the initial application, and  remove “nice to have” questions from that can be addressed later in your hiring process, or in an interview.

The purpose of the application should be to strike a balance for what is necessary for a recruiter or hiring manager to perform their job and what is convenient and user-friendly for the applicant. If the hiring manager doesn’t have enough information to make an informed decision, then you run the risk of hiring the wrong candidate.  On the other hand, if the hiring manager requires perfect and complete information upfront in order to make a decision, then you’ll most certainly have an increase in the application drop off rate.  Therefore, developing a hiring process that allows hiring managers to incrementally gather applicant information throughout will give them what they need to make a decision, and give applicants a much better experience when applying.   

Final thoughts

So far, a very common theme here has been the very limited use of the application to gather additional applicant information — and that’s by design.  If you can leverage your existing tools or technology to improve your drop off rates without the need for a lengthy application then what’s holding you back?  Some of these items can be addressed right away while others may take a little leg work, but the time investment will pay off in the long-run.

If you’re interested in seeing how Hireology works to make your hiring process as efficient as possible, you can schedule a demo here.  

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