<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=586470688175167&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
HQ TPD careers hero (1)


Back to Blog

Is a Complicated Job Application Costing You Candidates?

Oct 11, 2021 10:00:00 AM
By Linda Trzyna

in Top Talent, Interview, Hiring

If it’s been a while since you thought about your company’s online job application, it’s time for a review. As businesses across the U.S. continue the struggle to find qualified applicants, re-assessing your company’s application process makes sense for several reasons.

First, times have changed. The paper application is dead. With the dominance of mobile technology, in-depth online application forms also are disappearing.

Second, many candidates are frustrated or intimidated by detailed application forms. Making the application process as simple and painless as possible encourages more candidates to apply.

Make it Mobile-Friendly

It’s estimated that three in five candidates start the application process using a mobile device. If your application doesn’t work well on their cell phone or tablet, you’ll quickly lose that candidate.

And the shorter the application, the better. The more screens candidates need to navigate, the more they need to zoom and scroll, the more likely they are to give up before hitting “submit.”

In addition, consider using a progress bar as motivation to complete the application.

Make it Simple

The simpler the application, the better, say experts.

Start by limiting the number of questions. “Indeed research shows that applications with 20 screener questions lose 40% of candidates, and the abandonment rate only goes up from there.”

Additionally, Appcast, a provider of programmatic recruitment advertising, discovered “that an apply flow shorter than five minutes produces 385% more applicants than a flow that takes more than 15 minutes.”

A complicated job application might suggest to candidates that your company is old-fashioned or bureaucratic. That may not be the image you want to portray.

Remove any duplicate questions and make sure your application software flows smoothly. Few things annoy a candidate more than having to rewrite or reformat information automatically imported from their resume.

Provide Clear Instructions

Include links and complete contact information. Consider offering multiple methods for applying, such as through a form on your website, a job board or via email to HR.

Note any special instructions, such as if candidates should attach a cover letter, references or other documents. Doing so limits any mid-application surprises that might cause a candidate to quit the application process.

Follow up with Candidates

Lack of communication from the employer is one of the most frustrating aspects of a job search. A job seeker may apply to dozens of companies and never receive a response or update from any of them.

Acknowledging receipt of their application will put you ahead of the game. And continuing to inform them about the progress of your candidate search will earn their approval.

Making your application short, mobile friendly and easy to understand reduces the risk of candidates bouncing off your site in frustration. It also leaves them with a good first impression of your company – and in a competitive market, that’s a distinct advantage.


TPD’s Total Workforce Solution addresses all of your talent acquisition needs – including direct hire and contingent workers – and employment relationship management, reducing your costs and freeing you up to focus on business. Contact us today for your workforce solution! 

Filed under Top Talent, Interview, Hiring

Sign up to receive Blog Notifications