How to Use a Job Application Form to Hire the Top Candidate (Template)
It may sound like a cliché, but a company is truly only as good as its employees. How to ensure that your own business relies only on the best of employees? It all starts with a well-crafted job application form. We’re going to show you how to create one and incorporate it into your own hiring process (and explain why it’s probably a better approach than taking resumes).
Plus, you’ll find 10 templates that will help you hire only the top candidates. Let’s hire you a superstar!
What is a Job Application Form?
A job application form, also referred to as an employment application form or just an employment form, is an essential part of the hiring process that helps you gather all the necessary background data about your potential future employees.
It enables you to ask for information that is relevant to your job opening but maybe isn’t listed in most traditional resumes (we’re going to point out some of the differences between job application forms and resumes later in the text). Also, a well-crafted employment application form will help you gain a quick insight into the candidate’s basic skills, such as spelling, grammar, and comprehension.
In order to help you come up with a perfect recipe for your own hiring process, we’re going to present you with some of the most common ingredients of a good job application form.
Top Ingredients of a Quality Job Application Form
Below you’ll find some of the things most employment forms contain. Of course, this job application form template may (and should) be adjusted to better suit your individual needs.
- Personal Information
- Full legal name (first name, last name, and middle name/initial)
- Current address
- Mailing address (only if it differs from their home address)
- Date of birth (to verify they are of legal age to be working in a particular area)
- Phone number(s) (home, work, cell, and fax)
- Email address
- Social media accounts (if relevant)
- Employment History
- Dates of employment (it’s a good idea to have them list their most recent employment history first)
- Company name and address
- Job title
- Summary of duties
Make sure to provide enough space for at least 3-5 entries and for each request the following information:
- High school
Make sure you leave enough room for multiple schools in each of the categories.
- Training and Special Skills
Depending on the industry you’re in, you can leave this as an open section or you can ask about specific skills or training.
If you're having a desk job opening, for example, you could specifically ask about clerical skills like typing speed or proficiency in MS Office, or about special training like translation or speed-reading.
- References and contact info
- References - The usual procedure is to ask for three to five references, which may be both personal or professional.
- Emergency Contacts - Always ask for at least two contact options as you don’t want to be left with only one in case of emergency.
- Additional questions
One of the best things about job application forms is the fact that you can incorporate any question you think may help you determine the best candidate for the role. Some questions that you may ask include:
- "How many hours can you work?" - Verify that they can work as much as you need.
- "What is your desired monthly salary?"
This is critical because it will help you find out if they are in the ballpark of your budget. We’ve also found this question will in most cases show a much lower figure than what that same applicant will often list on freelance sites like Upwork.
- "Is there anything that makes you uniquely qualified for this job?"
- "Can you work f"
Using a Job Application Form vs. Taking Resumes
We present you with some advantages of using a job application form in comparison to the old-fashioned hiring process that mainly relies on taking individual resumes from candidates.
A uniform format. Since all the applicants fill out the same form, answer the same questions, and provide you with the information presented in the same way, it’s much easier to quickly sort through job application forms and organize them in adequate way.
On the other hand, each resume is visually and information-wise different, so it may take longer to sort through them and compare the candidates in order to decide on the ideal one. Plus, with an employment application form, you ask the applicants to give you the information you need, while with resumes they provide you with the information they consider important.
No surplus information. Get ALL the information you need and ONLY the information you need. A job evaluation form helps eliminate the unnecessary and irrelevant information, exaggerated truths, avoided answers, and so on. It will help you obtain just the facts you need, about past employment, education, etc.
Unless relevant to your job or hiring process, you don’t really want to know if somebody’s a cat person or a dog person, right?
Verify accuracy. In some cases, a job application form may require the applicant's signature. It is a guarantee of sorts that all the information they provided is true.
Reference check contact info. In order to verify the accuracy of your candidate’s work history and gain insight into their work ethics, it might be a good idea to reach out to their current and past employers or managers. Most resumes don’t really contain reference info, while with an employment application form, you can easily ask for reference contact info.
If this was not enough to convince you that a job application form is probably a better solution than just asking the applicants to send you a resume, you can always ask for a resume as an obligatory part of the job application form.
6 Steps to Hiring a Perfect Candidate
Let’s face it - hiring isn’t as easy as it seems. As it may be crucial for achieving your company’s long-term goals, we’ve broken down the entire hiring process into 6 most important steps.
Other than the obvious fact that it’s essential for bringing the best people to your team, the hiring process could be even more important for your company’s long-term success than you may realize. Some studies have shown that 15% of job applicants who had had a positive experience during the hiring process put even more effort into the job once they get it.
Step #1 - Write a Compelling Job Description
Every meaningful hiring process starts with a quality job description. Be sure to provide some background info about your company and job opening, and clearly state the potential employee’s responsibilities, requirements, and benefits.
Step #2 - Create a User-Friendly Custom Job Application Form
If you’re posting your job online (and hopefully you are as it’s the 21st century), make it easily accessible and user-friendly. In other words, keep it simple - a perfect job application form is simple enough for the applicant to fill out on their own, without any guidance. In fact, 60% of applicants quit the job application process because it takes too long to complete it.
Step #3 - Shortlist the Best Candidates
Compare all the application forms you received against your job description, to see which candidates are actually a good fit. After that, you can make side-by-side comparisons among your top candidates. By doing so, you’ll be able to create a shortlist of your favorite candidates.
Step #4 Conduct Phone and In-Person Interviews
After you’ve shortlisted the best candidates, you should schedule the initial phone interviews. The strongest candidates who pass the phone interview should be invited to an in-person interview. Feel free to get creative with interview questions, as such questions will show you if the candidate is a good cultural fit as well.
Step #5 - Perform Reference Checks
Before actually calling any of the candidate’s references and disclosing that they’ve applied for the job, make sure you have their authorization to do so. Some applicants may not be comfortable with that if, for example, their job search isn’t public knowledge. Unfortunately, people sometimes get fired for job hunting.
Step #6 - Hire THE ONE and Thank the Rest
After you’ve hired the best candidate, send out a ‘thank you for your interest, but we’ve gone with another candidate’ email to other applicants. It’s good courtesy and, who knows, maybe you’ll need to reach out to some of those candidates again, in case of a new job opening or incompatibility with the candidate that was your first choice. So, make sure to keep those job application forms safely stored.
If you’d like to see this process in action, feel free to read more about the hiring process we at LeadQuizzes use to hire our content writers, broken into specific details and with real-life examples.
Bonus Step (After the Hire) - Evaluation
After you make all the necessary hires, it’s important to keep monitoring and evaluating the employees’ performance in order to pinpoint the areas in which they might need additional training.
It’s also essential to show your employees they are valued as an integral part of your company, as not taking proper care of your employees can cause you to end up with a bunch of unmotivated and uninspired employees just slacking off from 9 to 5.
But, as you want to take it step by step, before evaluation, you need to hire the right person first. In order to make that process easier, we present you with 10 job application form templates that you can download and adjust to better suit your individual needs.
10 Job Application Form Templates
- Betterteam Job Application Form Template
- Generate's Employment Application Form Template
- Business Point Job Application Form Template
- The West Coast Regional Council Job Application Form
- TRI-Construction Job Application Form Template
- Career Choices Job Application Form
- NatSteel Employment Application Form
- Off Lease Only Job Application Form
- Square Job Application Form Template
- Mills Construction Employment Application Form