Tips & Tricks

Do you receive incomplete applications? Ask yourself these 3 questions

Ross May

Applications have changed significantly over time, and are now used for almost every type of program or position that requires a selection process. But with so many factors at play, applicants are less likely than ever to actually complete the application they’ve started.

These days we’ve reached a record high, with more than 60% of applicants abandoning their submissions due to length, complexity, and other factors. If you find yourself wondering why you collect so many incomplete applications, or have a hard time getting applicants to submit in the first place, ask yourself these three questions.

Is my application accessible from anywhere?

Since 86% of applicants start their search online, it makes sense that applications not offered online or on mobile devices could see less applications coming in. If you’re not collecting applications online, your program won’t have enough visibility to pull in a large amount of completed applications.

An application that’s offered either in person or as a downloadable form on your website can seem like a good way to promote your program and attract qualified applicants, however if those applicants need to hunt through your website or get a copy from the front desk, it’s likely that those starting their search online will never land on your program at all.

The submission process for paper and downloadable applications can be lengthy, time consuming and tedious. They often require frustrating tasks like copy/pasting, formatting, printing, scanning or mailing, and the process itself can deter applicants from completing the submission they started.

With an online application portal, you allow your program to be accessed from any device, instantly increasing visibility. Wider accessibility will also make the process easier, encouraging a higher completion rate.

How long is my application?

Did you know that you can increase your completion rate by up to 50%, just by asking your applicants 25 questions instead of 50? And like we just learned, bringing those questions online can also have a huge impact on the number of complete applications you receive.

If you’re asking your applicants to fill out a lengthy application or submit additional resources, and you find you’re collecting a lot of incomplete applications, you may be losing their attention. Filling out a time consuming application and answering pages of questions requires commitment and focus — two things that decrease after a certain amount of time spent.

Not only will an extensive application process cause applicants to leave out information or skip questions, but it can also lead to a lower number of submissions altogether. If you’re wondering why you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, take a look at your application process and see where you can help save your applicant’s time.

Can my applicants save their submission online?

We’ve already determined that a lot goes into an application, and the process can’t always be completed in just a few minutes. If you’ve managed to streamline your application process online and cut down some of the manual work, you’re on the right track! But if you require more than just personal information, it may take your applicants some time to make sure they’re giving the best answers they can.

Allowing your applicants to save their progress and pick up later offers them the opportunity to complete their application in stages. With more time to finish the application, the workload can be broken up and more attention can be given to each question. This will result in more complete applications and a stress-free process for your applicants.

The ability to save applications along the way also reduces the chances of an applicant losing work they started earlier. Losing completed work can discourage applicants from starting over, and result in less applications coming in. The easier you can make the process for your applicants, the better results you’ll see.

If you think it’s time to streamline your application process or you’re interested in more ways to increase application numbers, leave us your information below and we’d be happy to answer any questions that come to mind!

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