Applications have changed significantly over time, and are now used for almost every type of program or position that requires a selection process. However, with so many factors at play, applicants are less likely than ever to complete the application they’ve started.
An article in TIME stated that
The average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish is nine seconds, but according to a new study from Microsoft Corp., people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds, highlighting the effects of an increasingly digitalised lifestyle on the brain.
These days we’ve reached a record high, with more and more of applicants abandoning their submissions due to length, complexity, and other factors. If you find yourself becoming increasingly frustrated as to why you seem to collect so many incomplete applications or have a hard time getting applicants to submit in the first place, you need to ask yourself these three questions:
- Is my application accessible from anywhere?
- How long is my application?
- Can my applicants save their submission online?
1) Is my application accessible from anywhere?
The vast majority of applicants start their search online, and it makes complete sense that applications not offered online or on mobile devices will see fewer applications. If you don’t offer to collect applications online, your program will not have enough visibility to pull in a large number of completed applications.
The traditional approach of offering an application either in person or as a downloadable PDF or Word document on your website can seem like an excellent way to promote your program and attract qualified applicants, and we would argue that method is antiquated. Leaving a potential applicant to hunt through your site or having to arrange to visit your office to get a copy from the front desk, is extremely costly and infective.
The submission process for traditional 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 submission portal like Submit.com will allow your program to be accessed from any device, anywhere instantly increasing visibility. A more accessible system will also make the process easier, encouraging a higher completion rate.
2) How long is my application?
We are all guilty of it … trying to cram all the questions you can into one form. Did you know that you can increase your completion rate by up to 45%, just by asking your applicants 50% fewer questions? Moreover, by making that application accessible online will significantly increase your completion rates.
Remember you are fighting for their attention!
Filling out a time-consuming application and answering pages upon 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 the most valuable thing in the world their TIME.
3) Can my applicants save their submission online?
We’ve already determined that a lot goes into an online submission such as an application, and the process can’t always be completed in just a few minutes. If you’ve managed to streamline your application workflow online and removed some of the manual work, you’re defiantly on the right track! However, if you require more than just basic information, it may take your applicants some time to gather such and 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 at their pace at times that suit them. By allowing more time to finish the application, the workload can be broken up, and more attention can be given to each question. We know from extensive experience this will result in more complete applications and more enjoyable experience for your applicants.
Ever lost work on a computer because you didn’t save as you go? Can you remember how that felt? The ability to save applications along the way also mitigates that risk and can discourage applicants from starting over, and result in fewer applications coming in. The more straightforward and accessible you can make the process for your applicants, the better results you’ll see.
If you think it’s time to streamline your online submission process or you’re interested in more ways to modernise your current workflow and review process, talk to one of our senior solutions specialists today who will guide you through the process to see if Submit.com is the right fit for you.