Why do companies use application forms?
I was recently asked ‘why do companies use application forms?’ by a user on Quora and it’s a good question so I thought it would be a good idea to tell you why many companies use application forms rather than a CV.
Have you ever used Quora? If not, it’s worth a visit.
There are lots of employment-related questions and answers posted and updated daily, and it can be a valuable resource and research tool.
I am a most viewed writer on there and I am happy to answer any relevant questions.
So back to the question of ‘why do companies use application forms?’, here’s why…
Question: Why do I need to write an application form for employment after writing a complete resume?
Frustrating, isn’t it? But there are good reasons why companies use application forms, rather than a CV/resume. Let me tell you why application forms are so important and you’ll soon change your mind about them.
Pre-screen and pre-qualify candidates’ applications.
Many companies use application forms and organisations in the public sector to pre-screen and pre-qualify applicants, either by reviewing applications in person or by using a parser/applicant tracking system. With some roles attracting hundreds or even thousands of applications, the task becomes horribly time consuming, even more so when more than one role is being filled.
Automating applications and using online employment application systems make it easier to filter application forms and reduce processing time, when compared to CV submissions. Once batches of applicants have made it through the first filter, the candidates will go on to be assessed in more depth, with their answers scrutinised fully before any interview decision is made.
Transparency and Fairness.
It’s essential in many industries and within the public sector to follow a set protocol and exercise transparency and fairness, reviewing applications impartially and objectively to ensure that the applicants making it through the filtering process meet the very strict selection criteria.
Companies use application forms to ensure they’re fully compliant.
Application forms standardise candidates’ applications.
Organisations and companies use application forms to introduce standardisation, using a set format and allows the employer to measure everyone using the same yard stick and collate data more efficiently.
With standard questions being set, it’s easier for employers to find certain information, compare like-for-like answers and select the best candidate based on the job criteria, etc.
The legal differences between CVs/resumes and application forms.
There’s a legal reason behind why companies use application forms. You don’t have to sign a resume/CV but you do need to sign an application form to confirm that the information you’ve submitted in accurate and truthful.
Because some people tend to tell little whites on applications, this helps to protect the employer should your background and reference checks not marry up with what you’ve stated on the application.
Did you know that a company can rescind an offer of employment if you’ve submitted false information?
Ease of processing application forms.
Many larger companies use application forms because it’s easier for them to process the hundreds or even thousands of applications they received but also because they can see how motivated a candidate is when faced with a daunting and mind-numbing task.
Many people will look at the application form and not bother to complete it, they’d rather blanket-bomb their CV to employers; it’s quicker, it’s easier and doesn’t require much brain power! Don’t fall in to this trap, download the application form immediately and start to formulate draft answers that demonstrate your professionalism, competence and achievements.
Just like a CV, an application form is a marketing tool so make sure your application form stands out but for the right reasons.
Spending taxpayers’ money wisely.
Many public sector organisations and the military use application forms to demonstrate that they’re spending the tax payers’ money effectively during the recruitment process and are adhering to the equal opportunity policy and other applicable legislation.
Probing for answers and finding the fibs!
Application forms touch base on information that probably wouldn’t be readily volunteered such as criminal convictions, credit worthiness, DRB status, Visa status, driving record, certificate validity, etc.
It’s vital companies check the veracity of the information you provide so don’t be surprised if you come across a host of probing questions. Answer the questions on the application form fully and honestly.
How you can make application form completion easier.
Whilst completing application forms can be a bit of a pain, once you’ve done a few they do get easier. Always keep copies of your completed application forms because many forms follow a similar format with standard questions and you can copy and tweak a former answer to save time.
TOP TIP: Always use black ink and write in uppercase, where possible, unless otherwise stated. It’s easier to read and photocopies better.