How to make the perfect Application Form with WordPress Form Builders

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Thinking about moving your application form for hiring new employees online?

In our series on business digitalization we show small business owners how to digitise their company’s processes by using the WordPress form builders. 

Digital transformation has become one of the most important topics for small business owners. To keep up with the competition it is necessary to shift mindset and business model to a digital-first approach.

Hence, why not start with the one digital presence most small businesses have anyway? The website. By using your website efficiently you’ll save yourself a lot of time and hassle to set up third-party tools and limit your costs to a minimum.

Use Case 2: Move application processes and resume submission online

Let’s dive right into our scenario: A hairdresser is about to open a second salon in a different part of town. To be able to offer the same customer service and quality in the new salon, she is looking for a handful of qualified and experienced hairdressers, as well as a salon manager and a couple of trainees. 

Since she already has a good looking website and a social media presence with a few hundred followers, she has decided to move the application process online and simply advertise the jobs over her social media presence, instead of spending a lot of money on job ads and having to go through a couple dozen printed resumes.

Once she starts setting up the job application form however, she realizes that adding all the necessary questions makes the form incredibly long and not very user friendly.

What our hairdresser needs is, at least:

A fair few of the most well known WordPress form builder plugins offer the multi page and front end submission feature, file uploads as well as conditional logic.

Here you can check which plugins offer this feature set and at what price

Important factors for your online application process

As any recruiter will tell you, the candidate’s experience during the application process is crucial for the amount of job applications you’ll receive. 

Why? Because process automation is great –  but you need qualified candidates who apply for your positions first. Hence, a smooth application process and a user friendly, easy to use application form in your company’s design should be your main concern, when you think about introducing an online application process.

Now, what is important to make your application form more user/ candidate friendly?

  • Break down long forms into multiple pages
  • Allow user to upload a pre-written resume
  • Make sure the candidate can’t forget to enter important data by using mandatory fields
  • Use logic jumps (conditional logic) in your form to avoid asking the candidate unnecessary questions that do not apply to his circumstances

What is a Conditional logic and how can one use it?

If your WordPress forms ever need to do more than to collect the same information from every user, or present different content depending on the user preferences, then the conditional logic feature most form builders offer will come in handy. 

With conditional logic you can build smart, interactive WordPress forms that can change as a user fills out the form, making it the perfect tool to set up intelligent and user friendly application forms on your WordPress page.

Why it’s clever to use multi-page forms

Here’s the ugly truth: The longer a form is, the less likely it will be filled out. 

Nobody likes filling out long forms!

If you’re seeing low form conversion rates on your website, check if you can break the form down into multiple pages and thus, increase user experience and engagement. 

A multi page form can let you break down lengthy forms into different sections, making them less overwhelming. 

For our hairdresser that is crucial since the success of the online application process depends on the user experience. If the form is too long and feels overwhelming for candidates, she might miss out on highly qualified applications. 

How does the File upload function of form builders work?

Being able to upload resumes, pictures or even videos is crucial, if you want to provide a smooth and seamless online application process. With the file upload function of most WordPress forms builders, you’re able to do so.

Simply add the File Upload field to a WordPress form. Visitors viewing the form will be able to select their file by clicking on a  button. The field’s progress bar will keep them in the loop as the upload progresses. They also make it easy to implement restrictions like the number of uploads, file type and file size. 

Create a smooth online application process with form builders

In combination the mentioned features will allow you to set up a smooth online application process without having to use any expensive recruitment software. Most of the common WordPress form builders offer all these features.

Since it would be hard to cover each and every single one of the form builders in this blogpost, we decided to show you how to implement an application process with Ninja forms, thus enabling our hairdresser to solve her new problem. Here’s how:

Step 1: Make – and break – your form

The first thing you need to do, is decide which information you need from your candidates and add the corresponding fields to a new form. To create a new form, simply go into the Ninja Forms dashboard, click Add New, and choose Blank Form. Start with the basic information like first and last name, address, city, state, zip code, phone number, and email address:

Fields you can add in Ninja Forms to create an online application form

Afterward you can add all the fields/questions you want. However, make sure to break you super long form down into multiple pages to increase user engagement. Simply click “add a new page”, and begin adding the fields you need there. You can easily drag and drop fields in between pages.

Step 2: Add file upload option to your application form

You can easily add a file upload field by simply clicking on the “Add Field Button” on the bottom right. Then just choose the File Upload field from the list:

Adding a new field in Ninja Forms to create an online application form
Adding a file upload field in Ninja Forms - essential for an online application form

Make sure to label your upload field and make it a required field and change the default setting if you want the files to be stored somewhere differently than the server of your website. You can have uploaded files renamed (e.g. with first and last name of the candidate) and set up a file limit as well as the maximum file size. Simply click on the File Upload field to open its settings window.

Step 3: Introducing Conditional Logic to your form

Let’s say you only want candidates who’s highest education are the A levels to be asked for a university degree. Then conditional logic comes in handy. The question concerning the university degree will only be shown if in the question before the A levels are chosen. Fields can also be hidden or revealed this way.

Creating a user friendly application form with WordPress form builders

As you can see, moving your application process online does not have to be hard, if you make clever use of your WordPress form builder. From there you can advance further, i.e. with automations using Zapier where your applicants are automatically added to a spreadsheet. Tons of options to explore and improve your applicants’ experience even further.

Stay tuned for the next part of our series.

Here you can check which plugins offer this feature set and at what price:

See all Plugins with this Feature

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