You’re hiring. You need applicants. What do you require those applicants to fill out?
Some have a basic paper application.
Some have a lengthy questionnaire.
Some have an online application.
Some require a resume.
While each have their merits, I am still a fan of the basic paper application.
Resumes, in my opinion, can be misleading. Supposedly they show that the potential applicant has computer skills, but how do you know they created it themselves? Plus, resumes are not standard. They don’t always include all the same info.
Questionnaires can be great for weeding out the not-so-serious candidates, but might also be a barrier that keeps a great potential employee from making that first leap.
Online applications are cold and impersonal. They are faceless and give the message to the applicant that they are simply a number. Plus, there is little effort required on the part of the applicant. She doesn’t even have to get out of her pajamas.
The paper application requires penmanship. If your employee has to write anything, wouldn’t you love to know if you could read that writing?
The paper application reinforces or refutes education. Spelling and grammatical errors may or may not be a deal-killer, but if her education says she has a degree in English but she cannot spell “customer service”, you need to be concerned about the veracity of all her claims.
The paper application shows her short-term attention to detail. Anyone can put detail into a resume. Time is not a factor. But sitting with a clipboard filling out a piece of paper shows you what she thinks is important. If she fills it out hastily and sloppily, chances are good she will work the same way.
The paper application requires completeness. If she does not fill it out completely, you can bet she will not do her job completely.
Computers are great. I love them. I use them all day long. But they cannot replace everything. Especially the amount of hidden information you get from an applicant asked to put pen to paper.
Just my opinion…
PS The questionnaire makes for a great second-round application process. If there is nothing on the first application to make you say no, give them the questionnaire and see what responses you get.