This blog is part of a series and if you want to read them in order, check out Part 1 and Part 2.


We value companies because of the relationships they cultivate with us, whether as consumers or employees. After all, marketing — whether for recruitment or sales — is all about empathizing with your audience’s needs, wants, and values. When thinking about what candidates expect, the same relationship-based approach applies. Applicants want to feel excited about the company they’re applying for, and they want to feel like the organization is equally excited to get to know them. 

Make the most of your apply flow by leaving candidates with positive perceptions of what it would be like to work for you.

ATS and application technology are a critical link in the candidate funnel

In a competitive recruitment landscape – or, one operating under the shadow of a global pandemic – employers need to develop positive relationships with candidates from the get-go. Enhancing the user experience provided by ATS and application technology is the right place to start. It provides the critical missing link in the candidate funnel, enabling a far higher rate of candidate conversion. 

And optimizing the application process doesn’t have to mean replacing your existing ATS. 

6 quick wins to improve the apply flow while retaining your ATS

Improving the experience doesn’t require a complete overhaul. For many organizations, the best approach is to use an employee experience platform that streamlines the process and gives talent acquisition complete control over the experience. 

By retaining your existing ATS, this is relatively easy to implement for quick results. And the best part? It can reduce candidates’ apply time to less than five minutes, leading to six times higher applicant conversion. Here are six ways an employee experience platform can improve your apply flow: 


1. Reduce clicks to the application 

Get rid of any clicks in between the first “Apply Now” click and the actual job application. 

2. Streamline the apply flow 

Streamline the apply flow so the process is as simple as possible. Make forms easy to complete and remove any unnecessary steps or questions. 

3. Mobile-optimize the UI 

Mobile-optimize the user interface so it provides a pleasant experience, regardless of the user’s device. It’s not enough to have a ‘mobile version’ or workaround – it should be designed specifically for mobile. 

4. Maintain the look and feel 

Maintain a consistent look and feel that reflects the employer brand throughout the entire application process. There shouldn’t be any discrepancy between the employer brand as it’s presented on the career site versus in the application process. Your apply flow should “feel” like how working for your company “sounds” on your career site. 

5. Collect data and apply insights 

Use analytics to track a candidate’s progress through their journey regardless of the path they take. Use A-B testing to validate what job titles, job descriptions, page layouts, and flows work the best for your applicants. 

6. Add content inside the apply flow 

Make sure the applicants who bypasses the career site are still getting your employer brand and recruitment marketing content fed to them through the apply flow. This way, they don’t have to leave the flow to look for it — since they may not come back. 

You’ll lose more candidates in the apply flow than anywhere else

For organizations, it’s a tactical error to invest solely in the career site landing page on the assumption that it will be the primary front door for most candidates. According to James La Brash, “Companies are spending a disproportionate amount on making the landing page beautiful, while for 85% of candidates, the apply flow provides a poor first impression.” 

Turning that experience on its head is where the magic happens – and where you hook and land the highest quality applicants. By implementing an employee experience platform, you can introduce a process that is engaging to candidates, contains rich marketing content and branding, provides an exceptional user experience, and leaves candidates with positive perceptions of your company. 

For 85% of candidates, the apply flow provides a poor first impression.

Key takeaways

Complicated application processes can cost you critical talent and prevent your from meeting your recruitment marketing goals. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. By optimizing each step in your hiring process and creating a more streamlined, user friendly apply flow, you can transform your existing candidate experience, convert better candidates, and leave positive lasting impressions.

What’s next? Attracting the right candidates with targeted job advertising

So, you now have a good understanding of candidate expectations and you’ve evaluated your own apply process, making any necessary improvements. The next step is to find the the talent you need and convincing them to apply.

The best way to do that is with targeted programmatic job advertising which you can learn about in our final blog of the series:  Job Advertising That Meets the Candidate Where They Are

Or if you want to read the full e-book now, you can jump right into it. It’s free to download and there is no sign-up required. Happy reading!

Copy link