5 Reasons to Add Screener Questions to Your Job Application

Written by Miranda Nicholson on August 11, 2016

Posted in Form Hacks, Human Resources

If you spend a lot of time recruiting and hiring for your organization, you know it can be an arduous process. Sifting through resumes and job applications to find the perfect candidates can be a serious time suck if you don’t have the right tools or strategies in place.

But lucky for you, there’s one easy way to streamline the process: add screener questions to your job application. Including a handful of interview-esque questions on the job application gives you an extra layer of data for screening job applicants—which can help you find the best candidates in less time.

Of course, pre-screen questions can be a turnoff for potential employees if the questions aren’t handled well (i.e., there are too many, they are too personal, etc.). But if done correctly, the benefits of using these types of questions definitely outweigh the costs.

Here are 5 reasons to consider adding screener questions to your job application:

#1: To separate serious job applicants from casual applicants

Typically, casual job applicants who are applying for any relevant job they see will not take the extra time to answer a series of screener questions. When they see that your job application is time-consuming and more than a quick resume upload, they will likely pass it by.

On the other hand, serious candidates who are truly interested in the open position won’t hesitate to fill out the application, even if it is a bit involved. They might even appreciate the extra layer of screening as a way to further make their case for an interview (since it often seems like resume-only applications get buried in some deep, dark place never to be seen).

Job application

#2: To gather consistent information for easier comparison

Let’s face it: resumes are all over the place. They can be formatted to look simple and clean or to stand out with interesting fonts and colors. They can showcase skills and experience in chronological order or order of relevance. They can be one page or multiple pages.

When it comes to resumes, no two are alike.

Enter screener questions. Asking a few consistent questions on the job application can give you an apples-to-apples comparison that is hard to come by with resumes. Seeing how job applicants compare on a few points can help you eliminate or elevate resumes if you’re on the fence.

#3: To get a glimpse into a candidate’s personality and culture fit

Organizations with a thriving workforce know that hiring for culture fit is important. Those who reflect your company’s core culture values are more likely to enjoy their jobs and help your company grow and succeed.   

While some might think it’s unnecessary to evaluate personality in the early stages of hiring, it’s actually a great way to be proactive about determining a job applicant’s culture fit. For instance, if your company has a remote environment like Formstack, it can be really helpful to ask a question on the application that reveals a candidate’s ability to succeed with little supervision.

#4: To create deeper interview talking points

The screener questions you include on your job application can be similar to questions you might ask in an interview. For instance, you can use the application questions to gather surface information about a candidate’s technical skills or dominant personality traits.

Getting some of these questions out of the way ahead of time allows you to dig a little deeper when it comes time for the actual interview. Instead of using the interview to learn about a job applicant’s favorite web apps, you can hone in on more useful information—like how the applicant uses a specific app to manage tasks or projects.

#5: To cut down on interview time or number of interviews

Above all, adding screener questions to your job applications can increase your hiring efficiency. Asking some qualifying questions ahead of time can help you swiftly weed out job applicants who are clearly not a fit so you don’t waste your time (or theirs) on dead-end interviews. It’s also a good way to cut down on the time you spend interviewing those who are qualified. With a handful of questions already out of the way, your interviews can be more focused and succinct.

Everyone wins!

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