DING Best Practices: How to boost the number of finished applications on your job ads

What is the number of finished applications?

Number of finished applications shows you how many candidates actually finished their application process for your job ad. This number often differs from the number of started applications, and here is why. 👇

What influences the number of finished applications?

The number of completed applications is mostly influenced by your screening questions. In your DING analytics, you can see how many students started applying for a job, and how many finished their application. If the difference between the two numbers is too big, a most common reason is the quantity or difficulty of your screening questions.

Screening questions are a great way to make the recruiting process shorter and to immediately filter candidates according to the criteria that are important to you.

If your goal is to attract as many students as possible, we advise you to reduce (or completely skip) the selection questions. If, on the other hand, you want to attract a smaller number of students who are more suited to your specific goals, then be sure to ask a few screening questions to check whether the applicants really meet your criteria.

In any case, if you decide to ask screening questions, here are some tips to encourage candidates to answer them and complete their application:

Ask questions precisely. Make sure that the questions you ask are clear and precise, so you avoid any misunderstandings. Look at our example: one of the screening questions that we (DING) asked when we were looking for a Marketing Assistant was “What motivated you to apply on this ad?”. We wanted to find out which part of the job the candidates like the most and why should we choose them for that position. However, most of the answers we received were as generic as it gets – to learn and to earn money. Although we did not get the desired answers, we learned to formulate questions more precisely. Today we ask that question like this: “In which tasks from this ad do you see yourself the most and why?”.

If you want to get more applications – reduce the number of questions. Consider the pros and cons of the questions you ask and what you want to achieve with them. If your selection questions require a lot of time and effort from the candidates, it is possible that some of the candidates will give up during the application. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Yes, it is possible that you will receive fewer applications, but you will get the candidates who have shown effort and took their time to apply. Here is our recommendation –  if you usually receive a lot of applications for a certain position, ask more difficult questions and make the process easier for yourself. On the other hand, if you don’t have a lot of applications, consider taking a break from screening questions.

Skip the questions to which you can find the answers. Don’t waste questions on the information you can see in every DING student profile, like: first and last name, faculty and year of study.

Close-ended questions are often a better choice than open-ended questions  (for both students and employers). Main benefits of closed-ended questions are:

  • They are easier to answer. Students often give up on job applications when they see open ended questions. Closed-ended questions make it easier and faster for them to apply – they don’t have to think too much about the right answer or type for too long, they just choose the already offered answer.
  • You get more precise answers. You know you will get precise answers because you wrote them. Candidates only select the ones that apply to them.
  • You can filter the responses. At the end of the application process, you can filter the candidates according to the answers they chose. This can be very useful when you have some exclusive criteria in the selection process. For example, “Do you have your own student contract?” (yes/no)

Almost every job ad has a different number of started and completed applications, but if you notice that these two numbers differ significantly, and you want to encourage more students to complete their applications, try to adjust your screening questions according to these tips, and you will automatically make it easier for them.