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Use these six steps to design an employment application form

by , 16 June 2015
When designing your employment application form, there are several rules you need to follow. To make sure you cover all the mandatory elements and comply with the current regulations, we'll give you six steps to design a perfect employment application form.

Here are the six steps you can use to make it:

Step #1: Gather information

For this step, you must decide what information you want to get from an applicant. Also include disclosures, authorisation for checks, etc. that will cover your company from a legal perspective.

Step #2: Decide on the questions

As a next step, you need to decide which questions will likely give you the most appropriate answers that relate to the job. Ask questions that will give you information about who the candidate is. Also include questions on his past work experience and what his career aspirations are. You can then use this information to decide if he meets the job and the company's requirements.

Step #3: Confirm that your questions are legal and professional

Note that if you ask questions that are discriminatory or don't relate to the job, you can get into trouble at the CCMA. The candidate can lodge a claim of unfair discrimination. Remember: Our labour laws give job applicants the same protection against unfair discrimination as your employees!

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Pay attention to the fact that you may not discriminate against an applicant in terms of: race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, family responsibility, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, HIV status, conscience, belief, political opinion, culture, language, birth or on any other arbitrary ground.

Make sure you check that all the information you ask for either relates to the job directly, career aspirations or checking information. If you're not sure your questions are correct, check with an expert or superior. Don't take unnecessary chances that may land you in the CCMA!

Step #4: Create application templates

Draw up the actual form. Keep the following in mind:

• Include your company logo.
• Keep the look and feel of the form professional.
• Make sure you leave enough space for candidate's to write their answers.
• Where you ask for yes or no answers, put a checkbox rather than open spaces.

Where you want to limit the answer choices, have a tick-list that candidates can select from, and include an 'other' option for unusual circumstances.

 • If you use both print and electronic application forms, make sure they require the same information.
• Hard copy or print forms don't always translate into professional looking website screens. Prepare for some design changes to your original form when you set up an online version of it.

Step #5: Proofread and 'trial run' the forms

Keep in mind that when you are pleased with the design and content of your application form, select a few colleagues to proofread it.

You should also ask them to fill them in as if they were applying for a job. Encourage open and honest feedback. Get them to look for:

• Spelling errors;
• Grammatical errors;
• Adequate spacing;
• Information flow;
• Professional look;
• Discriminatory questions;
• Irrelevant information;
• Content; and
• Overall impression in terms of functionality and company image.

Implement any necessary changes from the feedback you receive.

Step #6: Print the forms or upload them to your website

Once you complete and test the forms, you're ready to print them. After possible design adjustment to make the form suitable for online applications, you can also upload it onto your company website.

Also, don't forget that you must keep all application forms of unsuccessful applicants for a period of twelve months after you fill the vacancy. You can file successful applications in the employee's personnel file.

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