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Why You Need to Use Employment Applications

Using an employment application is no longer optional. Employment applications let employers efficiently gather consistent data about prospective applicants. Resume and cover formats vary from person-to-person, but a having a consistent employment application ensures that employers can quickly sort and view necessary information.

Most employers have moved away from print applications and are using online employment applications that let them track potential applicants, searching data for specific keywords, employment history and even degrees. This helps employers easily pre-screen and pre-qualify applicants.

These are the top reasons why you need to start using employment applications in your business.

  1. Not only do online job applications help you consistently gather data in the same format, but you can also easily standardize your applications, which makes it simple to compare candidates’ skills and credentials.
  2. Applications allow you to gather credentials that candidates usually do not include in their resumes or cover letters. For example, you can ask if the applicant has any felonies or misdemeanor criminal convictions, why they left their previous employers, names and contact information for immediate supervisors and references. It is important that you check with local and state laws, as some areas have laws that prohibit employers from using certain background information obtained in the application for employment decisions.
  3. Make sure that you obtain the applicant’s signature or digital signature stating that all the information they provided on the employment application is true. If you determine the applicant provided false information, you have legal grounds for not pursuing employment. Statements should include language to this effect: “The applicant’s signature attests that all statements on the employment application and resume are true.” Employers can verify the data on the application. Fraudulent claims and information provided on employment applications is increasing, which includes applicants lying about degrees, exaggerating their job duties, providing false dates of employment, etc.
  4. If your state offers at-will employment or if you are an at-will employer, make sure that this is stated in the application, as well as that you are an equal opportunity, non-discriminating employer. If you have a drug test policy, make sure that you include information about this in the application as well.
  5. If you require any background checks, criminal history, creditworthiness, driving records, etc., for a position, make sure that you obtain the applicant’s signature.

As with any legal document, it is essential that you review the wording with your legal department or an attorney. Your application should have proper legal wording, be easy for potential candidates to complete and help you better comply with necessary paperwork laws.

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