A job application template will be completed by any prospective employee interested in a job opportunity. This application is going to give a potential employer the ability to learn more about the prospective employee and find out if they can legally work at the company. It will also give the employer an idea of the person's job skills and experience in the field.
The job application will include sections for different types of information, such as personal information, previous employment, job skills, and education. The best job application will be simple enough for the employee to fill out without needing guidance and easily revisable in case requirements for employment change. Look over your application to ensure you are asking for all the information you need from a future employee and leave space for additional notes.
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One of your responsibilities as a new entrepreneur is to create an employment application form. You can do this from scratch, or by using a generic job application template. The latter method can save you time, and there are plenty of free employment application templates available on the internet. However, you’ll want to be sure you customize said free employment application template to suit your needs.
So, first off – let’s talk about what exactly an employment application form is. An application performs the following two major functions –
Gives you a comprehensive snapshot of every applicant.
If you phrase your questions correctly, your job application will function almost like a pre-interview. Since your company is brand new, you are building your staff culture from scratch. What kind of work environment do you want to create? What kinds of people would you need to hire to build that environment ? Take some time to build a loose picture of your ideal staff.
Here are a few “either-or’s” to consider for potential employees. Which of these is more important to you?
· Concentrated industry experience vs. a broad range of experience
· Established (experienced) vs. malleable (inexperienced)
· Team player vs. solo worker
· Task-oriented vs. goal-oriented
If any of these sticks out as important, you might want to work it into your job application. Questions such as the following can work well:
· Would you consider yourself more task-oriented or goal-oriented?
· Describe your favorite job to date and tell us why you loved it.
· Describe what special qualities you would bring to the [company name] table.
Questions like these make applicants think. It also makes the job application template seem more human and friendly, which puts applicants at ease. Reading the answers will give you a window on each applicant’s personality that you would not gain otherwise.
Gives your applicants a sense of your company.
As I mentioned above, asking specific, one-on-one-type questions will put your potential employees at ease. It will also give them a sense of your company’s attitude . What kind of brand image do you want to project? If you’re going for a formal environment, you don’t want to use a casual, matter-of-fact tone in any of your questions. If you plan on running a more laid-back office, having a friendly edge will let your applicants know. Here are a few examples of formally vs. informally voiced application questions:
|What You Want To Know||Formal||Informal|
What special qualities can the applicant bring to the table?
Describe your main professional strengths. What can you offer [Company Name]?
Tell us about yourself! How will you contribute to the success and overall awesomeness of [Company Name]?
Is the applicant capable of problem-solving?
Describe a situation at a previous job in which you made a mistake. How did you solve the problem?
Tell us about a time you messed up at a previous job. How did you deal with it?
Would the applicant be a good fit in your company’s environment?
Which of your previous jobs was your favorite? Explain why.
What’s the best job you’ve ever had? Tell us about it.
See the difference? The first set of questions broadcasts suit and tie and boardroom, the second casual dress and office hockey. It’s all about the image you want to promote.
These are the two big things to keep in mind when you’re drawing up your application or editing the generic job application template. Whether or not you’re at the hiring stage, I recommend getting a start on the process. Try downloading a free employment application template from a reputable website and playing around. Your job application is one form you definitely are going to want in place when the time comes.
If you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur, you will need to master the art of creating job applications. Drawing up an application is more complex than you might imagine. As with any official document, it comes with its own set of legal hurdles to jump and/or avoid. As your job application is essentially an interaction with a stranger, you’ve got to take care of your image. Basically, you need to run some serious PR during the formation of your application. To make it easy for you, I’ve outlined a few checkpoints below:
State the obvious.
This is the real art in the construction of legal documents. None of us enjoy this. Well, many of us don’t. But the thing about legal documents is that they are just that – legal. Their terms dictate the nature of the action they perform.
- Include a statement saying your business is an “Equal Opportunity Employer.” This may sound like a no-brainer, and it really should be, but omission of this statement gives spurned applicants the opportunity to make a legal fuss. And believe me, an entrepreneur just starting out does not need any bad press from the peanut gallery.
- Make sure that somewhere on the job application form there is a line stating that submission of the application does not guarantee employment. You wouldn’t believe how many people have been known to take advantage of this.
- Do not use, anywhere on the job application template or at point during the hiring process, adjectives that could be interpreted as preferential. In other words, no descriptors that imply age, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, marital/family status, arrest history, financial status, disability. Instead, include a line that explicitly states you will not discriminate based on any of these qualities.
Review your federal obligations.
If by chance your business is a federal contractor, be sure your application complies with OFCCP standards. You will also need to follow these standards for recordkeeping. Just Google OFCCP and go to the government website to review them.
Review your local obligations .
Be sure your application questions comply with all state and municipal regulations. Visit the official web sites of your state, city and county to view their requirements.
Keep the questions generic .
Don’t include any questions about ethnicity/race, gender or marital status. You should also not include questions about social or political affiliations. This will only call into question the outright statement (suggested above) that you do not discriminate.
Don’t be scared to ask for help
It’s hard, as a first-time entrepreneur, to draw together an application that is both probing and legally innocuous. However, there are a few shortcuts you can take.
Hire a professional to do it for you – Many legal writing firms and freelancers would be more than happy to take your money and create your company’s applications. You’ll end up with a decent product. The trouble is, this provides an extra expense.
Draw it up yourself, then get a lawyer to review it – Again, the pro? Safety. The con? Money. Only do this if you have a trust fund or virtually no stake in the business.
Draw it up freeform – You might fare okay. You might crash and burn. Keep in mind that as the head of a brand new business, you have a lot on your plate already. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself, or under-work the employment application . Both your documents and your energy are, after all, cornerstones of your start-up.
Use a free job application template – For new bosses, a free job application template is often the best way to go. There are numerous free job application forms available on the Internet. You just pick a form, fill in the boxes and boom! You have a blank job application fully tailored to your business.
The one thing about this method is that you need to use a reputable source. There are plenty of actually free job application forms out there, but there are also plenty of “free” blank job applications that, as the quotations marks suggest, come with some hidden costs. Do your research on consumer review websites, and choose wisely.
So you’ve gotten to that point every burgeoning entrepreneur dreams of. No, not the point of sale. I’m talking about the point at which you start needing to hire employees.
Hiring can be a tedious process, especially for new businesses. You want to be sure you hire exactly the right people, people who sparkle and excel at their jobs and complement your brand and business perfectly.
For most new businesses, the hiring game isn’t going to reel in any experts. Your pay scale simply isn’t big enough. You are, however, going to meet a variety of interesting and qualified individuals who want to grow with your business and take part in its evolution. This might sound like heaven or a nightmare to you, but if the latter is the case, open up. All you can do is post your ad and screen applicants carefully. A decent job application can make this process easier. Below, I’ve listed the main components a job application should contain.
· Full legal name – Include a space for first name, last name, and middle initial.
- Also ask if the applicant has gone by any other names or an "A.K.A.".
· Current address – This should either be the address where the applicant currently resides or, if they’re moving, where they will be residing at the time their employment would start.
· Mailing address - Specify that they only need to list this if it differs from their home address.
· Date of birth – You’ll need to verify that the applicant is old enough to work in your region.
· Telephone number(s) - Provide spaces for home, work and cell.
· Email address
· Verification of applicant’s eligibility to work
Ordinarily, you should provide spaces for 3-5 entries and request the following pieces of information:
· Dates of employment - Be sure that the job application instructs applicants to list their most recent job first. This will make life easier for you, as
· Company name and street address
· Job title
· Summary of duties - Leave plenty of space for this.
· Reason for leaving
· Supervisor information - This should include spaces for the supervisor’s full name and his or her contact information. Include spaces for both a phone number and an email, as some applicants might not have supervisors’ phone numbers.
· Has the applicant ever convicted of a crime? Leave a space for explanation.
· Is the applicant a veteran? Leave a space for duty and specialized training.
Include spaces for high school, college, business/technical school, and miscellaneous or “other.” Be sure that you leave enough room in each category for multiple schools.
Training and Special Skills
Depending on your industry, this can be an open section or include special areas . For example, if you run a security company, you might want to provide spaces for military or police training, special licenses and levels of education. For a desk job, you might want to specifically ask for clerical skills, such as typing speed, proficiency in programs such as MS Office, or special training such as speed-reading or translation.
· Emergency Contacts – Always ask for two – you don’t want to be left with only one number if something bad happens.
References – Standard procedure is to ask for three references. These references may be personal or professional, but must not be related to the applicant. Encourage the applicant to include a combination of personal and professional references so as to paint a round, solid picture of his/her personality.
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