Too Much Information? Ways to keep your Talent Acquisition System effective and efficient

October 7, 2015

Written by: Elisabeth Jordan

Whether looking at implementing a new talent acquisition system or upgrading the one you already have, it’s important to strike a balance between making sure you’re getting the information you need, without scaring off the very people you want to use the system. There are several areas where it’s really easy to over-design, creating a negative impact on your users, but the two most common are the requisition form and the application for your candidates.

When designing your requisition and process, you’ll want to make sure you’re including all the critical information for the job and for your organization, plus anything that might be required for integrations you’re planning. This usually includes the standard fields delivered, as well as some user defined fields (UDFs) that can be added to capture non-standard information specific to your organization. Add too many fields and you’ll end up with a requisition a mile long that your managers and recruiters will dread filling out each time. Try to keep it as simple as possible, and ask yourself these questions about each field you intend to add:

• Is this information necessary when completing a requisition, or is it just nice-to-have? Knowing this answer can help you weed out the fields you could live without if you find you have one of those mile-long requisitions.

Is the requisition the right place to capture and store this information, or does it really belong in another system, like HR or Finance? Getting input from other areas of the organization is great, but make sure you keep focus on the intent of the system you’re implementing. Consider whether the field really belongs in the recruiting system as part of the recruiting process.

• Will the user completing the requisition form know the information being requested, or be able to find it easily? Whether you have your hiring managers or your recruiters completing the requisition, you will want to make sure they are  able to complete it without getting stuck on a required field they are unable to complete.


The second sand trap can be the application. It’s great that you want to know everything you possibly can about the people that want to work for you, but be careful not to scare them off before you get to meet them! There is a very high drop-off rate when applicants feel you’re either getting too personal too quickly, or you’re taking too much of their time. To design an application that will work for you without losing the best applicants, keep the following in mind:

Make sure you know the legal requirements for the application. This should include knowing what you must ask, what you must not ask, and what you should be requesting. These requirements will vary based on the countries in which you do business, as well as your affiliations with things like government agencies, unions, etc.

Only ask the applicant to complete the information that you’re actually going to use. For example, when filling out an application for an entry level position at a manufacturing company, knowing what shifts an applicant can work makes perfect sense, but an applicant might be confused as to why you need to know their blood type.

Use screening questions wisely. Being able to ask a few screening questions of all applicants to determine whether they meet the minimum qualifications is a great way to learn a little more about your applicants before interviewing. Trying to replace an interview by asking as many questions as you find on the SAT’s will ensure you never have anyone complete your application process!

Most importantly – whether you’re building a requisition or an application, take time to put yourself in the user’s shoes. Try to complete the requisition or application as if you were the user, thinking about how they would get each piece of the information you’re asking them to give you, and whether they would mind providing what you’re asking. Time how long it takes you to complete what you’re asking your user to do. If anyone has to pack a lunch to have midway through the process, it’s time to go back to the drawing board!

HRchitect has the technical expertise to assist you with updating your requisition or application as well as creating it new. We have worked with many different sized clients, industries, and systems, which gives us an expansive knowledge of the best practice for your organization. Further, if you are in the market for a new or replacement system, HRchitect’s Secure Selection process will help to ensure you get the right system for your organization’s needs.

Elisabeth Jordan

About Elisabeth Jordan:

Elisabeth Jordan is a Senior HCM Implementation Services Consultant with the HRchitect Consulting team. She has more than 15 years of experience in talent management and recruiting, with a focus on HR technology implementation and management with Oracle PeopleSoft and Taleo.