Filling out online job applications can be a job in and of itself. During the selection process it is believed that longer forms weed out the motivated candidates from those that are not that interested. This is a fallacy of thinking that can have big impact on the type of candidates your company receives.
We seem to gravitate in our processes toward complexity. It helps us feel like we justified our position but it doesn't work well. Just like you wouldn't make purchasing a product difficult for your customer you don't want to make it difficult for candidates to apply.
These forms can be complex and sometimes don't work right. A single answer that doesn't fit within the specific criteria outlined by the data field and the entire application cannot be submitted. After a half hour of searching the candidate might give up.
Therein lies the problem.
Bigger and longer is not better here. To ensure that all candidates have an opportunity to apply it is important to keep the application process simple. High quality candidates might be turned off by the tedious process and believe the company is not managed well.
Trying to get too much information is tedious.
Applicants create resumes for a reason and then they need to manually transfer that information to fields that don't often fit well with their work experience. With today's database search capabilities all of these fields may not be necessary.
The best ones I have seen out there have just a few components that include:
-A short survey to ensure match.
-Cover letter, Resume, and Document Upload
-Verification of Contact Information
-Initials and Submit
Keeping it simple will increase the functional use of the system and encourage high quality candidates to apply.