If you are an HR professional, here are 5 job application suggestions exclusively intended for you.

For Halloween, many people enjoy dressing up for their celebrations, but have you ever considered the masks that candidates wear in order to impress during the hiring process? In this article, you’ll discover five tips for seeing behind the mask on a job application. You can determine whether a candidate is just a fly-by-night charade, or has an authentic desire to be part of your team.

5 Job Application Tips For HR


Don’t forget to check these 5 things on a candidate’s job application:

1.  Check for gaps in their employment

Examining the timeline of the applicant’s work history can help you determine if they have had consistent employment, or if they have had stretches without a job. Utilizing a date scanning function automatically arranges, in chronological order, all the reported dates obtained from former employers. Unemployment, whether consistent or sporadic, can be a red flag.

2.  Look for decreased responsibility over time, or from one job to another

It is natural for career progression to provide increased responsibility for an employee. Over time a person can stagnate in their job performance. Even worse, they can regress. When a candidate’s resume or application shows a negative change in job requirements or expectations, investigate as to why that may be. This can be seen as a demotion or a vertical move within an organization. It could be a sign of personality conflicts or poor job performance.

3.  Watch out for applicants with a consistent history of short-term employment

One integral piece of advice from the 5 Job Application Tips For HR is to review candidates’ historical employment data. For a candidate to have many short-term jobs over a period of time can indicate a lack of commitment, poor people skills, or little self-discipline. It is important to understand why an applicant frequently moved jobs. Educate yourself both in the interview process and with your reference checks.

4.  Be wary of erratic career changes

While college students are notorious for changing majors, changing careers could be a worrisome practice for a prospective employee. Be wary of applicants who have endeavored into many career paths, and have frequently switched directions. If you are hiring a candidate who has made several career changes, take time to find out if they are committed and willing to grow with your company, and what their future professional goals are.

5.  Ask for the obvious on the application

The type of employees you seek will largely determine the application forms used during the hiring process. For example, are you hiring a labor force for food services, or are you hiring an executive for a software development firm? Whatever labor force your business requires, ask the obvious in your screening process. Create awareness about the background screening practices you use. This includes: employment and education verification, drug screening and criminal history checks.  Doing this will help weed out candidates who know they won’t pass the test. One business writes on the application, “Drug Testing and Motor Vehicle Reports” which are part of our pre-employment process. This is not used to discriminate, but to inform and educate candidates.


Screening candidates with Peopletrail can help you verify the information on a job application. Even after following the above mentioned 5 Job Application Tips For HR, you need further investigation.  Your judgment and hiring processes can be enhanced with the information provided by a background screening provider. Our passion is to help keep the workplace safe, and that includes helping you decipher important information found in a background screening report. Schedule a complimentary, customized consultation today.

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