Forms and Flows - What are they?
Simply put, Forms are the pages that you'll be using to gather information about your Candidates and Flows are used to automate the process of displaying them to Candidates.
Although we're predominantly looking at Application and Onboarding forms at this stage, there are actually 4 different types of forms you can use:
- Application forms are used whenever you want to gather information relating to an Application. These will include the forms a Candidate needs to fill in (like actual Application Forms), but they can also be used by your Recruitment Team and Hiring Manager population throughout the recruitment process for things like Telephone Interview scripts and Interview Feedback Forms. Essentially, any time you'd like someone to fill in a form which relates to an Application or Interview, you'll use an Application Form.
- Onboarding forms are used during your onboarding process to both display information to your Candidates and gather information from them. This could simply be displaying the offer detail and asking the candidate or existing employee to agree, or it could be a full and complete onboarding process.
- Candidate Feedback forms work in pretty much the same way as Application forms, but they are not linked to an actual Application. Typically they're used to conduct Candidate Satisfaction Surveys at the end of a recruitment activity, but they can also be used to help ensure the information the information you hold about each Candidate is up to date e.g. linking to a "Please update your details" form within your GDPR related emails (or any other email, actually).
- Contact Feedback forms have the same use case as Candidate Feedback forms, but these related to the contacts - these could be your Hiring Managers, Vendors or Clients whose contact details you hold.
These form types can all be issued on an ad-hoc basis via email, but Application and Onboarding forms can be displayed automatically to Candidates within the Candidate Portal once they have reached a specific point in the recruitment process - this is where Application, Action and Onboarding Form Flows come in.
- Application Flows are used to govern which forms a Candidate is required to complete throughout the recruitment process up to the Onboarding stage.
- Action Flows are used to govern which forms a Candidate is required to complete whilst at an Action stage, once the Action has been completed
- Onboarding Flows are used to govern which forms a Candidate is required to complete while going through Onboarding
During Implementation, we focus primarily on your Application and Onboarding flows, but we'll be happy to discuss Action flows with you as well.
The main thing to remember about the Flow is that this is what you use to fully customise your Application and Onboarding process. If you want all Candidates to complete the same Application Form or if you want a different form to display depending on things like Vacancy Type, Department, Location, Function, Candidate Type (the list goes on...), this can all be achieved using the Application Form Flow. The same is true of onboarding - using the Onboarding Form Flow you can easily configure one path for new employees, another path for internal candidates, a third for contractors, even multiple-stage onboarding if you require in-depth referencing and background checking before making a final offer to a Candidate.
What do I need to think about when planning?
The amount of work you'll need to do with Forms and Flows during Phase 2 and 3 of Implementation will largely be dictated by your internal processes.
Generally speaking, and unless agreed otherwise at the scoping stage, we will build for you 1 Application form and the corresponding flow and we will also build the forms and flows relating to the onboarding process for your external candidates.
This means that, if you only have 1 application form and 1 onboarding process, there isn't much for you to do as you will have told us exactly what needs to be captured on each form during Phase 1.
If you do need multiple application forms or onboarding journeys, then you'll want to think about the following things:
For the flow to be able to automatically put the correct form in front of your Candidates it needs to know under which condition each form should be displayed.
In the example below we can see that if the Condition is satisfied (i.e. the Candidate does work for you), Eploy will display the Internal Application Form, this is the line to the right. If the condition is not satisfied, it then routes to something else, either a different form or another condition...even an application status if the condition is to be used for knock-out purposes.
So, when preparing for your Customer Configuration activities you'll need to first decide if you need to have branching application flows, and if so, which Conditions do you want to use to route the Candidate down the appropriate branch.
The same thought process applies to branching Onboarding flows.
The key thing to remember is that if you want to use a field within the system to create your conditions, they need to be actual fields in the system - so you'll need to let your Implementation Manager know so they can add the field in to the appropriate part of the system for you.
As explained already, we will build some forms for you, but anything else you'll need to create yourself during Phase 3 - Customer Configuration.
So, at this stage of the implementation you'll need to identify any additional forms you'll need such as:
- Application forms to be used on different branches within your Form Flow
- Application forms to be completed by your Recruitment Team or Hiring Managers e.g. Interview Feedback Forms
- Any other type of form you'd like to use e.g. satisfaction surveys, forms sent to Candidates to keep their data up to date, you could even use Eploy to conduct Exit Interviews, which would nee their own set of forms
Questions and Fields
The next thing you'll need to think about is the questions you'll be asking within your forms and the fields they link to. As mentioned above, we'll build several forms for you and will include any questions/fields you ask us to - so you only need to worry about this if you'll be creating additional forms for branching application and onboarding flows.
The questions you can add in to your forms fall in to two categories - Discover Fields and Standard Fields.
Discover Fields are free-form questions - you pick the type of question, enter the question text and the response options. These can be used to provide information to your Candidates (such as paragraphs of text) and can also be used to capture information from the Candidate. They can even be used within the flow to create some basic branching options if you don't want to use traditional conditions. When you're thinking about the questions to add to your forms you need to ask yourself one very important question: Will I want to report on the answer via a dashboard or include it in some kind of a report or export, or get the data out of the system in any other way? If the answer to any part of this question is YES, then DO NOT add it to your form as a Discover field. Discover fields are not reportable.
I really can't overstate this enough - this is one of the most frequent issues I see when teaching users how to run reports in their system. I had one customer which had over 6000 responses to a discover field which they wanted to export out of the system - but they couldn't, because it was a discover field.
If you want to capture information in a fully reportable format, the question needs to be added in to the system as a Standard Field. Historically, only we could do this for you, but as of Eploy v46 (Release 1 2023), you have the ability to do this as well. This is known as adding a Custom Field. We'll look at the preparation required for Custom Fields in this article.
Finally, to answer the question before it's asked, it's not possible to convert a Discover field in to a Standard Field.
As we explored above, you can use Discover and Standard fields within forms to not only capture information, but provide information as well.
A common way of doing this is to use a special type of standard field called a Resource. These fields are typically used to ensure consistency across several forms. For example, you might have a resource field which is used to explain why you are asking for a specific piece of information, or to explain the candidates right not to answer a question, such as Equal Opportunities or Criminal Records.
You could easily add this text in to your forms using a Discover field, but by having it in the system as a resource, wherever you use that resource, the text displayed will be the same. Further, it means you only need to edit the text once, and the change will automatically be replicated wherever you've used the resource.
You'll likely have already told us which resources you want to use during Phase 1, but during Phase 2 this is your chance to think about any additional resources you'd like to add in to the system, and it's the best time to finalise the wording you want to use and have it signed off internally before putting it in to the system.
Media and Documents
In addition to resource text, you may want to include some kind of media within your system, and this is the perfect time to make sure that the media you want to use is either being produced, or has been produced and signed-off internally. This could be a welcome video from your CEO which you could include at the beginning of your Onboarding process, or videos and images to use throughout your system.
Another task you'll need to complete during Phase 3 (Customer Configuration) is to create your Document Templates (Offer Letters and Contracts) and upload in to the system any policy documents you want your Candidates to see.
Phase 2 is the perfect time to ensure that these documents and templates have been written and/or reviewed internally, ready to be used. A classic example is your Contract of Employment - a lot of customers take the opportunity here to review their contracts and, where possible, reduce the number of variations. This process can take a lot of time, so the sooner you can start, the better.
Our Application and Onboarding forms include the ability to score the Candidate's responses and provide an overall grade. Although it can be used in Onboarding forms, it's most commonly used within Application Forms.
The scoring and grading functionality can either be used to simply grade a form, as in the case of an Interview Feedback form; or, where the form is included as part of a flow, can be used to route the application on to another set of forms, or even to a specific Application Status.
For example, you might have a question on your form which, if answered incorrectly, would result in the Candidate not being suitable i.e. a Knock-Out or Killer Question.
When deciding which questions to include on your forms, also consider whether any actions should be carried out based on how that question is answered.
If the outcome would result in the application being given a specific Application Status, you'll need to ensure that this new Status has been added in to the system - this is also something you'll be able to do yourselves during Phase 3.
I'm still not sure what I need to do - are there any examples I can see?
Yep, sure thing!
Again, this is where your Demo system is needed.
To see forms in action, access your demo system's Candidate Portal and work your way through a few applications.
By applying for jobs within different functions (which you'll be able to find from the home page of your demo Candidate Portal) you'll be able to see a few examples of different Application Forms, each of which is displayed according to settings within the Application Form Flow.
If you'd like to see how these forms and flows are built, log in to your demo Core System and navigate to Admin > Form Flows. Click on the Application Flow name, then open the Flow Automation tab. From here you'll be able to see how the flow is built, and by clicking on any of the form names displayed within the blue boxes you'll be able to see how the form is constructed.
Tip we'll be looking at Application Forms and Flows in the first of our two Customer Configuration webinars, with Onboarding Forms and Flows in the second.