How Fillout Uses Forms to Recruit and Process Job Applications

How Fillout uses Fillout to automatically categorize, filter, route, and follow up to employment applications with smart HR forms.

How Fillout Uses Forms to Recruit and Process Job Applications
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If you want the best applicants, you need a top-tier application process. Pages of questions about the applicant aren’t enough. You need to sell applicants on the job and your company, and get them excited about applying before they fill out the first form field.
Hiring forms are your company’s first interaction with someone who may become a key player in your future team. It’s worth making that application process as seamless as possible.
Applicant tracking systems are typically expensive and not very customizable. So instead, we built our fully customized employment application form in Fillout—no specialized hiring platform needed. Our hiring form uses:
  • Collapsable sections to show role details
  • Custom values to tweak the form per role
  • Brand forms with a custom domain and slug
  • Automatically send take-home assignments via email
  • Route applicants to your hiring team in Slack
Follow along as we describe how to create your own, using our engineering role as an example:

Build a form that informs with collapsible sections

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Forms typically jump right in. First name, last name, email address, one field asking for info right after another.
We flipped the equation around with our job application form. No form fields in sight on the first page. Instead, everything is focused on sharing details about Fillout and our open roles.
Here’s how you can do the same. Start with the form title and description. Share a bit about your company and why it’s a great place to work. Add some branding as well; click the Theme button in the top left corner of Fillout’s form editor to add your company’s fonts, colors, and logo to the form.
Then, add additional collapsable sections where the most interested candidates can learn more. Fillout’s Section collapse field is perfect for this. Add a section collapse, then every field you put underneath that section collapse will be hidden by default until your next section collapse element.
We’ve added 4 section collapses, each with text sections that explain more about our company. Then we disabled the Is collapsable option on the final section collapse to go back to standard always-visible form fields.
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Another option to share info is with a multi-choice field, logic, and hidden fields—something we use to share role-specific details. Add a multiple choice field, with options for each of your role titles, and a title asking which role they’re interested in. Underneath, add one paragraph field for each role. Under each paragraph field’s logic options in the right sidebar, choose Show when, then edit the logic to have it shown when the corresponding multiple choice option is selected.

Use custom values to tweak the form per respondent

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What if you already know the lead should be interested in your engineering job? With a couple small tweaks, your form can automatically show the details for that job without any additional clicks.
We accomplish that with Fillout’s URL parameters. Each one lets you append data to the end of the form URL, such as to specify engineering jobs, or ?role=engineering&source=linkedin to track both role and referrer.
Click the Settings tab on the top of your form editor. Choose URL parameters, then click Add new. Add a single word that’s easy to remember; we use role for role customizations, and source to track the locations that sent applicants.
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Back in your form editor, we’ll need to add a bit more data to the multi-choice field. The best role names such as “Senior Full-Stack Engineer” are detailed and worded to attract the best candidates. A shorter single-word name, though, is better for the URL parameter. Click the multiple choice field, open the Advanced section in the right sidebar, enable custom values, then edit each field name underneath with a unique single-word value.
Then have Fillout auto-fill the role from the URL parameter. Select the multiple choice field’s Default value option, click +, then click URL parameters and select the role field.
Now whenever someone visits from a link that includes the ?role=engineering URL parameter, the form will automatically show details about the engineering role, and keep the other details hidden.

Build out the rest of your form

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With information and automated data gathering out of the way, it’s time to add the form fields your company needs from applicants. We request their full name, email address, LinkedIn URL, resume PDF, and ask what made them interested in our company.
Your team may need to ask more, depending on the role. Dig into Fillout’s form fields to find what you need or click the purple star button and use Fillout AI to quickly populate your form. We’ve included all the standard form fields in Fillout, along with extras including electronic signatures if you need to create eSigned application documents. Or, if you need to ask for applicants’ address, enable Address autocomplete with Fillout Conversion Kit to help applicants enter their address in seconds.
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One more tweak to your form before sharing it with applicants: A custom URL. We’ve added both custom sub-domains and slugs to Fillout to make form sharing URLs as close to your company’s branding as possible.
Start with the custom domain. If you have a Fillout Business or Enterprise plan and haven’t added one already, check Fillout’s custom domain docs to add a custom URL.
Then, back in your form itself, you can add a custom form link with any Fillout account. Click the Share tab in the top toolbar, select the Customize link tab there, and add a custom slug to your hiring form such as /join-us.
Don’t forget your URL parameters, either. Copy your share link, and append them to the end after a question mark, like, customizing the parameters (e.g., engineering, linkedin, etc.) every time you share the link.
Everything’s ready to start gathering applications for your open roles. Add the link to your jobs page, with each role linked to its correct URL parameters on your form.
Now, you need to route that data to the right people on your team—and follow up with applicants.

Send job application details to the right Slack channel

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Start with sending the data to your hiring team. We use Slack at Fillout to keep track of new job applicants, with one channel for our engineering recruiting and another to track every other application. Fillout’s Slack integration plus filters automatically route each new application to the correct channel.
Open your form’s Integrations tab in Fillout, select Slack, then choose the channel to notify whenever your form is filled out. Under Fillout’s Slack integration channel options, click Edit run conditions, and add a filter to watch for the applicants to send to this channel. We have our first Slack integration’s filter watch for Engineering applications and send them to the #recruiting-eng channel.
Then repeat, adding a second Slack integration, this time sending notifications to your other channel, with a filter watching for everyone who didn’t select the Engineering role.
Fillout will send every form field, by default. Or you can write a custom Slack message for your team, including the most important form details.
The same idea works no matter what tool your team uses to process job applications. Use Fillout’s integrations to share them to Microsoft Teams, or track them in a CRM like Attio. Or, use our Zapier or Make integrations to add applicants to Greenhouse, BambooHR, and other hiring platforms automatically.

Share take-home assignments with applicants via email

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Followup comes last. You’ll likely want to let applicants know that you received their submission. And, for some roles, you might want to request additional details including references, or share a take-home assignment for them to complete on their own time.
You can build that out using Fillout’s custom emails paired with conditional logic, on a Business or higher plan. Open your form’s settings, select Notifications, then choose Custom emails and add a new one. Write the email you want to send with your take-home assignment. Then enable Send conditionally, and edit the logic to send the message to the correct applicants.
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Another option is to send the email via an automation tool so you can set when the email gets sent out. That works with every Fillout plan. We’ve built our workflow in Make to watch Fillout’s recruitment form for new applicants, filter based on role, then add applicants to our Mixmatch email queue to send them the take-home assignment after a delay.
Get creative—if there are any other manual processes in your hiring process, there might be a way to automate them out at the same time.
Dominic Whyte

Written by

Dominic Whyte

Dominic is a co-founder at Fillout. He previously worked in engineering & product at Retool. Prior to Retool, he started Cheer (backed by Sequoia and acquired by Retool in 2020).