Your call for applications is your way to identify talents, generate insights, and gain access to innovative solutions. But managing such programs can be a hassle. A submission management software can make your life easier and saves you hours of repetitive tasks. Of course, choose the suitable software depends on your needs and the program’s specifics, however, for any given program some elements are unquestionable.
Here is list of items you should consider while making your decision.
- Easy Application Process for Applicants
- Straightforward Process for Judges
- Automated Communication with Applicants
- Intuitive Experience for Admins
- Easy Form Builders
- Real-Time Analysis on Applications
Let’s have a look at each item.
1. Easy Application Process for Applicants
Applicants experience needs to be simple and smooth, to ensure 100% conversion rate. how to create an easy applicants experience? For example, applicants should have their data auto-saved while typing in their application form, allowing them to return to their applications at any time to pick up where they left off. Also, they should be able to track the status of their applications on their accounts. Keeping the applicant informed is a key for a positive experience, their accounts should always have your feedback, next steps, or current status visible.
2. Straightforward Process for Judges
The judges experience should be even more straightforward. It starts with an easy sign up process, and accessing their accounts should take seconds. Each judge should have personal have their own dashboard with their own assigned submissions, also, once they start judging submissions the status should get updated immediately. The evaluation should should be self-explanatory and easy to use. Finally, it is a plus for judges, if admins allow, to be able to communicate their feedback directly to applicants, which takes us to the next point.
3. Automated Communication with Applicants
Part of the communication with applicants could be automated, such as the success receipt of submitted application, the deadline reminders for applicants who haven’t submitted their application yet, the acceptance or rejection emails, … etc.
Your submission management software should allow you to automate these kind of messages, provide you with email templates, as well as good options for the choice of recipients for bulk messages. You should be able to filter recipients by status, for example: application pending, application submitted, qualified application, not qualified, … etc.
4. Intuitive Experience for Admins
The best admin experience, is one that doesn’t require a high learning curve, a workflow with logical flow, a customizable experience to a suitable extent. The experience should cater to all kinds of users, the tech savvy and the not so much into technology.
The other side of the experience is how much the admin work is automated, we understand that your objective is to save time for your team and have them focus on things that matter. Make sure the collaboration features between the team members are in place, for example the submissions table has tagging, starring, and writing notes for communication.
5. Easy Form Builders
Building your submission and evaluation forms should be a breeze. Check the editing and set-up options for the form builder, such as adding, removing, duplication questions. The question types should cover everything you need in a submission and evaluation form.
The conditional logic fields is something needed for almost every application form. Meaning some questions rely on the applicants answer – choice- for a previous question.
It is always a good plus, in some cases necessary one, to be able to divide the application in sections and pages, also add a progress bar, and finally, an eligibility check. The eligibility check is a set of questions that applicant fill in and based on their answers they either move forward with the application process or get a message that they are ineligible to apply.
6. Real-Time Analysis on Applications
The software should provide you with website analytics, applicants demographics, and other vital numbers and performance indicators. Those essential numbers you need to check on a regular basis to ensure your program is performing.
At Untap, we give an automated analysis on the application fields in real-time, which gives you a deeper understanding your applicants, as well as their proposals. Tracking data is a key for evaluating the success of your program as well as making decisions for your program growth.
7. External apps Integration
You need to have everything run and managed in one place, therefore have your necessary apps integrated with your submission management system. This could be your google analytics for the program website, slack, your CRM tool, … etc.
Lastly, you should test and see the system for yourself, and make sure it has everything your call for applications needs. Make sure the time and effort managing your call for applications would be kept to the minimal. The more focus should be on your program ROI and creating value for your participants.