What Should I Be Asking on My Candidate Registration Forms?

Check out our best practise for content on your application and registration forms.

Our candidate registration methods are crucial to ensure that as recruiters we are capturing the data we require to successfully screen and review candidates. However, we need to ensure we aren't putting candidates off with the lengthy application processes they might not want to complete!

Here are our top tips for what we recommend to include on your registration forms.

Firefish has two routes for candidates to enter themselves into your database - the advert application and the speculative registration forms.

The Registration form is seen by candidates who hit "register" on your site - these are candidates making themselves known to you without tying themselves to a particular job, whereas the advert application form is used by candidates who register in relation to a specific vacancy.

We find it best to have these set up differently, acknowledging the different reasons candidates are registering to your database. However, there are some standard fields we would recommend having on both as the bread and butter data you'll be looking for such as:

  • Mobile Number

  • Postcode

  • CV

  • Preferences such as Discipline, Location, Salary etc

  • Email Marketing

  • Opt into Job Alerts

  • Opt into GDPR

Candidate Registration – What should I be asking?

On the speculative Registration form, although candidates may be more passive, we'd recommend adding more data fields to this form than the advert application.

As the candidate is registering with your business, its great to get as much data upfront as possible, without boring the candidate by asking them to fill in 1000 data fields and upload masses of documents. With this in mind, look for the most relevant of fields that you may need to ensure you can successfully register them as a potential candidate. These might be things such as:

  • Social Profiles such as LinkedIn

  • Profile Summaries (This is the candidate summary in your portal)

  • Portfolios

  • Education info

  • Any bespoke fields required for you to move forward with the candidate (Such as licenses or certifications)

Candidate Application – What Should I be asking?

For candidates who apply, they will be less passively looking for a new position and they'll be filling out many application forms over the course of their job hunt.

With this in mind, the emphasis should be on making it easier for the candidate to apply - ensuring they complete their application. Are there some fields that you can live without knowing or that can be picked up as part of your interview or screening process? We'd recommend including the following:

  • Any must-have bespoke fields that you have on the system (such as disclosure checks or CSCS cards)

  • Availability - allowing you to see how fast the candidate can move

  • Cover Letter - this can be used for yourself to sell the candidates application!

  • Candidate Source - allowing you to review the hit rate of your attraction tools


Firefish also allows you to create a Diversity monitoring element to your advert and registration forms. This is a great tool for capturing data on how diverse the talent pool you are attracting is.

You can use this internally to review if you are attracting a diverse workforce or even provide this to your clients as an additional service or extra benefit of working with you. You can find full details on monitoring Diversity here!