if it's necessary to continue with the process it's clear.

In my case I have a registration form for a recruitment agency.

  • Some fields are really necessary (name, mail, phone, ...).
  • All other fields should be entered if they want to get accepted. Behind the scenes some fields are more important (CV), some less (driver license), but this should not be communicated to the user.

Goal of the customer is that the user enters all data. Goal of the user is to get accepted by the customer, so I would assume they should align with the customer's goal. This would mean all fields are mandatory -> no fields are mandatory?

The system in the background still checks for the required fields (name, mail, phone, ...).

What do you think is the right approach?

3 Answers 3


The stack exchange has the answer for your question. you can use highlighted pop up kind of messages show up for mandatory fields like the Username, mail and CV kind of fields one by one while the user leave any field empty.enter image description here


You can start by defining the priority of the fields:

Primary fields are fields that must be mandatory otherwise the system can’t even work. For example an email needs to be verified before a user can access the application.

Secondary fields are fields that you should make mandatory otherwise the application has no value for the user or for the customer. You will see you can keep these fields to a minimum if you think of where the application stops being functional.

Be careful making other fields mandatory because it can make the registration process cumbersome and lead to less registrations.

If a missing field makes it impossible for the customer to make the dicision to accept or deny the registration, this could be considered a secondary field. If the customer needs the field for the decision but can just deny the registration if that field is missing, this is not a secondary field and doesn't have to (or shouldn't) be mandatory.

Still you want useful registrations for the customers and need to stimulate this, but making fields mandatory is not always the answer. What you need to do is to guide the user to fill in the form so that the chance for acceptance increases. Use messages that explain this or motivate the user by giving possitive feedback when they fill in the form.


Some fields are more important (CV), some less (driver license), but this should not be communicated to the user.

It's not about telling the user the importance to the recipient of each field, you just have to visually communicate which fields are mandatory and which are not. The convention is to use an asterisk beside a label, but you should always have a key to tell the user what the asterisk means. You could accomplish the same the same thing with other visual cues, e.g. color, just be aware of accessibility limitations (color blind users for example).

On the subject of the agency wanting all the information - they could always follow up with an applicant to complete more data if required after the initial registration. I would be wary of asking an applicant for too much personal information on sign up as it's asking for a lot of trust up front. The information being requested should also comply with all applicable data protection laws as well.

  • The agency don't need uncompleted data. If someone didn't enter all of his information and the agency likes him, they will contact him for further details, but that's the exception. Usually they want completed profiles (but they don't have to provide every single information if they don't want to).
    – Gustav
    Jul 10, 2015 at 12:02

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