Applying for jobs is a difficult process and requires many steps: creating and building a resume, rounding up sources, and writing an enticing and inviting cover letter. Those should be the difficult steps, right? Unfortunately, those are only the first obstacles when deciding to look for another job. We found this article from our blogging friends Fistful of Talent with a list of obstacles that job seekers are facing when they apply for jobs online.
We love his list of fourteen hindrances to applying for a job.
- Can’t find the careers link. Why bother having a career page if it can’t be found?
- A dreadfully long application process. Anyone have a sharp stick?
- Career page search engines that don’t quite work right, (I typed “human resources” and got “plant engineer”) or search tools that only return a few jobs at a time when the company has over three hundred positions posted. Again, if I can’t find it…
- Here’s one that bugs me… not asking for my resume early in the process and/or no resume parsing into demographic fields. Passive and even actives don’t want to have to recreate their resume (work and education history).
- Asking for references. This should come later after interviews. I mean, come on, we haven’t even had a first date yet.
- Asking for my SSN. Really? How do I know you’re not going to open a credit card with it and order ShamWow’s for the whole office.
- Asking for my birthdate. Eh hem, age discrimination anyone? Or, the subtler version of this: requiring a college graduation year.
- Session time-outs. Need I say more?
- An online application with so many fields arranged willy-nilly on the page that I can’t keep track of which required fields I completed and which ones I missed. It’s a game of find the red asterisk.
- Complicated login and password requirements like: No symbols, one capital letter, and eight characters, except when the moon is full, and then we need nine. Or so asking for many security password retrieval questions that I forget my mother’s maiden name by the time I click submit.
- No separate page for the voluntary EEO request, or no specification that it is voluntary.
- An online application not enabled for social networking and/or mobile device users. Why can’t I play Angry Birds and apply at the same time? I can handle it.
- Asking too many qualifying questions. A few are okay for some high volume positions.
- A job page versus a career page. Hey, I’m in this for a career… not just a job.
Can we all just take a collected sigh of relief? We’re not the only ones who’ve struggled through one application; sadly, it’s a common problem for many companies. There are thousands of other job seekers who feel the traps of the online application process. Employers are claiming that there is a talent shortage, but they haven’t realized that the talent is getting frustrated and hung up in the process.
This infographic from Hire Right shows just how disjointed the job application process can be for job seekers.
The job application process is broken.
What should be done? What can be done?
Job applications have the responsibility of selling the company, and the position, to the job seeker. Job seekers wade through mountains of job postings, usually finding nothing about the company, its culture, and why a job seeker would want to work there. A job seeker takes the risk of working for a new company; it is the company’s obligation to provide enough detailed information about its culture and employee benefits to avoid high employee turnover.
Also, communication is extremely important during the job application process. Companies have a distinctly low response rate for every job application, which leaves the job seeker in the dark about the next step. Employment branding begins at the job application. Every job seeker is a potential customer, and should be treated as such.
Share with us some of your past frustrations when applying for jobs. What do you think needs to be fixed? What updates would you recommend? Tell us in the comments section below!