The Digital Torture of The Job Application Process
I think it’s safe to say that most of us at one time or another has been in the following situation. You’re searching though the various job posting sites and career sections of companies and suddenly you see it. The ideal position appears and you hit that “APPLY” option. Excitement grows as you start thinking of where your career can go next but before you get too worked up you see the worst thing possible.
Please Enter Your Log In or Create A New Account
Why? Why? Why!?!? Nothing stops me dead in my tracks like coming across this. With all the advancements in technology and data sharing, companies around the globe continue to use this out dated job application method. In all honesty, this may be the only time you ever access this site so being forced to create another account just to express your interest in a job is a such a frustrating exercise.
There’s a method to the madness but before we look at that let’s continue to identify the issues within the current format. So, now you’ve created an account or hopefully were able to log in via one of your social media accounts. (Side note: I’m assuming your social media presence is business friendly.) The next level in the application maze is the “Upload Resume” page. You are told to upload your resume with the belief/hope that doing so will streamline the sharing of your career history and make this application less time-consuming and more efficient.
Unfortunately by the time you get to the next page your fears are realized as the next set of questions you get are “Please Enter Employment History”.
WHY!??!??!?! Why was it requested of me to upload a resume only to have it manually enter the same info on the next page? Chances are likely that you have a vast and detailed background so entering that takes time. For many of us this is a cold robotic process with very little human element. I’ve been on the over side of the process in having years of Human Resource experience so I’ve seen it. Many businesses still don’t get that the more you can show genuine interest and humanity, the more you get out of employees.
Hopefully should you reach the interview stage whoever you meet with actually comes across like they read your resume and did some research on you, but lets’ flip this and look at the employer side of equation.
Why would such an antiquated process be used when it could so easily be improved? Well here’s the mentally behind it. It’s one part cruel test and one part if it ain’t broke why fix it.
It’s a tried and true belief with many employers that making people go through less than pleasant situations weeds out those that aren’t “serious” and finds out “who really wants it”. The concept is that if you really want the opportunity that a few minutes spent engaged in tedious data entry won’t hurt you. Personally I don’t think that legit interest can solely be measured by enduring unnecessary action. This also leads into what I view as the true reason behind the lack of process evolution, work load reduction. No one is viewing the applicants as “determined potential workers”. It’s just systemic process of elimination.
If an employer is genuinely looking to engage the best talent available then make an effort to appear vested in the process from the beginning. In the end a human has to review the information before an interview is to take space, so why create a digital obstacle course when you could use that space to ask real questions related to the business. Inquire about goals, likes, dislikes and ambitions that go beyond the generic “Tell me about a time you have to see great customer service.”
Businesses today know that community content is the best to share because it connects to the people. That connection isn’t limited to content alone. It’s needed in talent acquisition as well. The mutual investment in a persons success goes a long way to getting the best out of people. Many companies would do well to remember this when reviewing their hiring process.