Today’s job application processes are insulting. You would think we are still in the 80’s. Some career sites take an applicant an hour to apply and are strategically created to do so, as to “weed” out the misfits. That’s absurd. And employers wonder why they can’t fill jobs?
80% of companies are using archaic software and processes from the dinosaur age – here’s what that looks like:
- We waste 45 minutes having applicants fill out a cumbersome, 1999-vintage online application form.
- They’re asked to remember and write down every hiring date (year AND month) and departure date (ditto) for every job they have ever held; AND remember every salary and every supervisor’s name plus their phone number (gross).
- We want them to agree upfront to a background check, drug test, credit check, and reference check before they have even received so much as the courtesy of a return email message.
- They’re required to send all their personal information into the abyss, on the off chance that the employer might stop to respond with a phone call, an email message or an off-handed auto-responder that says “Don’t call us; we’ll call you – or else we won’t.”
What self-respecting person is willing to put up with this demeaning routine? We’re treating potential candidates like two-year-olds. If employers can’t show more respect to the talented people applying for work in their companies, why would any job seeker with other options sign up for this kind of treatment?
My suggestion would be that every recruiter or hiring manager take one day, put themselves in the shoes of the applicant and go through their own company’s application process to get a feel of what their applicants are experiencing.
So, what should the current hiring process look like? I don’t have that down pat but I do have a few suggestions. Here we go:
- Keep it simple, stupid. Stop asking dumb questions like “What is your greatest weakness?” or “How do you feel about working in a team environment?” Instead, allow the applicant to either upload their resume, answer a few questions related to the position and be done with it. Better yet, develop a mobile app that quickly allows candidates to find and apply from their mobile devices. Ain’t nobody got time for that other stuff.
- Stop requiring double work. If you ask for an attached resume and then have me type in the same information throughout the remainder of the online application process – you’re wasting my time. I’m gonna say “forget it – it’s not worth it” and hit the escape key. Don’t be redundant.
- Make it interesting. Get creative. Have your intern build a short game where your applicant can hit a green frog or a yellow umbrella in answer to a question. Okay, I kid (kinda) – but think outside the norm in ways you can get creative with your ATS. Is that possible? I think so. If this isn’t an option, how about incorporating social media into the mix? How cool would your company look if you were to do that?
Let’s review: Short, sweet, to the point, interesting, social, creative and non-redundant. How hard could that be?
For a few great tips on tools that could replace the interview check this post!
This post originally aired over at DiscoveringSocial.