Monday, October 31, 2016

Is your job application system user friendly? Lessons from an MBA program

The days of pounding pavement, going to an office and filling out an application are done, for better or worse electronic applications are the norm.

There is a certain convenience to them obviously, especially not having to decipher peoples’ handwriting, and being able to electronically store applications. However, it is my belief that a little of the humanity has gone out of the job search, which in term causes great frustration for applicants. 

Here are some of the issues I have identified:
·         Applications are being pre-screened by computers, and while there are many so-called experts out there who are willing to give you advice on how to “write a winning resume” (for a nominal fee of course), there are no guarantees that good and qualified candidates resumes are ever going to be seen by the decision makes. The “blackhole” effect, can cause qualified people to stop looking for jobs.

·         The digital divide. Yes, computers are everywhere, but that does not mean everyone has one, or has one with internet access. There are the “haves and have nots” in the digital world.

·         The time-honored tradition of following up on applications submitted has been taken away, and this is a shame because if you have taken the time to submit a professional resume, you should expect some simple professional courtesies. The counter argument is going to be “there are too many resumes” or “not enough time”, and my response is: take the time to get back to applicants!

·         My last point can be the ultimate frustrater, and that is system errors. Have you ever taken 30 to 45 minutes to fill out an application for an opportunity that is perfect for you? You are all excited, you do everything right, you hit that submit button, and then boom: SYSTEM ERROR! Maybe it works the second time around, but you still must take all that time again, or worse, you spend all day trying to get it submitted at all and it never works! Plus, the ad says “no phone calls” or there is no email to get the issue addressed.

Ladies and gentlemen, these are communication problems, and bad communication is one of the biggest complaints all employees have about their employer: imagine how a well-qualified potential employee might feel about your company?

Many companies are not even aware that they have issues at this end of recruitment; and this system error issue can happen during the onboarding process as well causing people to quit before they start.

Does your company monitor these issues?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

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