“Through the cries of high unemployment can be heard the complaints of companies struggling to hire quality talent, which seems strange until you hear how they sabotage themselves with convoluted application systems.
On Facebook, I read about Kris, a dynamic publisher, who was trying to apply for a role in the public sector role and though she expected a long-winded process she gave up for several reasons:
- The online form involved no less than 11 separate steps – the first of which asked for current details but did not allow for someone who wasn’t currently working.
- She was asked to complete 2 separate 750-word essays but the two links to the attachments explaining what was required did not work!
- She had to list no less than 3 referees, which seems rather irrelevant when fear of litigation keeps many from being honest, and
- The thing that made her give up… the role was advertised at £55k but on application was listed as £40k, so she decided that if the publishing department could not publish an advert correctly, goodness knows what they’d be like to work for.
On Twitter, I also saw tweets from Gary complaining about the application process of a leading aerospace company and he should know what makes a good one, he is a talented Head of Resourcing.
- He thought the process was not thought through, he could not upload his CV and there was a low word limit if you decided to write out your experience, and
- He found the US focused questions off putting and did not feel that there was a need for such a cumbersome and antique mechanism
Unlike Kris, Gary decided to track down the person that posted the role, call in for the email address and send his CV by email, but few can be bothered.
It seems that candidates want a simple application process and as few clicks as possible to complete the process and companies want to attract top quality talent.
It was with this in mind that Manchester based digital agency Volcanic set about building a new site for Quest Search & Selection that would increase their candidate engagement. Chatting to Volcanic’s Technical Director, Robert Wilde, reveals a techie with a deep understanding of the recruitment process and what makes a great application process.
So why is their new site so special?
“We believe that Quest is the only UK recruitment agency to allow applicants to use their LinkedIn profile to apply. In itself brilliant but it also solves the issue of candidates completing a job application on their smart phone. Currently it is not possible to upload a CV on a mobile website and with mobile web browsing expected to outstrip PC based browsing by 2013, this work around is a great breakthrough. Behind the scenes the applicant’s LinkedIn profile is transferred to a PDF and stored on Quest’s database, as a CV would be.”
Volcanic also enhanced the applicant experience by taking their LinkedIn data and automatically creating job searches, based on their last 3 roles, and establishing weekly job alerts. The technology behind the alerts ensures applicants only receive notification of new roles not old ones. They also ensured that the search function was natural i.e. it allowed for common spelling mistakes. The clever use of tailored shareable permalinks has also improved the site’s SEO increasing traffic and applications.
But did they increase engagement?
“On the day Quest’s new website launched they received 350 LinkedIn registrations by midday, today it has nearly 2500. More applicants are choosing this method than the traditional CV upload route. Their bounce rate has reduced and the average number of page views per visitor has increased. So yes, applicants are staying longer and applying for more roles.”
So clearly it’s not lack of technology that’s creating these over complicated systems. Maybe recruiters just need to take a step back and look at their application system from the viewpoint of a candidate.
What about you, what are the worst systems you’ve come across in your job search? Did you find a way around or simply give up?”
Katrina Collier, of Winning Impression, uses her knowledge and passion for social recruitment to transform the experience of companies who are struggling to hire the best talent and candidates who are looking for alternative job searching methods. She also offers Job seekers personalised training on social media and how to find the hidden jobs by using appropriate and effective networking.
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