Can We Talk?

Stop making it hard to find talent.

I’ve looked at a lot of online job adverts. Sometimes I read them just to see what’s happening, sometimes I read them because I’m actively searching and sometimes because I’m sourcing potential roles for friends and contacts.

I’m familiar with this stuff.

And I’ve clicked on hundreds – maybe thousands – over the years to add my data, upload a resume and enter myself into a database. Its another tactic to keep your name out there.

Yet, here in 2015 there is one thing that surprises and disappoints me given that it need not exist: the mangled on-line application process.

Now to be clear, many companies have got this solved. With a few clicks of a keyboard and an extract from LinkedIn or another social profile your name and relevant data is uploaded to an ATS somewhere and in a few instances you’ll actually get an email (and a name!) back from the company.

This is the way its supposed to be.

Easy.

Digital.

Online.

Now.

  • This is the premier league.  They are the best employers at least in terms of capturing data and information. Does that axiomatically make them good employers overall? Not necessarily – but if they’ve thought this much about the front-end of the candidate experience that is a damn good sign.

Then there are the other two groups.

  • The almost-there’s. These firms extract data from a profile, present a pre-populated form created using that data for your confirmation, then ask a few qualifying questions to determine if you should be considered. Not quite as easy as the premier league but close. Maybe a few more clicks, a modicum of repetitiveness, but in general they can be worked with for the right opportunity.
  • Then there are the cellar dwellers. These firms may or may not use an extract but unfortunately don’t know how to integrate the data. They will use cumbersome tools like Taleo and ask for pages – literally pages – of data including jobs, education, licenses, awards, etc. Often the fill-in fields are confusing (what is the difference between region and city?) and will prevent you from submitting your information until you find the one blank that is incomplete. The worst part is that most if not all of this data is readily available in your resume or an online profile: but the cellar dwellers want it all their way regardless of how easy it might be to pull it. They are lazy, clueless or both.

Now does it matter that much how cumbersome your front-end engagement tool for talent is? Yes. Yes, it does.

Good talent won’t waste time fighting through your interface when they know many companies have solved this problem. Why would they?

Stop making it hard to find talent. Make your front-end tool friendly. And stop losing the talent war before you even start.

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4 thoughts on “Can We Talk?

  1. With respect to HR departments of large companies I find fault lies in not having a structured employment process in place. All departments within a company should have Job specs, descriptions, requirements prepared and when recruiting these should be used not a generic one size fits all. Also in my experience those compiling the recruitment advertising, if not in collaboration with the department involved, are not familiar with the actual job in question and therefore it is more a form of shotgun marketing rather than aimed at the most suitable applicant pool. It also sets up applicants for rejection further down the line which is not just unprofessional but unfair. I want a good C.V and links to online presence such as LinkedIn from applicants that have relevant experience and a great interview with them.

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