In theory, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) gives companies the ability to pass human recruiting tasks on to automated tools. Not only does this delegate the prescreening process to a robot, it can also prevent would-be candidates from even becoming applicants. This...
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When Should Recruiters Not Bother with Employment Applications?
For many applicants, today’s online application process is the black hole of the job search. Candidates wade through a bureaucratic employment portal that requires a login, a resume upload, and redundant manual entry of the same data already found on the CV. Often, these portals have technical problems that cause hiccups in the application process. If you do make it through, the automated system may discard you immediately because you don’t have enough keywords to fit the job.
This is exactly why 60% of applicants abandon their applications. The modern labor market is impatient with the time and energy it takes to apply online, and most often – or never – hear anything back at all.
Here’s why the online application process will become increasingly obsolete as next-generation applicant tracking systems eliminate the busywork of these outdated systems.
Why Online Job Portals Don’t Always Work
Any job seeker will tell you that the online job application process can be a vexing one. Many government, enterprise, and educational organizations require candidates to use outdated systems that require a candidate’s name, address, education, previous work history, and EOE information. Many of these platforms are awkward at best, requiring job seekers to laboriously type in resume details. Missing dates or abbreviations can confuse the ATS, which takes time to correct manually, and adding design elements to your resume to attract the eyes of human recruiters can throw older platforms off completely. For many applicants, tailoring a resume to ATS automation means sticking to simple Times New Roman fonts and black text in a simple Word document. Beyond any dumbing down of your credentials, it’s frustrating that many of these platforms still require the candidate to reformat data or add it manually after the portal scrapes details from a resume upload.
If the applicant perseveres to the end of the application, it is highly likely they will never hear from the organization again. It’s a terrible rate of return on energy expended – and job seekers know it. Just look at the statistics:
- Each corporate position attracts an average of 250 applications, and of those, only four to six will receive a call to interview. Of course, only one of those will get the job.
- U.S. News & World Report says only 15% of jobs are filled from job boards. Referrals and internal candidates fill the majority of open jobs.
- While job seekers spend 70 to 80% of their time filling out online applications, 70 to 80% of all jobs are not even published.
The questions these portals ask candidates are often too simplistic, failing to capture new information that actually adds something to the application process: How many times are candidates asked, “Tell us about your tasks and duties at the job?” It’s also common that the job seeker is asked about their salary requirements, but there is typically no way to clarify important details, including that things like culture, work-life balance, and benefits may be just as important as salary. Many times, candidates are even asked to list their references, which is really a waste of time at the early stages of the application process.
It’s far too common that these systems do not translate well to cell phones, even though the latest Pew Research findings state that 78% of all job applicants use their smartphones to res