Applying for jobs is a “full-time” job. As such, it’s hard to find opportunities in a vast expanse of uncertainty. Job seekers have a pressing need get jobs to build their respective careers. With the vastness of opportunities available, frustration – as far as applying for jobs is concerned – is the last thing a job applicant needs.
Companies need efficient ways to recruit talent. Recruiters need to find applicants to get their cash rolling in. Job seekers need, well, jobs.
The Internet – with a plethora of ways to make it happen (including new trends such as social recruiting, the presence of numerous job boards, and a global spread of recruiters) – is a gift for all the three groups involved.
Yet, there’s friction. There are walls. There are instances of things going wrong. For entrepreneurs who make running “job boards” their business, anything “wrong” in this trinity is real trouble. According to Jeff Dickey-Chasins (AKA the Job Board Doctor)’s 2013 Job Board Trends Survey, here’s what frustrates job seekers most:
1. Unresponsiveness from companies
It’s frustrating to apply for jobs when it seems like job seekers are sending emails to walls. The lack of responsiveness from companies when job seekers apply for relevant job postings would only mean apathy, lack of a system to respond to each applicant, and the lack of proper systems or processes for recruiting and hiring. In an industry survey (shown above), at least 66.3% of job seekers expressed that they get most frustrated when they get “no response” from companies.
Every instance of “no response” to a job application is just as good as not responding to “customer support tickets” or comments/questions on social media.
What you can do: Allow a particular time frame (15 days or 30 days) to respond for all applications. Make it clear that only shortlisted applications will receive a response. Set up a process to make sure that every shortlisted application gets a response – be it acceptance or rejection, with reasons.
2. Fake and duplicate job postings
The web is a collection of rumors, quasi-rumors, blatant lies, scams, and “fake” information. While dependable and trustworthy information does exist alongside, it’s hard to separate the oil from the water. In May 2013, three fraudsters were ordered to cough up about 72,000 after scamming more than 100 eBay customers. These three fraudsters later admitted to a large-scale fraud in a Derby Crown Court. They would set up a fake company; post classifieds on a site like Gumtree, and have applications submit CVs. The fraudsters would then use these details to open bank accounts and embezzle cash.
According to The Guardian, it’s the low-income applicants who usually fall for the scam. This group consists of students, new immigrants, people living on government benefits, etc.
What you can do: Weed out fake job listings from your job boards. Establish rules at the outset, invest in technology to auto-detect duplicate listings, and have verification procedures in place for recruiters and companies.
3. Spam Mails from Recruiters
Recruiting is no different from online marketing. Spam is spam – whether it comes from marketers or if it comes from recruiters or companies. In the industry survey mentioned above, about 36% of job applicants found spam emails from job boards, recruiters, and other companies frustrating. If you are a company looking to hire new talent, or if you run a job board, the rules of email marketing still apply: it’s called permission marketing.
What you can do: As a company, launch campaigns to collect email addresses of applicants but protect these contact details by putting up this information behind a pay wall. As a job board, build your list of interested applicants ways by offering free access to webinars, whitepapers, reports, etc. Reassure job applicants that their information will not be shared as they subscribe or opt-in to your newsletters, job offers, news, and information.
4. Stop. Payment or Registration Needed
Recruiters get paid from companies for their services. Job boards, however, provide a service (a web interface) to allow job seekers to find jobs that match their skillset and then apply. It makes sense for job boards to have recruiters pay for submitted job posts (which is the usual norm).
When job boards suddenly twist the tale and ask job seekers to “pay” or “view listings”, it can be frustrating indeed. It’s another thing entirely if there’s a whole range of services that you can offer on a paid basis through your job board such as “featuring job applicants”, “resume services”, “providing a global database of opportunities” for job seekers to pursue, or to make a full-fledged professional network with a entire suite of tools/ information made available to job applications.
Most job boards stick to a model that works: have companies or recruiters pay for listings and let job seekers access job listings for free. Even having to register for job boards is unnecessary friction (33.7% of job applicants attest to that).
What you can do: Remove unnecessary elements that cause friction. Make registration optional (like email opt-in, for instance). Any departure from this norm is frustrating. Period.
How are you working to help jobseekers dig into your job boards? How easy or difficult do you make the process of applying jobs? Share your concerns with us.