Seize Their Moment: Digging Into the Job Search Process
There was a time when the typical candidate journey revolved around job seekers going from job boards to career sites to the apply flow. That (linear) era is fading quickly, as the new candidate journey takes over. In today’s content-rich, connected society, power is shifting into the hands of job seekers. At the same time, entry points into career sites have evolved to the degree that leading recruiting organizations are approaching talent acquisition like a digital marketer would.
The next chapter in our “Seize Their Moment” series inspects the evolution of these career site entry points. Our fictional characters, Nick and Zoey, experience some of the drawbacks and benefits of searching for a job in today’s mobile-first, digital world. For those following along Nick and Zoey’s journey, don’t forget to stop by Jibe’s booth at HRTech this October to see them in action.
Chapter 3: A Full Dose of Candidate Experience
The speed at which a job seeker transitions from passive to active status varies by the individual. In the case of Nick, it couldn’t have been faster. His supervisor, Vance Jones, was breathing down his neck more than ever, rarely accepting the work he did without an overbearing amount of involvement. The only thing making the micromanagement bearable was the fact that Nick was looking for a new job.
Although his first attempt at applying to one of the world’s largest tech companies didn’t go so well, like many other Millennial job seekers, he tweeted about the horrible experience and then moved on.
Wow. Can't believe how poor some of these application processes are… #JobSearch
— Nick (@NickInCali) September 10, 2015
Being so analytical, Nick approached the job search differently than most people. He didn’t want to end up in another “Vance Jones Situation,” so he decided to put in some research time. With a few Excel hacks, he created a spreadsheet that calculated the likelihood a particular company would be a good fit. He based it on variables like Glassdoor CEO ratings, employee satisfaction ratings, revenue growth, and even his own 1-to-5-star rating system for what he thought of the company.
After a few nights of research and filling in his spreadsheet, Nick put aside some free time one Saturday afternoon to sit down and start chipping away at his list. He had friends at two of the nine companies he identified, so he started via the referral route.
For the remaining seven, he decided to visit their career sites individually and go through the apply process one by one. Nick was determined to apply to—at the very least—one position at each company. Things were going well until he got to the fourth employer on his list. Despite the large tech conglomerate having more than 1,200 positions open worldwide, there didn’t seem to be any that required his type of analytics expertise.
For a slight second, Nick felt upset, until he noticed a small line of text next to the career site’s search bar. It said, “Sign up for alerts about jobs with this search criteria.”
Never heard of "job alerts" before. Apparently I'll be emailed when a job matching my interests is posted? Sounds cool to me! #JobSearch
— Nick (@NickInCali) September 11, 2015
Not thinking too much of it, he entered his email and moved onto the next company on the list. Though, a second later his phone vibrated with an email. It was a confirmation that he’d be alerted at the exact moment any jobs were posted involving both “Analytics” and “Los Angeles.”
After Zoey’s first attempt at applying for a job on her phone ended with a prompt to proceed from a desktop computer, she got a little nervous. She didn’t have a PC, nor did she have a resume of any kind. But being the fighter that she was, she decided not to give up so easily. She downloaded a resume builder app and sought to find out if it was even possible to apply for a job with only a smartphone.
Waiting for her mom to get out of physical therapy in Queens after an unpleasantly long day of work, Zoey googled the words, “can you apply for a job on a smartphone?” She was then presented with 11.3 million search results. It was more than possible at lots of companies. While she sat there, Zoey used her new app to make a simple resume, and then downloaded the Dropbox app and saved a PDF copy of her resume there. She was feeling ready to get the search going.
Later that night Zoey sat up in bed looking at her phone. Tomorrow would be another 16-hour day with commuting, work, and taking care of her mother. She put those thoughts aside for a moment, though, and decided to focus on finding a better work-life balance. In a short period of time, she was able to apply for two out of three entry-level jobs she found—one didn’t support mobile apply.
The two jobs weren’t “dream jobs” by any means, but the employee reviews on Glassdoor seemed to be good enough for her to inspect the opportunities further.
Zoey was getting ready to fall asleep when she stumbled across one opening that stuck out like a sore thumb. It was a management-level position at a major retailer right around the corner from her apartment. She decided to start the process. The apply flow wasn’t built with responsive web design—meaning she would have to zoom in and out to answer every question. But it didn’t matter. She was determined.
As she continued through the application process, it started to seem like it was never going to end.
Found a great job, but of course the apply process on my phone is beyond terrible. 43 questions?!? #annoyed
— Zoey (@ZoeysJourney) September 12, 2015
Twenty minutes had passed and she was still on the same page. Despite having the option to upload her resume, she still had to fill out her job history—detail by detail. She also had to input her driver’s license number, and later had to get back out of bed to go find her social security card, so she could input that number, too.
When she got to question 43 on the same page, Zoey was wishing she knew how much longer the application would take. She considered giving up, but she had come too far now. When she finally hit submit, she was redirected to the career site homepage, not knowing if her application had even been submitted.
Still not sure if that application went through. Do I actually have to re-apply???
— Zoey (@ZoeysJourney) September 14, 2015
What a long day, and an ever longer application.
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Interested in learning more about what it takes to build a modern candidate experience? Check out our new “9-Point Checklist for Building a Next-Generation Candidate Experience.”