Your Careers Site Sucks (Somebody had to tell you.)

by | Aug 5, 2015 | Usability, Web/Tech | 0 comments

Follow Your Dreams CANCELLED” by Banksy, image by Chris Devers.

Dear Hiring Manager,

It’s hard to recruit top talent today. Potential candidates — especially folks who make their living in our information economy — are more connected, networked, friended, tweeted (and tindered!) than ever before. The best and the brightest likely have their next gig lined up long before they walk out the door from their last… and sometimes with a glorious vacation planned in between.

If you’re lucky enough to nab your next big hire through networking, social or otherwise, congratulations. If not, I have  some bad news for you…

Your careers site sucks.

I know that yours is an “admired” company. It’s maybe even a “great place to work,” chock full of innovation and teamwork and a culture of… well, culture (here’s looking at you, Stonyfield!). Your benefits are equitable, your commitment to work / life balance is admirable. The problem is what happens after you’ve made your case.

Your careers site is a twisted rat’s nest of endless forms, each more inscrutable than the one before. You ask for personal information you do not need and in many cases will not or cannot use. You require candidates to create accounts, and to share personal information with you, but you do not provide privacy and security policies, nor do you provide a secure connection to safeguard that personal information. You offer to easily synch candidate data from social networking sites (LinkedIn, Jobster, Indeed, Glassdoor… even Facebook — Facebook?) yet your integrations are busted and broken-down: they skip fields, map data incorrectly, create unresolvable validation loops, and in some cases are just plain creepy. (You want to import my friends list? Why?)

Your careers site treats experienced professionals for your home office to the same stupefyingly checkbox-riddled application forms as your summer interns and part-time cashiers. You must complete the following required fields: Do you have reliable transportation? Are you over 16 years of age? Part time? Full time? Saturday? Sunday? Monday? Tuesday…

I’d wager your company has expended significant time and treasure on the user experience of your website (especially if you’re a digital native or an ecommerce shop.) And yet — sandwiched somwhere between your blog and your company history, hastily wrapped in an iframe and served from a disk farm somewhere in yonder cloud — your careers site seemingly fails to appreciate that your job candidates are having an important user experience, too. And it’s as off-putting as it is memorable.

The stakes are high. If your company is to flourish and grow you need to be able to recruit great talent. The surest way to ensure that happens is not only to respect the time, privacy, and security of your candidates, but to maintain their hopes and dreams and excitement as they consider joining your highly esteemed organization. So get to it!

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