Clunky online applications – a career portal black hole

  • Reading time:5 mins read

There was a time where we talked about the Personnel Department when referring to who hired new staff, who provided training and who managed the payroll. Over the last two decades we have seen the introduction of HR as in Human Resources.

One of the major differences between these two concepts is that Personnel was more reactive compared to the contemporary HR who is expected to be more proactive.

Where is the H in HR these days?

Is it time to come up with a new name for HR or what we knew as Personnel long time ago? Where has the H as in Human gone? Gone with the wind perhaps? Curiosity killed the cat, but will satisfaction bring it back?

OK, we appreciate that technology is everywhere, and it has made life easier. Right?

  • We use emails and not so much snail mails from the national postal service.
  • We use mobile telephones and not often a fixed telephone line.
  • We use HRIS and no longer Microsoft Excel for recording of employee data.
  • We use more Zoom & Teams video meetings these days than face-to-face meetings?
  • We use online job portals to receive applications from people who want to join our companies. No longer do you have to bring your application to the receptionist of the company.
  • We use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) software, so applicants can submit their resume online. It offers an efficient management system for those in charge of vetting job candidates.

Jobscan research has found that most large corporations utilize Applicant Tracking Systems. But companies of all sizes use ATS to organize, search, and communicate with large groups of applicants.

In the US, ninety-nine percent of Fortune 500 companies use an ATS as part of their recruiting strategy according to Jobscan. Numbers are not available for Thailand.   

But completing these online applications can be a long and tedious process for applicants and candidates.

According to a CareerBuilder survey, 60% of candidates may give up on an application midway if it’s too long or complicated. Some claim that such clunky application process is a likely signifier of a company’s attitude towards its employees or overall culture. It is a dispiriting process.

Sometimes your internet connection is cut – typically when you have a few seconds left of a 10 minutes process. And you lost it all, just to start all over again.

Many ATS systems will not parse (populate) out the text of your resume or import the resume information into a digital candidate profile.

Some requires you to create an account before you can submit your resume or CV.

Some firms are moving away from these clunky online systems, but others are sticking with them!
Waiting for an ATS with courtesy

So, we were able to put people on the moon 50 years ago, starting with Neil Armstrong, but we are still waiting for an ATS developer to figure out how “courtesy” can be automated.

When will hiring companies wake up

What needs to happen before hiring companies wake up to the fact that applicant and candidate management, with or without ATS, must be a top priority if you want a chance to fight for the best talent out there.

Mom always said this

Mom always said to treat others the way I wanted to be treated. And you?

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.