The online job application process

Online applications can take hours of candidates' time when applying for a job. While some firms are moving away from these online systems, many companies move towards them.

A recent survey states that 73% of businesses of all sizes use talent acquisition software to source, track, analyse, and onboard new recruits. 99% of the US Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking system (ATS) providers, allowing them to customise questions and set filters, and automate the bulk of the filtering labour.

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  • With newer platforms, applicants have the option of using their LinkedIn profile instead of a CV. But they may still encounter customised questions that will require a significant investment of time.
  • LinkedIn's Easy Apply button on job listings allows candidates to submit their profiles without additional materials.
  • However, the majority of New York-based positions listed on LinkedIn rely on external ATS (Applicant tracking system) to manage applications.

What serves the employer well may not work for the prospective employee.

  • According to a survey, 60% of candidates may give up on an application if it's too long or complicated.
  • A cumbersome application process likely indicates the company's attitude towards its employees or overall culture.
  • It is a dispiriting process as even seasoned applicants receive a response only 5% of the time.

From a hiring manager's perspective, applicant tracking systems are beneficial, especially with a higher volume of applicants for every open role.

ATS systems can collate the data from every applicant's resume and display it in a searchable spreadsheet. More advanced software can separate candidates without human oversight and present a sifted pool of priority applicants.

  • Technology will continue to improve in ways to benefit both parties involved in the recruiting process.
  • Advances in machine learning could enable the system to recognise and tag resumes with keyword synonyms or phrasing variations.
  • For now, candidates can take some steps to avoid being ignored. Instead of applying for a hundred jobs with a template resume, the candidate should select their top 20 postings and then write thoughtful covering letters with warm, personalised introductions.

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