Article by Janine Truitt
on 21 Oct 2013
This week, Janine Truitt, our US-based regular HRBoss contributor, highlights a key problem (and major candidate bugbear) you might have overlooked....and which could be seriously undermining your recruitment efforts.
*Disclaimer: all HRBoss solutions are multi-bowser compatible, and can be used globally and across Asia - including behind China's firewall. Can you say the same about your HRIS and careers website?
"I've had enough! I love HR Technology - I really do! However, there are some vendors that aren't keeping up with the times and it is costing employers candidates and cash which isn't a good thing.
More than once or twice in the past year, I have been contacted by family, clients, and friends about issues they have experienced in trying to upload their resume-in an effort to apply for a position. They see a job, they like the job, they attempt to apply - only to see the little icon spinning and spinning- never letting the candidate get any further than the first screen.
Browser support is the issue or the lack thereof. One notable ATS vendor who shall remain nameless- has an issue with keeping up with the times. They are a global company that claims to put all of this money in R&D and yet they are supporting old browsers that make their candidate gateway incompatible with the latest browsers. This- in turn, prevents candidates from applying for jobs. Where there are no alternatives but to apply through the ATS, the candidate is left with no choice but to move on to the next opportunity. This is shameful! It is in the realm of where HR people and job seekers alike get annoyed and ask how is the technology helping me?
Something as simple as browser support should be the last thing hindering a candidate from applying. I get the reasons why you wouldn't support old browsers, but not supporting the latest browser upgrades is ridiculous. For people to apply to companies using this ATS, there are disclaimers and all sorts of other "B" and "C" plans to make the candidate aware of the issues and yet sometimes the candidate is left in the dark with no explanation as to why they can't get through - which is even worse.
Last night, the angry candidate was my father. He has been unemployed for two years and is looking to find something soon. He went to the website of a community college in NYC for a Security Director position. He created his username and password and it remained spinning- never fully logging him in.
Of course, he calls me irate and wanting me to check to see what the issue is. I had to explain to him that is the same garbage ATS I use currently and that none of his current browsers are supported by the system.
"Why do these companies have to make it so difficult for candidates to apply? It is very frustrating when you trying to look for the job and the road to applying makes it impossible to be seen."
We can talk about ATS being blackholes and poor implementation, but these are not the issues. This is where the system is a dud and it is costing companies candidates. It is very disconcerting that this vendor proposes all the ways in which this system will provide a return on investment- particularly in the form of the quality of candidates you will be able to attract; only to find out it is actually working against your recruitment efforts. That can't be true-if the vendors R&D dollars don't lead to positive customer outcomes.
Not convinced this is a serious issue?
Here are the ways this problem is undermining your recruitment efforts:
1) Candidates will blame you not the technology. Nagging issues like browser compatibility give candidates the impression that your company isn't keeping up-to-date.
2) Using this system, you won't even have the ability to track where candidates drop off to fix the issue. The lack of insight into how often this issue occurs and how many candidates you lose- leaves you at a disadvantage in terms of quantifying the impact it is having on your recruitment efforts.
3) From a branding perspective, candidates have more to say about their jobseeking experiences than ever before. If they have difficulty applying on your website, please be aware that it could be blasted on social media or written up in an angry blog post like this.
4) Candidates can't apply to your positions from their desktop, an iPad, or their phone. If they are kind enough to try more than once and still can't get through- you're in major trouble.
5) Poor candidate experience = perception of poor work environment from a candidate's perspective. If the candidate experience is difficult, lengthy, troublesome- the candidate is thinking this is how you run business as well. You just lost a potential hire.
It seems many vendors have gotten this right with the exception of this one. A great institution missed out on a stellar candidate last night and I'm not just saying that because he is my dad. It has been and continues to be difficult for people to get noticed in today's economy. This is a terrible thing to do to people and a very poor way to start off a candidate/employer relationship.
To the vendor in question- you know who you are. Please fix this browser issue finally- it is long overdue and costing your customers candidates. You're supposed to be helping businesses attract candidates not detract them. "