How online job searches worsen the jobs crisis

If tens of thousands of people applied for one job, what are the odds that not a one would be qualified for the position? That’s not a theoretical question.

Peter Cappelli, a management professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, recently noted such a case after a company’s resume-screening system concluded that none of the 29,000 applicants for an engineering job had the right qualifications.Sadly, this does not surprise me one bit.

To keep reading click here: How online job searches worsen the jobs crisis.

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13 thoughts on “How online job searches worsen the jobs crisis

  1. I’m reminded of an engineering position in one of the Carolinas posted maybe 25 years ago that interested me. As I read the requirements I became increasingly excited about applying for the position. Until the very last line. Seems the employer required that applicants speak, read, and write fluent technical German which I do not.

    Resume screening software is written to satisfy the needs of HR professionals, not the hiring managers. In that respect, it can fail miserably. On the other hand, asking relatively low paid HR staffers – maybe temporary employees – to manually screen 29,000 resumes for fit is not a solution either. If in this instance I was the hiring manager I would review the selection criteria, remove several of them, and run the 29,000 resumes through the sieve again. I would repeat this until I had 25 to 50 resumes I could manually review, a process that would take me under 90 minutes to complete.

    1. The problem, LTMG, is that you are rational. Other people are not, apparently.

      And why don’t you speak fluent technical German? Everyone speaks that! :>)

  2. This article is one among the best articles that described the flaws of the ‘word search-based applicant tracking systems sitting in almost every HR world’. I am not a proponent of these systems as it removed the human element and intellectual abilities between candidates, recruiters, hiring managers and human resources. All activities that take place from recruitment to date of start are all negotiation based and only people can negotiate and not ‘resume black hole systems’

    Great Job, Suzanne.

    1. It makes it all the more important that you network your way in, and not just apply online.

  3. It is now very tempting to add a link to this article of yours for every job that I apply to from now on – employers, headhunters, recruiters, HR folks, and hiring managers need to not just read this – they need to learn from what you have written here. (although, I have my doubts that most ever will learn)

    One day, when the job market turns around, so many of them will be scratching their heads wondering why no one, but no one, bothers filling out their insane online forms.

    1. Some day the market will turn around and you will find employers who just don’t get why they can’t get employees.

      I cannot wait until that day happens.

  4. Amen and amen! I have been in and out of the job market the past 5 years after having not applied for a job for nearly 15 years and I was shocked, amazed, and appalled at how unwieldy and unusable these online application systems are. I’ve had resumes refuse to upload in any format whatsoever, or the whole application disappear after working on it for several hours but before submission, or had it refuse to let me move on unless I answered a question from a drop down menu of answers which don’t apply to me meaning I have to lie or not apply.

    With these application systems, the job search has become much more about the applicant’s ability to outwit the system rather than their ability to do the job. Add to this employers refusal to do anything more than the most minimal on-the-job training and it is no wonder the economy is in the tank.

    1. And thank you for this article, Suzanne.

      In response to a municipal online application, I was told (not sure whether by software or an actual person) that I didn’t meet the minimum requirements, which was not true. I was actually overqualified in terms of certification and education.

      Each of these fails, though, helps me think about how to tweak my information, and that has helped a little in at least getting better responses and a few interviews.

      1. I had a friend who actually heard back as to a reason why he had been rejected. They said you don’t have 5 years of experience doing X. Well, that’s true. He had 14. She maintained that he didn’t have ENOUGH experience, rather than too much. I don’t know how her computer was calculating things…

    2. They try to solve every problem by using this system, but the end result is worse problems.

  5. Urgh! I hate online forms. On the one hand, they are very convenient and do save me gas money, as I don’t have to drive to the company and apply in person. But conversely, they are just insane to work with. I like it much better when I can simply write a cover letter and email it with an attached resume.

    Great article, Suzanne. I wish I could send it to everyone I applied to, as Charles does!

    1. They are convenient, which is why sometimes you get 29,000 applications for a job. But how is that helping anyone?

  6. Yes, but is it the softwares to blame or the HR people? Another question: how else the filtering/pre-selection could be done but with the help of keywords?

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