Friday, March 18, 2011

A Candidates Ability to Strategically Navigate the Online Application Process is the Most Critical Part of their Job Hunt

In the recruiting world, it is now being argued that a candidate’s ability to strategically navigate the online application process is the most critical part of their job hunt.  I'm not a 100 percent there yet, but I'm close.  The facts are there are more people getting hired off the Internet than through all the recruiting events and all the professional recruiters combined.  I see nearly every large, medium, and even small companies now having some kind of online employment application process on their website.  At job fairs and recruiting events, I consistently and constantly hear company reps instructing candidates to apply online, because that is the only way that they will be considered.
Why do you think the vast majority of companies ask you to go and apply online?   If I didn’t know and I was reading this, I would probably say something like: “Who cares?  Can you just tell me what I have to do to get noticed?” But having a true understanding of why so many companies are adamant about you applying online will help you understand why you have to do it a particular way.  After all, you don’t want to get lost in the abyss called “Applying Online” like most do, right? 
There are a few good reasons why companies want you to apply online.  The obvious one you already know: it’s an efficient way of collecting and tracking a talent pool with little to no touch labor.
However, in the predominant motivating factor for corporate America is fear:   fear of litigation and liability.  You see, if you are a big company and it can be shown that you didn’t treat someone the same as everyone else or that you were not fair in the hiring process, you leave yourself open to, potentially, a very expensive lawsuit.  Having some kind of system in place that treats everyone the same and doesn’t discriminate among applicants whether they are male, female, black, white, Hispanic, or whether their first name is Bill or Saddam, means that no one can be accused of discriminating against a candidate for gender or race or anything else.  This reduces liability, which is the goal of corporate America.

Mark Lyden

Mark Lyden is the author of a number of books: College Students: Do This! Get Hired!; Veterans: Do This! Get Hired!; and Professionals: Do This! Get Hired! (Coming Summer 2011).  A substantial portion of the proceeds from book sales are donated back to charity to help veterans and to help the stray and abandoned animals at Logan’s Run Rescue.   

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