Why The Online Job Application Process Is In Dire Need Of An Update

The current landscape is in bad shape

When you’ve been applying for jobs for as long as most of us have, and by “us” I mean Gen-Xers who recall the process of job hunting back when clicks and passwords weren’t mandatory, you eventually get to that place where you would almost rather swallow razor blades, than tackle another generic online job application that demands to verify your status as a human.

Funny that such a thing has become the standard verification, when you consider the bone-chilling reception that’s bequeathed job seekers on the web, and how at this point, it would take the mechanics attributed to a robot to not take this shit personally.

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been deluged with the media’s proclamation of a vibrantly robust job market, and while over-zealous reporters triumphantly deliver the great news, I can feel the glare of my parents, as they wonder why good fortune always seems to pass me by.

But the truth is that I’m not the only one who isn’t benefitting from this historic comeback that notably places the economy in its best shape since 1969.

Nobody wants to shout above the noise of praises with the buzzkill of how wages are still at an all-time low, which means that most people in the workforce are overworked and underpaid, and if they are new hires, thanks to the abundance of jobs, they are sadly not receiving the salary range that adequately matches modest expectations and roster of experience.

And that brings us back to the online application setup, that reflects what we were working with back in 2007. The old tricks of weeding out candidates who commit the ultimate sin of asking for what they deserve is still a thing. We are have to provide “salary requirements” and in most cases we can’t proceed to the next mind-numbing section until we’ve decided what we’re worth — for better or worse.

But the worst by far has to be the decades-old job application systems; “Workday” seems to be the preferred portal for most big name organizations, and how the engagement is downright depressing when you realize after attempting to “create an account” to join the countless accounts that have yielded nothing — that you previously provided login information back when doing so wasn’t a bitterly torturous act.

And since it’s been so long since you visited that particular site, you have no choice but to come up with another password to replace the one you understandably lost.

By the time you detangle yourself from re-routing verification codes, and activating emailed links that take you to a fresh page where the new password is birthed, the last thing you want to do is take the time to populate the blanks with information that most likely won’t get you any closer to a basic phone screening.

Of course we all know that applying for jobs through the standardized systems that present the impersonal drive thru, where you accommodate the maze of questions, and deposit on command, is an absolute waste of time and energy. It’s akin to tossing your resume out of a high window and watching it float away, never to be seen again.

That fact is emphasized by the testimony of how the only communication that stems from those actions are the system-generated emails that acknowledge receipt of the application, and the ones that arrive almost a month or even months later, that tell you what you pretty much concluded the moment you hit “submit.”

There was a period when applying for jobs through job sites like Indeed, Mediabistro, etc seemed like the modernized way out of the time-consuming scenario, especially since the handful of questions gratifyingly cut to the chase without extra elements that annoy and frustrate — but then the aftermath that leaves you feeling disconnected and disillusioned remains the same.

The best part about working with agents at temp agencies was the face-to-face encounters that allowed you to express your wants and needs as a worthy candidate, who is educated, highly-skilled, and boasts an impressive resume of detailed work experience.

That human contact definitely made the intense job search a lot more soothing to the ego, and a lot less cumbersome when considering the possibilities that weren’t that far away from the mark.

But the heavy reliance on working remotely, coupled with the move to a new city tends to regulate you to online job hunting, and while it might seem like the most convenient method of garnering the role of your dreams; there’s no doubt that the moodiness that sets in after an hour-long marathon of “submitted forms’ — is a nagging reflection of how very little has changed despite the great strides in the realm of technology.

An update is direly needed, and it begins with the investment of employers when it comes to initiating a dialogue with job applicants, who are being unfairly trampled on in this volatile climate, that has been rigged to shame the population of regular folks, who aren’t able to garner enough branding deals to escape the curse of securing livelihoods the old-fashioned way.

It’s time to dispense with online applications that are propped up with a setting that necessitates the need to confirm human contact before candidates can begin the arduous task of registering for the privilege of a potential hire.

Whenever I’ve stumbled upon a company website that presents something out of the ordinary with requirements that stray from the generic line of questioning, by forcing applicants to supply distinguishable information, that enhances the quality of engagement between two parties that are hopefully a good fit for each other — that memorable experience swiftly increases self-confidence and leaves an optimistic residue.

It’s time for sought-after employers to comprehend that they also have to go above and beyond to court candidates, instead of assuming that their recognizability will continue to be rewarded with pathetic suckers who will readily accept low salary offers on a contractual basis.

The job market may be booming, but the reality of how job seekers are continuously enduring the shitty end of the stick won’t fade away any time soon.

There has to be a renewed respect for the process of job placement that avoids the harrowing ordeal of wading through the quiet hostility that hovers around outdated job application systems, that have no business retaining passwords that were created way before we elected our very first Black president.

People who are looking for jobs are already burdened with the mighty quest of standing out in a sea of thousands upon thousands of replicas, who are also praying for the exact same outcome.

We deserve a more dignified and satisfactory online procedure that will get us much closer to what we want.

It’s time to link “creating accounts” and “signing in” with the exchange of names, so we get to know each other better.

Unless of course you’re hiring robots, which in that case, carry on!

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