Why are you frustrated with online job search?

We’ve been working hard to provide the first candidate based tool for job search. In effect, we think the entire current model is backwards. Jobs should be finding candidates instead of the other way around.

As part of this effort, we have spoken with hundreds of professionals about their experience and frustration with current job search. The feedback has been remarkably consistent with the key points being:

1.) Searching for jobs with current tools is tedious – In our initial surveys perhaps the most cited frustration with current job search was how tedious a process it is. Searching by job titles and zip code then having to open job post after job post to only occasionally, if at all, come across an interesting opportunity. Of course, once you do find and apply to one it seems to frequently hit the dreaded black hole (see 4 below).

2.) Stalking is creepy – Another point of feedback was the discomfort with tools that scrap personal information from all over the internet, mostly from social sites, to offer this data to recruiters and open professionals up to unwanted spam. While this is promising for recruiters, to simply finding potential candidates, many professionals felt strange when they learn this is how their information was gained by the recruiter.

3.) Need for discretion – There was a general discomfort with the social model – that of putting your career background on full public display. Feedback around this point was that it lead to too much unqualified job opportunities being spammed to the professional, frequent connection requests from recruiters that they did not know (or for that matter what the connection request was related to). While they do admit this can save them time from having to search, they stated that the trade off frequently was not worth it.

4.) The dreaded black hole – After a lot of effort, you finally find a job that you have an interest in, hit apply and off it goes into the black hole. Frequently you will receive a canned email that thanks you for submitting your résumé but beyond that, you have no idea if a human being even will give it a review. You don’t know if it made it through some obscure keywords based ATS system – or even if they have one. Effectively it feels when applying online that your information falls into a black hole and never comes out.

5.) Lack of human contact  – When we surveyed many of these professionals the general feeling was that every year it seems more technology is being introduced to further separate humans from talking to one another in a distinctly human process. Many professionals feel the technology available today to screen out candidates it being relied on too heavily by companies and eliminating them from opportunities they know they are well qualified for. However, since they rarely speak with a human being, it becomes impossible to prove this point.

6.) Tedious nature of applying for a job – Beyond the black hole perception previously discussed was frustrating enough, but other frequent mentions were: canned video interviews, various types of nonsensical tests and laborious application processes.

7.) Too much spam – Professionals were dis-satisfied with tools that matched keywords on their profiles and simply provided them a constant stream of job openings that were not applicable to their skills or backgrounds. Vice Presidents frequently receive Executive Assistant to Vice President jobs and Technology Product Managers frequently receive software development positions. As a result, this is simply viewed as spam and, when too much of it is delivered from a source, eventually gets marked as such in their email which may cause them to miss out on a real match if it happens.

8.) Being recruited where they don’t want to be – An often cited frustration was recruiters spamming professionals on sites that they are on for other purposes. In particular, one large professional social network came up as the primary example of where this happens. Another was on industry forums or groups that they are members of to collaborate with other industry professionals but instead get pinged with recruiting requests.

This is the feedback we received from hundreds of professionals but we would love to hear your comments, frustrations, and feedback on your view of the current online job search experience.

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