Why you should consider a universal login for your career site or job board

Do you ever feel like your head will burst if you have to create or remember another login/password combo? Sure, your browser tries to help (at least mine does), prompting helpfully to ‘remember’ the login – usually. But that’s specific to your computer. What happens when you’re away from it? If you’re like me, you try to stick to a few combos and keep them in your head.

So what does this have to do with job boards and career sites? Plenty. If you use more than one site for job hunting (and based on Job Board Doctor surveys, most job seekers use 3 or more), you have multiple logins - and even if, like most job seekers, you visit the site itself somewhat infrequently, at some point you’ll want to login and update your resume, at a minimum.  Think how much easier it would be if you could do so with a universal login.

The quest for universal logins extends far beyond the job site world, of course. There have been numerous attempts by companies large (Microsoft’s LiveID) and small. OpenID has gained some momentum, and Facebook has Connect. Twitter is gathering steam. And of course there’s Google’s Gaia.

Let’s set aside the privacy and security issues surrounding a universal login – they will ultimately be decided by the user, voting to adopt or not adopt one of the above solutions. Instead, let’s focus on user convenience and customer adoption. If you make it easier for your job seekers to sign into their account, will it increase their usage? Most likely. The same applies to adoption by new users – if a job seeker can use one of their existing (and favored) login tools to set up an account, they are more likely to do so.

There’s another reason to consider adding universal logins to your site: social media. As more and more of your job seekers ‘live’ in a social media world (particularly via Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook), any method you can use to break down the walls between your offerings and their lives is useful.

Are there technical issues? Of course – but none that are more challenging or daunting that some of the other technical issues you face daily with your site. Also, don’t force your users to use universal logins – that may engender negative responses and it certainly doesn’t make their lives any easier. Just make it available for those who want it.

Remember – it’s all about the job seeker.

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