Interviewing & Applying For Work

I have had the pleasure of interviewing and applying for a broad range of UX positions from channels like LinkedInGlassdoor, and Beyond. These services have features that allow you to apply directly from their site and give the ability to use your LinkedIn profile or upload a resume. That seems well and good when you first hear it. But in practice, not so much.

Attempting To Save The Applicant Time

When given the option to upload a resume, in most cases the details will be translated into fields inside the application form generated during the next step in the process. That next step proves that mapping data from an ingested document is still less than appealing or accurate. I have had to–more times than I have been able to count–re-enter nearly all of the data sans my first name. What this tells me is that we still fail and fall short of best practice data ingestion and mapping system that rivals that of Google index bots.

Plugins For The Savvy Business Applicants

There is also the ability to use a LinkedIn account to apply for the job. If you are using LinkedIn Jobs, this is the case with a few select companies who are doing it right. However, many others give you the option of using LinkedIn to import your resume from LinkedIn and then their system maps that data into a resume. This works, kind of, but still need polish. They try to take data that is not in the form of a resume and force it into a resume format. I keep thinking of what can be and is most likely lost in translation.

Application HR Systems & Services

There are a range of other services from Taleo (Oracle Talent Cloud Services) and more that provide HR teams with the ability to ingest data, sort, and filter. These systems simply suck. They collect data in the most cumbersome way and often have weak form fields. They are meant to provide an easy way for HR teams to filter out those applicants that don’t meet minimum requirements and provide accountability metrics for the senior management. In most cases the forms are not responsive and given the larger audience which is undoubtedly applying via a mobile device, I can only imagine the experience is medievally painful at best. In my case, as a human-centered experience expert, I laugh when I apply for a UX position that requires spelunking equipment, a machete and night vision to make my way safely to the other end of an employment application process. Part of me is hoping this is intentional. A way of weeding out those who don’t have the stamina or fortitude to survive the painful application framework. But if this is the way they treat potential new hires, why would anyone want to work for them?

Improve, Or Die Trying

This arena is ripe for “disruption” and LinkedIn has proven this with their wealth of tools to assist recruiters and HR teams during the hiring process. Now I don’t work for LinkedIn, and they are not paying me for this article (yet) but I have to say that they are getting their technology and UX together. Now if LinkedIn can somehow get users to stop treating LinkedIn like Facebook, and more like an evolutionary tool for business intelligence, business profiling, and business networking, the atmosphere would be splendid–that challenge is now on Microsofts plate. Regardless of the size of your business, if you are treating the onboarding process with an attitude of, “eh, just get it done,” then you are most likely not hiring the right people. Human Resources is simply a form of user experience, and if the applicants needs and wants are not taken into account fully, then both the user/applicant and experience will be disappointing. If you are hiring a human, treat the potential hire like a human. Don’t disregard the process and experience with the hopes of expediting applications into the system. Faster is not always better.

Better People Create Better Things

Once you have embraced a seamless human-centered design experience for your onboarding system, you will find that the people you hire are a better culture fit, stay longer and produce better. If you don’t believe me, just keep doing what you’re doing and watch as the technologies I’ve outlined start to show up and steal away your applicant pool. Too many times in business we feel that we are doing the right things and “it’s a process,” perfection be damned. There is no perfect, but you don’t have to settle for garbage just because you want to save a buck. New hires cost money, and that is a good thing. It’s called an investmentand if you are not investing in a team early and often, those who could have helped you–cure cancer, pilot the next Mars mission, change the way we work and live–may never get the chance, at least not with you.