If you’ve ever applied for a job online, you know just how irritating the whole process can be. With buggy websites, lengthy forms, and repetitive questions, it’s a wonder anybody’s actually able to land a new job at all. And you’re not alone in your irritations. This comedic chart made by Matt Shirley (@mattsurelee on Instagram) perfectly explains why the job application process sucks so much. And with more than 20,000 likes on Instagram, it seems like everyone is feeling the job search frustration.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 10.1 million job openings in August. Despite claims that “nobody wants to work anymore,” hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. are searching for new jobs. Perhaps inspired by the great resignation, many workers are realizing they have more power in the workforce than they once thought. They’re seeking out new opportunities with higher pay, more benefits, and a better work-life balance. And given the state of the job market, it would seem that (on paper, at least) there’s plenty of work to go around. Why then is it so difficult and time-consuming to even land an interview?
Online applications were supposed to make the job search process simpler, but in reality, they’ve only complicated it further. As shown in Shirley’s hilarious chart, applying for a new job should be as simple as providing your name and address, uploading your resume, and hitting submit. But in reality, there are so many additional, unnecessary steps.
Many businesses want you to create an account on their portal, upload a resume, write a personalized cover letter, and answer dozens of questions (with the same info from your resume and cover letter). You’re expected to jump through all these hoops without any guarantee of an interview or even an emailed response. The end result is, as Shirley puts it, inevitably “losing your mind.”
Irritations when applying for jobs seem to be a nearly universal experience. And there’s even research to back up the feeling Shirley so perfectly distilled in his chart. The 2022 Greenhouse Candidate Experience Report surveyed more than 1,500 job seekers and employees to understand the expectations and realities they face in the job market. Over 60% of job hunters stated they were, “unimpressed by time-consuming recruitment processes and are demanding companies create a more modern recruiting experience.” In fact, more than 70% of respondents will not submit a job application if it takes more than 15 minutes to complete.
And the irritations don’t end with the application. Many job seekers were equally annoyed with slow recruiter responses and follow-ups. Even when applications resulted in interviews, survey respondents stated that they were still faced with “unprepared and late interviewers, inconsistent feedback, and ghosting” (more than 75% had been ghosted after an interview). Because of this disrespectful treatment, job seekers are quick to move to better opportunities—much to the business’ detriment.
From start to finish, finding a new job is a frustrating undertaking. Despite millions of open positions, companies still make the job application process time-consuming and overly complicated. Perhaps it’s time for a new job search process: if you have the perseverance and determination to make it to the end of the application, you automatically get the job—no questions asked.
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