Why Finding a Job With the Keyword Search of Your ATS is Problematic

Ah, finding a job. One of life’s great turmoils. I don’t know why it hasn’t improved in the nearly two decades they’ve been around, but using the keyword search of any ATS is the worst way to make job seekers find your jobs.

I should be able to go to your search and find a job within a couple clicks. I shouldn’t get confused on how to use the tool. I shouldn’t have to try multiple times to find a job. Your job search should allow me to quickly choose the job class I want at a location where I want and find a job that fits my skill set and interest.

Sadly, it doesn’t work like that.

Sadly, most keyword search tools waste a job seeker’s time and leave candidates confused and frustrated.

Keyword search is problematic because there’s just no way to accurately or quickly find your jobs.

Maybe it’s in the way your organization sets things up. Maybe it’s in the way your ATS is not customizable. Who knows? But for whatever reason, keyword search is not well thought out and makes for a terrible way to find your jobs.

Let’s look at a perfect example of just how bad keyword search is.

Random Organization’s Keyword Search

I’m not going to call anyone out on their crappy job search. I’m not interested in that. You may recognize them and that’s fine by me.

But let’s take a look at the keyword search for this company.

a standard keyword search

First let me say that they’ve done a good job in presenting the job search at the top of the page as the first interaction of their site. Bravo. Well done.

But now let’s delve in and choose a random keyword, Nurse, with a random location, Long.

searching for a job using keyword search

I do like how options are pre-filled for you as you type. And look, you have jobs at several locations in Vietnam. That’s pretty sweet. I could see myself working there.

So, I click through to those jobs and…

you're showing me zero jobs. Why?

Apparently, you don’t have any jobs in Vietnam. That sucks. Now I have to start over.

Let’s continue with Long, I saw Long Beach in the previous search. I love New York, so let’s see if you have anything in Long Beach.

searching for a job in new york.

You do! I see Long Beach, NY right there in the autofill.

But when I click through?

showing no results wastes a job seekers time

Again, no jobs.

Why are you wasting my time by showing me locations where there are no jobs?

What purpose does it serve to have every country with every state or province auto-filled in your keyword search?

None. It simply makes for a terrible candidate experience. All that work for nothing. And you know what that makes me want to say to you?

Good bye. You’ll see my review on Glassdoor. Ha!

TL;DR? Here’s a video:

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