It’s no big secret that looking for a job sucks on all accounts. But this is especially true for job seekers when they hit your job portal and have to sift through the garbled wall of text fields that is your ATS job search.
Generally, the job seeker finds your career site, spends a minute looking for your jobs button and then passes through to see that mess of a search. They start entering all of their information – keywords, job classes, locations – hit enter, and BAM! 1,000 paginated results.
And what they get within that 1,000 results are jobs outside the scope of the request, outside the scope of their skill set, outside the location chosen, and – at ten jobs per page – about 100 pages of these results to sift through to find the jobs they are interested in.
For one, when all of those text fields are stacked on top of each other with no clear instruction separating them, you have job seekers using all fields in their search. Now while that will produce results, those results aren’t specific to what the job seeker is actually looking for.
Instead, the result is confusion and frustration about the process, which has made it difficult to find a job with your company.
And that’s the key to getting that job seeker into the application funnel – finding the right job as quickly as possible and preventing that person from giving up.
Here are the facts. Nine times out of ten, a candidate already knows what job he or she wants, and already knows where he or she wants to work. Leaving that individual to sift through 100s of pages of job openings will turn that person away and for many, the experience will be enough for them to never return. Even worse, they will tell their friends to not bother with you.
Ten years of data proves that to be true.
So what’s the best course of action for a better job search?
Well, your ATS isn’t candidate-friendly, that we’ve established. So clearly you need to look at other options.
Now, I don’t know what the backend of an ATS looks like. I’m not a recruiter. So I don’t know how customizable it is. What I do know is that from the 100s of company ATS job searches that I’ve seen and experienced, one of two things is happening.
One, there is no custom option to make it more candidate-friendly; two, your department is too lazy to make it candidate-friendly.
I’m going with number one . . . because I want to respect you. I want us to be friends. I want to one day have one of you take me through the steps of how your particular ATS works on the backend.
Joking aside, the only real solution would be to find an affordable way to address your job search that doesn’t involve replacing your unfriendly ATS.
That’s going to rely on some kind of ATS overlay.
Yes, that means there’s going to be some kind of cost attached. But if you’re lucky, you will find an affordable product (hint hint) that takes your ugly ATS and turns it into something beautiful, easy to use, super smart, and at a cost you won’t believe is possible.
Most importantly it’s going to make the job search an experience worth taking note of by job seekers as well as being something worthy of them sharing with friends.
Start With a Location Search
Again, in our more than a decade of experience we’ve discovered that the type of search a candidate prefers most is a location-based search. Something that lets them choose the region in which they want to work and then choose their job class of choice. Remember, we’ve already established that candidates know where they want to work and what type of job they want.
What’s important here is to not show empty job classes. If the job seeker spends the time to choose a region and job class only to see a message saying there are no jobs available, you are going to make that person spend more time than needed to go back and start over. If there are no jobs available in a chosen region, don’t make that job class available. It’s that simple.
Give Them a Map Search
We learned next that candidates will choose a map search option secondary to the location-based search. This appeals to the more visual crowd or to those who aren’t quite sure where you are located.
You present the candidate with a map and the option to choose the region then the job class, similar to location search. The map then opens the area to reveal exactly where you are.
Again, you don’t want to show empty job classes. Why bother?
Finally, Offer Keyword Search
Our data shows that keyword search is seldom used, but it is still used so we still offer it. And it’s pretty straight forward. Enter your job class keyword and a city/state and get your results.
But like any keyword search, it’s not going to be as accurate as the other types of searches because there are too many variables involved to produce any highly targeted results.
Which brings up another point. If you’re only offering keyword search, you are really limiting the scope of a targeted job selection.
Tie it all together
Once you’ve established the job search features your company needs, there should be a clear delineation between the types of searches on your career page. You don’t want to have this beautiful overlay and still have that confusing stacked arrangement that leaves candidates just as disjointed as before.
It should be clear and concise how to approach the search of choice.
If you’re not clear on any of this or still don’t recognize the importance of putting job seekers in front of your jobs as quickly as possible, feel free to contact us and we will help explain it all to you. In the meantime, take our demo job search for a spin at https://demo.rightjobnow.com.
There is a career hub (what we call talent community) that you can sign up for free for 30 days that also lets you see the potential of having a truly engaging career site. One that lets candidates dig deeper into your jobs and offers you a broad footprint of data.