12 June 2012

Seek’s Application Export: improved service or, not?

Seek's latest site changes have caused a bit of a stir in the recruitment sector. In short, previously when a candidate clicked the Apply button on the screen that contained the job advertisement they were taken to an external site to complete an online application form and/or to upload their own resume. This process is known as Link Out. As of 1st June 2012 this process is no longer offered to Seek advertisers. 

Instead, candidates will now be directed to the backend of the Seek site where they enter their details and upload their resume. 

The fundamental difference between the two processes is that in the former, Seek did not capture and store candidate information. In the new process (Seek Application Export) all candidate data is captured and stored by Seek. In effect, Seek is now creating its own Applicant Tracking System. 

Seek's rationale for this move is articulated in their notification to clients as follows: 

'As mobile usage continues to grow, Link Out job application forms will increasingly prevent jobseekers from applying for your roles for two key reasons; 

  •  Jobseekers cannot attach a resume on a mobile device.
  • Link out application forms are generally not optimised for mobile - the fields are too small to complete.
Depending on the complexity of your Link Out application form, anywhere from 10% to 70% of job applications started are not completed because; 

  • Pop up blockers are increasingly common and prevent the job application form from displaying.
  • Login and password protected job application forms discourage jobseekers from applying.
In today's market where skilled candidates are in short supply, we need to give jobseekers every opportunity to apply for your roles by reducing barriers. Coupled with growing trends in mobile, it's never been more important.' 

Users of popular job posting/application technology providers (eg JobAdder, Broadbean, RecruitAdvantage etc) have already been working with the new Seek product since July 2011 so it's business as usual for them.
 
Some of the other technology providers are unhappy and have made their displeasure clear. Talent Propeller’s Tim Cincotta said '... it should be up to the client to decide what works best for them and not Seek' and RecruitOnline’s Piers Rowan said 'I wouldn't have a problem with the web service if it provided information that was compatible with a generic identity web form. It doesn't'. Both have posted detailed comments in a recent LinkedIn group discussion post, Is Seek's latest development an abuse of their power? on the Australian & New Zealand Recruitment Network.Popular recruitment technology blogger The Recruitment Directory's Thomas Shaw isn't so fussed by Seek's move, stating ‘Solution providers should embrace this move. In the end the candidate will have a better experience and the client will see an improved job application process!'. 

It's an interesting discussion with JobAdder's MD, Brett Iredale also contributing, amongst the nine comments (as at 8/6/12).

Take a look and form your own view; better service or abusing market power by stealth?

4 comments:

  1. It also means that if you want additional field in your application form, you will either need to use SEEK’s Filter product unless your recruitment software has the smarts to create its own application form on the fly.
    SEEK has generously offered to provide this product for free to software providers, but it does not have the flexibility to tailor application forms for each job.
    More importantly if not thought out well can create gaps in the application process that lead to applications dropping out.
    Many of our clients have decided not to use the Seek filter option, instead we coded up a safer solution.
    NB: the discussion on Linkedin alluded to recruitment systems costing $100,000’s. This is not true of all systems out there.
    Daryl Keeley from Perform Zone Recruitment Software
    www.performzone.com

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    1. Darryl,

      I read with interest your comment and must state that like yourselves as a supplier of an applicant tracking system we find Seeks latest move abhorrent. It will limit the choices by job advertisers to use best practice in their hiring process and no doubt will have a detrimental effect on the ultimate quality of Seeks client experience. By client experience I am of course referring to in this case the advertiser. It will increase processing time and I am sure this in turn will also increase the dropout rate that Seek alludes to.

      Peter Hosie
      Assess To Succeed (www.assesstosucceed.com)

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  2. They have dictated to their clients without enough consideration or flexibility for individual clients requirements. This has caused additional administrative costs which will certainly be considered in future purchasing from seek. In addition, some of the functionality has obviously been built by techies and not assessed properly by users which is quite astounding for a company that size ... pretty arrogant alround really

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  3. So, basically SEEK are charging job advertisers to populate SEEKS database, then one can only assume SEEK will then want to charge those same job advertisers to search SEEKS data.................... more commonly know as double dipping!!

    Will the applicant have a choice to not let SEEK keep/use their data? or will it be a case of if the applicant doesn't tick the box that says they agree to SEEKS terms and conditions that they will be unable to apply for the job?

    I know we will be using other job platforms that do allow us to link out and steering clear of SEEK as the applicant will now need to enter all their data twice.

    CareerOne, Indeed, My Career, LinkedIn will be much better options for us I believe. We advertised 105 jobs in the last 12 months!




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