Is it too easy to apply for a marketing job?

Pioneered by Indeed and LinkedIn, the one-click job application button has been rolled out to most job boards and career sites, and movement from Facebook and Google into the jobs market is only likely to make them even more prevalent. The idea behind these buttons is that they allow jobseekers to apply for jobs with pre-saved CV details, saving the candidate time and boosting applications for the employer.

People may disagree with me, but my feeling is that it’s become far too easy to apply for a job, and that’s bad news for both employers and for jobseekers.

Why it’s bad for jobseekers

At The Tarsh Partnership, we always encourage our candidates to tailor their CV and cover letter for a specific role. Taking the time to highlight the ways in which they meet the job description and person specification means that they will be presented in the best possible light and important skills and experience won’t get overlooked. Hiring managers want to feel that an applicant really understands the role and its responsibilities.

When you’re taking the time to customise your application in this way, you’ll only apply for jobs that really are a good fit for you. The one-click-apply button makes it just too tempting to fire out generic applications for any job that looks even vaguely suitable.

Why it’s bad for employers

The main problem for employers is that while these buttons will boost the quantity of applications, they won’t improve the quality of CVs. According to Glassdoor’s annual 25 Best Jobs in the UK survey, Marketing Manager is at the number one spot for 2018. Marketing vacancies are extremely popular and tend to encourage large volumes of applications. Because of the varied nature of these roles, they also tend to attract jobseekers from all industries, who may have transferrable skills but not necessarily direct marketing experience. Advertising these jobs online attracts even more applications – a recent role placed by Tarsh received over 900 enquiries! That’s an awful lot of CVs for an employer to wade through.

Having so many applications, means that it’s impossible to spend time going through them in any sort of detail. Hiring managers need to skim through and hope they pick up enough key points to accurately assess the jobseekers. It’s all too easy for the perfect candidate for your role to simply get lost in an avalanche of paperwork.

This volume of applications also makes it impossible for an employer to give any meaningful feedback to unsuccessful applicants. A lack of communication is always the main bugbear for jobseekers and a poor recruitment process can give them a negative impression of your company, which social media and company ratings sites have made it easier than ever to share.

So what can employers do?

Paradoxically, the best way in which an employer can improve the application process for both themselves and for candidates may be to make it slightly harder. Some websites give you the option of turning off the one-click-apply button, or adding screening questions, which can help weed out candidates who aren’t really interested in the role. Specifying that a cover letter is required can also help discourage unsuitable candidates, while giving those who truly are a good fit a chance to make themselves stand out from the crowd. But then it’s down to the hiring manager to make sure they give these cover letters the attention they deserve.

For both jobseekers and employers, the one-click-apply button may be bad news. The trend towards expressing opinions briefly and consuming short blasts of entertainment and information online is growing, but when it comes to something as important as finding the right person for your role, let’s aim for quality rather than quantity.

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