Is it time to say farewell to 3rd party application forms?

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 11:30am Tuesday 19 July 2011

At last! SEEK's new application export function (or as I like to call it "job application webservice") is live and ready to go. Kudos to Jobadder for being the first to implement this new function for their clients.

It's quite interesting to find out, that a large percentage of jobs listed on SEEK (NZ ~39% and AU ~49%) link out to 3rd party application forms. This form could be your recruitment website, multi-posting system or directly back into your ATS/recruitment database.

SEEK's linkout % figure was higher than I first expected. It must be increasingly hard for them to explain to clients WHY there is such a discrepancy in metrics from application form views > linkout clicks and THEN provided with some unverified application metrics through the clients own system.

"You said I had 40 linkouts to my providers application form, but I only received 14 applications! Where did the other 26 go?"

If it was my job board, I would want the advertiser to know the exact metrics my site was achieving: ad views > application form views > successful applications!

But there has also always been a number of technical problem linking out to 3rd party forms. Not to mention 20 page application forms are so 2005 (yes, talking about you PageUp, Taleo, NGA, etc.).

It's not the first job board to recognise this problem. JobG8 and a number of other job boards and solution providers have had this function available for a number of years.

The question you should be asking yourself is... Can you put a $ figure on the number of candidates you may be loosing through a 3rd party application form?

5 reasons why you should reconsider 3rd party application forms

  1. If you have a popup blocker installed on your browser, there is a very small chance the application form may be blocked, unable to load, or unable to render for your device.

  2. Duty of care. You could be referring users to insecure, unresponsive websites (ie TurboRecruit's DDoS attack in 2009) or expired forms. Perhaps even redirecting users to identity thieves.

  3. Candidates are unable to use stored candidate profile/resumes on an existing job board to apply for jobs using the 3rd party form.

  4. Pop up forms don't work on mobile devices.

  5. But most of all, this slight change in process will improve the candidates application experience!

On the flip side, the solution provider that needs to receive the candidates application is still receiving the application, but through a different medium. ie, the webservice.

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!