Just because it says “easy apply” doesn’t mean you have to

One thing that I absolutely hate about Job Boards and LinkedIn is that they’ve made the candidate’s application process damn simpler! If you’re confused, let me clarify — it’s simpler for the candidate but a living hell for a recruiter who’s determined (or desperate) to find the right candidate for the role in question.

Sure, it shouldn’t be any difficult for the candidates to apply. They’ve earned an opportunity because the platform’s algorithm says so. Right? Well, I disagree. The main thing about AI is that it’s artificial and a good chunk of people totally relying on this technology aren’t intelligent. (I guess that completes the equation. Does it?)

I believe making it simpler ruins the experience for both the recruiters and the candidates. Think about it — is there a productive way that a team of professionals can invest time to respond to each and every application with a yes, no or a clarification? We know the answer to that, don’t we? The alternative? Ignore applications that don’t fit. But doesn’t that also ignore the candidate experience part?

Now, who’s to blame for that? Of course, the platform won’t take the blame. They’re providing a service and their AI is only getting better (and eventually it will, but we’ve got seats to fill and mouths to feed until then). The onus is onto you, your HR department and the team of recruiters dealing with this problem.

What gives? Nothing does.

I think it’s unnecessary to peg the platform against the employers and judge who’s right or wrong. I believe the candidates should be more considerate while applying to positions — even if it says “easy apply.” The chances of your qualifications not matching the criteria are high if you haven’t really read the job description fully. And with that goes down your chances of getting a response or called for an interview. I know, it’s a dilemma, but one that’s created by you. Nobody else is to be blamed for that.

Trust me when I say this — candidates are making it impossible for themselves and the recruiters to find them. Why? Because they’re being desperate and not using the technology as intended. An “easy apply” option wasn’t meant to be abused in the first place. It’s supposed to be used only when you, the candidate, believe are a great (not just good) fit to the profile in question. How would you know? It’s pretty simple. If you think you can quite easy handle 90% of what’s written, go ahead and apply. Anything less probably means you need to reach out to the recruiters (instead of applying) and seek clarification.

You won’t believe the kind of applications I get from waitresses, lawyers, teachers, accomplished senior audit consultants, musicians for a Graphic or Presentations Designer’s role where the prerequsite is at least 10 years of work experience in core design and visual communication! And my team ensures that we get back to these candidates and clarify if they’re sure about their qualifications and the requirements. Most either don’t respond or confess that it was a mistake. And then there are some who state they’ve been designing as a hobby but don’t have anything to show for. Now, that’s what I call idiotic! Precious time and effort wasted!

I think that’s a more responsible way to use the “easy” options that these career platforms are providing. They’re trying to make our lives easy but we’re just doing the opposite. And if you’re thinking in the lines of, “What if they don’t respond, Sunil?” You try again and perhaps one more time before moving on. Why? Because a true professional knows when to let go and when to stay on.

Is that easy enough? I know it isn’t but remember an “easy” way out may not be one for the person at the other end as well.

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