You are hiring - you post your well thought out 2-3 page job description where you highlight the responsibilities, skills, qualifications, etc. only to realize that most candidates are blindly applying without reading any of it. You might receive hundreds of applications but is that a good thing if you have to spend significant hours screening resumes for basic eligibility requirements? While there are quite a few free job posting sites, do the paid ones even work?

Have you ever wondered why job posting has not evolved when almost everything around how we work has? As a complete outsider to HR and recruiting, I was quite intrigued as to why that was the case. Almost every recruiter I spoke to agreed with the inherent inefficiency with the current reality where candidates can apply without any check on their fit or eligibility. I could boil down the reasons to persist with the current system in two broad categories:

  1. Monopolistic power of database-heavy job portals: Job posting is very much about finding the right candidate and the larger the pool or database at a job portal, the higher the probability of finding your match. While we can challenge the basic premise of this logic with the classic quality vs. quantity debate (notice how I termed these portals as database-heavy and not database-rich), the reality is that most recruiters would want their job posting to be present on the most prominent job portal - call it FOMO or just pure historical inertia.

    If I am that prominent job portal, I have no incentive to change. I am certainly not a free job posting site and can command premium pricing because of the number of profiles in my database. In a very ironic way, making the application process more efficient by enhancing the underlying infrastructure of job posting is actually risky as it might reduce the number of applications going through my system (a key KPI I sell to recruiters).

    If you are a new job portal, you try offering free job posting but end up complying to the same job posting format so its easier for recruiters or ATS tools to post the same job on your portal - so while the net for candidate sourcing has widened on the back of your marketing efforts, the recruiters' screening time has also multiplied, almost compounding the problem further.

    The same logic works on the candidate side as well. You want your profile on the most used or popular portal so recruiters have access to you and vice-versa. The same portal also therefore makes it super-easy for you to register and apply - the very database you are contributing to serves as the revenue driver for the portal. So, its a nice circular loop - a classic network-effect display in a way!

    While the system works to an extent due to the sheer numbers on both sides, the underlying quality and efficiency of the process is severely compromised.
  2. Perceptive Candidate Laziness:  A lot of recruiters also said that every time they tried to ask a few questions as a pre-cursor to applications for their job posting , they saw a big drop in number of applications. And they back this up by proving the increase in the number of applications when using a simple 'upload resume and done' apply flow.

    Let me attempt presenting the candidate perspective here: I go through so many job postings and after the third or fourth, they all start looking the same! There is marketing language around the company and role which I skip and the the requirements list is long and in some cases highly unrealistic - read a funny post on LinkedIn recently where someone shared a job posting asking for 4 years of experience in a particular technology which was developed only 3 years ago! The job specifies minimum years of experience but you know from Glassdoor or other social posts that interview invites are sent to folks below the threshold as well.

    In a nutshell, as a candidate, I have completely lost faith in the credibility of what I read in the job description and therefore apply anyway. Because a lot of the interest or intent decision will be made only after the first screening call, I don't even bother customizing my resume or application which then circles back to the point of the process inefficiency at the recruiter-end.

Why we need a 'hard reset'

Imagine driving on a narrow, pot-hole ridden road - will it matter if you're driving a tuk-tuk or a Ferrari? The underlying infrastructure, ie the road sets the benchmark for the quality or speed of your ride - even though the Ferrari is much more expensive and capable, the improvement in quality and speed is only marginal.

The road is your current job posting or job description format and the Ferrari is the modern (expensive) ATS you are using to improve the quality of your process. Just like how we need to rebuild the road to truly enjoy the Ferrari, we also need to re-architect what a simple yet credible, easy-to-understand job posting should look like - segregate the must-haves and nice-to-haves clearly, distinguish between core skills vs. the ones that can be picked up on the job, and talk about the team and actual work substantively - a key influencer towards candidates' decision making.

The monopolistic portals might not comply initially but once they see you and the candidates move beyond the trappings of FOMO or significantly better application process efficiency, the wheels will turn and you might not even need these portals anymore because you, ie the network comprising the recruiters and candidates would have built a system of your own - more efficient and if is successful also free!

At kaamwork, we are rebuilding this road and we are doing it with free job postings - free because we believe global hiring needs to break out of its current inertia, challenge the monopolistic powers of existing platforms, and give candidates a fair chance to apply selectively yet efficiently.

Check out a video that explains this in fewer words :)