Third party job application services

I am currently searching for a job and am beginning to resort to prospective CVs,  an obstacle that is becoming more common are businesses outsourcing the ‘talent management’ process, when it comes to new applicants. A case in point…

I had seen a position advertised through agencies and fortunately tracked down the position back to the company. I am a ‘shoe-in’, I have beaten the system – found the company, can contact them directly, cut out the recruiters and their fee’s, this puts me ahead. I hurriedly clicked apply before my browser thought otherwise at which point I was rushed across the other side of the Atlantic to a company based in the US.

Page one… Give us your full name, age, contact details, address, salary expectations.  Fairly standard questions which are sure to be asked during the course of any application process, I glance to the top corner progress bar and worryingly see that I am on page 1 of 6.

Page one and you know everything about me to personally come looking for me should I bail out at this, or any point in the 6 page marathon. The prospect of a 6 page grilling made me consider who I was giving this information to, I check them out and see it is a US based company. Now I have no real evidence to base this on but I have this preconception that US based firms are not as protective of personal data as in the UK. Protective is the wrong word, proactive with your data is more likely. If I don’t get this position I have a strong suspicion that I have now signed as part of a much wider scheme unconnected with the company I was applying for and back in the barrel with the other readily contactable hopefuls.

So page 1 of what I am sure is a very expensive and comprehensive system designed to ensure the smooth flow of applicants had caused alarm bells and I seriously considered deferring to the recruiters as they would ask less questions and be like less of a wall. I’m fairly sure this system wasn’t pitched to the business as having this effect.

I would consider myself a good solid candidate for the role and I have just walked. I don’t want to have to hand over my life story upfront to a third party’s hands before being considered. Perhaps the system is designed to ward off the non-serious, perhaps the following pages only contained one further question per page, perhaps they would have destroyed my data if I didn’t get the job, perhaps if you were the one that stayed the course you automatically got the job [that’s what it felt like].

Even stranger I am sure their ecommerce sites abide by a principle of simple sign-up. People don’t like interrogation from faceless forms, you should not put obstacles in their way.

I’m off to find some humans to contact.