Abandoned Applications

08 Jan 2016 . category: . Comments

Much is made of abandoned carts in the eCommerce space.  One seldom hears about abandoned applications on a company’s careers page.  Presumably these careers pages and online application processes exist because companies wish to attract talented employees to their companies.

Yet, I am amazed at how inefficient and badly broken the application process is for many companies.

For instance, the following is from a top 15 company on the Fortune 500.  The software imported my resume, duplicated every position, quietly refused to delete the duplicates, and blocked my application from proceeding until I diligently crossed every “t” and dotted every “i” for each duplicate position.

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">
</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">
</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Or there are the annoying examples of required data entry, for the sake of data entry.  The software already looked up that North Carolina is in the US, yet it requires the user to manually enter the same information again in a separate field before proceeding.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">
</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>
Let’s not overlook mandatory, irrelevant, impossible-to-find information.  What was your salary twelve years ago?  Your GPA for the class you took after college fifteen years ago.

And stuff that is stupid obvious.  That job you started in 1999 and left in 2001 - is that your current position?

That company in San Francisco, California.  Was that San Francisco, California, USA?  Or San Francisco, California, Albania?  Or San Francisco, California, Afghanistan?

On one hand this is a good thing.  These companies clearly are in desperate need of help from people with my skills. If I make it through their impenetrable application process.

I did survive the application process.  Further research reveals that this application system is Taleo, a company formed in 1996 and acquired by Oracle in 2012 for $1.9 billion dollars.  Yes, Billion with a “B”.  Taleo - 1996 called and they want their UI back.


Geoff Purdy is a husband, father and techie. He lives in the Bull City, where he works in DevOps. In his spare time, Geoff likes functional programming.