The question inevitably comes up in your mind: is this even worth my time?
The answer could be yes – depending on your goals, motives and strategy.
Why they do this to you
Often times, a company will use the application process to help weed out candidates. The thought process behind this is to see how well you can follow instructions. If you mess up on any of the steps, they consider this a weakness. However, that is not the only reason why they do this.
If the employer deals with a high volume of applicants, they are actually making you enter all the details into their database, rather than making the recruiters do it. This is the set-up for the computerized screening. The computers look for specific key words and then passes on the candidates that match the search to the recruiters.
In cases of placement agencies, they may not have a job that matches you right now, but they are always gathering qualified applicants. In that case, their applications are even longer, often times including excruciating skills sections that must be filled in line-by-line. This allows them to the ability to search through the database later, looking for a match with specific skills sets.
Other industries require detailed personal information. For example, nursing and nanny industries often ask for Social Security numbers, dates-of-birth, license information and even past names or addresses. This creates the data they need to run background checks quickly. This way, when the right job becomes available, there is less delay in pulling the necessary paperwork.
Is it worth it?
Your goals are the biggest consideration when deciding if you want to devote up to an hour completing an online application. Do you want a job in:
- a large company
- through an employment agency
- in a background-driven industry
- in private service
then the long application is going to be a given.
Motives are another consideration. If you are just filling out an application because you have a slight interest in the company, then it probably isn’t worth your time. In those cases, people have a tendency to make a half-hearted effort with the application. That won’t catch the attention of a recruiter or survive the screening tools.
Strategy plays an important part too. Applications are important, but they are not the be-all, end-all route to getting a job. In fact, you will get better results from reaching out to hiring managers directly, instead of betting on the long odds in the HR department.
So the application is done – now what?
If you care about the employer, take the time to really do a thorough job application. Then add that employer to your weekly contact list. Visit their website, scan for newly opened jobs and use that application over and over. When you divide the initial time investment over three or four jobs, it is a more favorable use of your time.