Online recruitment - to click or not to click

Written by Leigh Foster

As we fluctuate between candidate rich and candidate poor markets, have you ever considered how easy or even how hard you could be making it for potential employees to apply for a role?

Below are some advantages and disadvantages of online applications:


  • Is often easier to apply online - Standard paper applications can be a pain to fill out. It is true that many job applicants, particularly those under 30, are more comfortable using a keyboard to communicate than a pen or pencil. Employers also benefit: Hiring managers or HR employees will no longer have to wade through applications while deciphering a range of handwriting.
  • Better accuracy - A nervous job applicant may inadvertently make mistakes and leave items unanswered on a traditional form. In some cases, an error like this can be enough to eliminate the applicant from consideration. Online applications can be coded such that they cannot be submitted until completion.
  • Cost savings - Web-based employment application software offers savings to both businesses and applicants. Businesses save the cost of paper applications while potential employees do not need to pay to print out CV’s or mail in the application. Although businesses may have to pay for the application system, for most it is still worthwhile.



  • Online applications can discriminate – It may only be a small minority of applicants but employers should be aware, however, that not everybody has consistent access to a computer or the internet. This may be particularly true of individuals applying for entry-level or minimum-wage jobs. Because of inequities in technology access, some employers may decide to offer paper applications as an option.
  • Computer bugs/errors - Poorly designed application forms, or the site itself, can contain bugs that cause it to periodically dump entered data, crash entirely or fail to submit even when the applicant has completed all fields, leaving them frustrated and eventually not applying for the role.

The majority of online platforms such as LinkedIn, CV-Library and Total Jobs allow you to ‘easy apply’.  Easy Apply refers to job applications that are hosted directly upon the platform you are using to conduct your job search. If you have already completed a full profile on the specific platform, which would usually include a CV and summary of job experiences and skills, then with the option of clicking the ‘easy apply’ button next to a job posting, your application to the job will usually just take one-click.  Now, this process can have a potentially negative effect because you may find candidates clicking ‘easy apply’ on a number of jobs to increase their chances of being contacted without knowing what the role entails – or even the salary!

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