In a prior blog post (“Noah’s Job Search” Blog.reliableinsights.com, 8/9/13) I introduced the fine work of Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler, founders of CareerXroads, a consulting company specializing in human resources, staffing, and recruiting. As promised, I have been devoting additional blog posts to their excellent and enlightening report (“This Year’s Mystery Job Seeker: Noah Z. Ark, A Man For The Modern World” www.careerxroads.com).
Like all of us, Noah discovered software is great stuff when it works right, but a real pain when it does not. Unfortunately, Noah found too many leaks on the ark:
“Companies are still not paying close enough attention to their software’s blind spots and breakdowns.”
What makes these software headaches even more painful is by definition, the user is a job seeker who desperately needs cooperation from the IT gods. Crashes and glitches not only mean we have a software problem, but they also mean the job seeker must spend valuable time trying to re-create profiles, applications, or personal data. Typical software problems include URLs that do not work, random typos that cannot be fixed, a final “submit” button that does not respond, and incompatibility with even the most common browsers.
Another entire category of difficulties involves the general Web site design and organization. Noah encountered cluttered Web sites that detracted from his customer experience. And, one of my favorites, the link to “career” or “jobs” was incredibly small and tucked in at the very bottom of the page. Now that one is almost as good as the herculean efforts to which some companies go to hide all phone numbers on their site. Oh, you can find them, but they are not going to make it easy for you!
If a company is going to provide an online service, it has a responsibility to ensure that service is working properly under all possible conditions of cyberspace. User testing, compatibility checks, and design review should all be performed on an ongoing basis. Browsers change, the Internet changes, and little things suddenly become big things.
Noah’s findings provide the wakeup call to companies. The only question now is, will they respond, and if so, how well?