Why Do Recruiters Hate Easy Apply?
Updated: Jul 6
It has many names. Easy, Native, Direct, One Click, to name a few. All types of apply buttons for job applications. The button that gives people - candidates and recruiters - hope. The button that makes the process of applying to a job so much simpler than having to load a new webpage, create an (yet another) account, and manually fill in all of the information from your resume that you JUST uploaded.
But, why do recruiters have so much vitriol for the Easy Button of Recruiting?
As Adam Karpiak, recruiter turned career coach says:
“I don't *hate* it. the [easy applies] that aren’t tied to a more comprehensive application process, candidates think "why the f*ck not" and just shoot their shot”
When was the last time you applied for a job? You search, find, click, upload a resume, maybe are forced to create an account and join a career page just to get the application submitted. After you’ve been forced to search, find, click, resume, blah blah blah a handful of times, you finally land on a page where they have an option to click ONE button and submit the application. You’re elated. You might not even be fully qualified for the job but the option to just click and move on is so appealing you apply anyways. Plus, everyone knows that that job description is a wish list anyway.
This situation is the source of recruiter frustration. Easy Apply is actually just a bit too easy. One click apply needs to be three or four or five click apply.
Now, add in the mobile experience - the easy button doesn’t always translate well.
“The “Easy Apply” button isn’t easy from your mobile device.” Jeff Scherer, PMP
As Alanis Morrisete famously said, “Isn’t it ironic?” The Easy Apply was built for the ease of the candidate on a mobile device and now 70%+ of the candidate traffic is on a mobile device, and yet candidates are still confronted with a difficult gauntlet they have to transverse to simply throw their hat in the ring.
Do candidates keep their resumes on their phone? Maybe.
Does their smartphone remember every password they’ve created on job sites and ATSs? Possibly.
Does their smartphone understand the difference between Company X’s Workday and Company Y’s Workday? Absolutely not.
More than likely your phone remembers one password for each website. So, say you’ve created a password for Workday on one employer website - the next website that uses Workday is going to want account creation - but your phone is going to think it already has a Workday password. Candidates end up in an endless loop of forgot password and re-create username. And that is how we have candidate fatigue. Ruh-roh.
But does their smartphone know the difference between Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Talent.com, Talroo and Monster? Abso-f’in-lutely.
Remember the previous point about being elated to just click apply and go without the additional hassle?
Now, as a recruiter, you might get a bunch of candidates that are not qualified - just clicking apply because they just want to save themselves the headache of a full scale job application and because they need to apply to a lot of jobs to get one - everyone knows this too..
“All I want for Christmas is the Easy Apply Button to disappear and the recruitment process fixed 😂😂😂” - Joel Lalgee
But what is fixed? Or rather, what problem does Easy Apply create in its attempt to solve the candidate application/experience problem?
Your recruiters are not able to recruit because they’re digging through piles of applications with candidates that aren’t qualified.
Easy Apply generates volume, but with no data, recruiters can't determine who to call. Easy Apply gets you easy volume; but, with only a basic profile and masked email address, your recruiters have insufficient information to screen effectively, and too many applicants that aren’t a good enough match.
So what happens? Your candidate experience suffers - the exact thing you were trying to fix.
Because the time it takes to research each candidate means your recruiters aren’t following up in a timely manner and all those fast calories, volume of candidates, you can’t connect with them fast enough…and so you lose them, and then you need more and the cycle continues.
Is Easy Apply a good recruiting solution?
It can be, if you do it right.
The thing about Easy Applies is that candidates want to use it and the job sites want candidates to use it, which means the job sites also want companies to activate it.
And they want companies to use it so much that they will let you modify Easy Applies to include other information in the application, even including the entire application within the Easy Apply experience.
When recruiters activate Easy Apply with full applications, literally everyone wins. Candidates get an Easy Apply, companies get better placement on the job sites, and recruiters get enough candidate data to be compliant and make decisions on next steps.
Make Easy Apply work hard for your business, don’t make your business work hard for Easy Apply.