What if applying for a job was as easy as applying to college?

Kelly Dingee Change, Hiring Managers, Innovation, Kelly Dingee, Recruiting

This question has been on my mind for weeks, I am knee deep with my daughter in the college application process.  Feeling half mad, we're in the midst of sending SAT scores, filling in multiple applications, maybe the common app and at some point she's writing essays as well.  As a sourcer, fully entrenched in the recruiting industry, this experience is really eye opening.  Sure we’ve done the tours and the research and we’ve read all of the many instructions on the application portals.  Some schools have said they’ll disregard SATs if you have outstanding grades, others say the essay is of the utmost importance and yet others say they’ll look at grades and tests but essays and recommendations play no role.  Okay…..nothing like variety…and confusion.  I imagine job seekers face much the same thing, every company with different rules and preferences about how to apply. And those college admission folks get it.  At least some of them do.I can see this first with the Common App that many schools participate in. One so-called universal application with essays that you in theory complete once and can ship off to any number of schools (and they number in the 100s).  I’ve heard there are some college students that will only apply to schools with the Common App.  Makes sense, its multiple screens requiring an extensive amount of data and sans essays probably a 2-4 hour time investment to complete.  Can you imagine if we had a common app for applying to jobs?  If you were looking for a job you could easily upload your data and ship it off to whomever you desire.  Not have to spend time on 27 different ATS’.  Everyone would get the same information.

Sounds good.  Time consuming on the short term, but good.

It gets better, in a really great way.  There are also “VIP” applications.  Yep, VIP. Now who isn’t going to fill these out? “Gee kid, you’re so special we want to hand you your own easy button.”  With a quick click the kid can fill out a shortened application form, skip the essay, skip the app fee and get early consideration for merit scholarships. And, depending on the school, they will have her informat

ion pre-filled for her as well.  Even better, she'll know within 21 days if she's “in”.

Holy crap.  This is swell!  She knocked out 4 of these in 1 night, all to schools on her preferred list.  A beautiful thing to watch her choices and easy application process coincide.

Can you imagine if I could do this for candidates I source?

Dear Joe,

I have this super fabulous opportunity at company XYZ for a professional with your experience.  I've reviewed your basic biographical information online via (insert your choice here…LinkedIn, About.me, Pinterest, Quora, whatever!).  Based on this information, I thought this position would be of interest to you and truly enhance your career. I'd like to get this process started as smoothly as possible, so I have a pre-filled application ready for your review, the last thing I want you to have to do is spend an inordinate amount of time completing an application to have a conversation.  Of course,  I'd welcome additional information from you, like a resume, but to start a conversation with our Hiring Manager, Ethel, within 24 hours, just login with the information below and we'll get started.

Also, did I mention that should you elect to start the interviewing process with Company XYZ you'll become immediately eligible for a $2000 sign-on bonus?  It's one of the perks of completing our VIP application within 24 hours of receipt.

I look forward to hearing from you.  If you have any questions, please reach out to me at kelly@……com, or give me a call at 800-555-1221.”

Could it work? It's got to be in violation of something right? Is it too stalkerish? Or would it be flattering? Is it an unfair advantage? I don't know – could be amazing engagement, and colleges are getting it done.  Some offer both, the common app experience and the VIP experience.  Your choice.   Could we make that magic happen for job seekers?  That’s kind of any interesting question.  

Kelly Dingee
Kelly is an HR Pro focused on recruiting Temp and Executive Talent in the Hospitality Industry and a 10 year writing veteran on FOT.