The Uncomplicated Truth About The Job Application

I applied for a job this week.

No, I’m not leaving Three Ears Media. Don’t worry, everything is great with the company. I applied for a part-time job because I’m actually taking on a new life challenge: learning to be a spin instructor. When I turned 33, I set this as one of my goals before I turned 34. I wanted to take on something that would help improve my health.

Yes, this is how exciting goals get in your 30’s, kids. The funny part? My 30+-year-old friends are just as excited about this goal as I am. 

So a few weeks ago, I spent 9 hours sitting on a spin bike to get my certification. We learned how to pick music, how to be better coaches and all of the details of the bike. I really enjoyed it despite the [literal] pain in the ass, so I decided I would apply to become a part-time teacher at my local gym.

“Just fill out the application,” I thought at 5:45 last night. “It can’t be that hard.”

It was that hard. Actually, it was harder than I thought it would be.

News Flash: Online job applications still suck.

So here I am, all excited about this job. Then I click apply and really, it was all downhill from there.

First, I input my availability and necessary profile information like my name and address. Sure, that’s fine. Then, I upload my resume. Awesome. I’m thinking, “should be good to go now, right?” I mean, really. What do you need to know in this exact moment so we can get on the phone and I can get on the schedule once a month as a sub?

Oh hell no we were not good to go.

The next step was to re-enter every single detail I just uploaded, manually. Then, an assessment. Next, the application requested 5 references.

All of this for $16 an hour and what was turning out to be an all-night migraine.

It’s time for an application re-assessment.

I’m not the only who thinks that’s ridiculous, right? I understand we need to gather a fair amount of information to assess if it’s worth taking the time to schedule an interview, but how much is too much? Why aren’t we tailoring this application by the department or even role?

It’s the single most crucial moment of truth in the candidate journey. In the word of RuPaul, “good luck and don’t f*ck it up.”

A big software company would never create a 20-minute hurdle between you and the demo aka their version of the “buyer moment of truth.” Why would you put an obstacle between your candidate and the interview?

Want to create a better application process? It’s about streamlining down to the minimums and phasing the interview process to make sure you and your candidates always get all of the information, but you don’t create a giant leak in the top of your pipeline with terrible online application experience.

[By the way, we do that now at Three Ears Media. Call me.]

Candidate Generation and Nurturing recruiting

Katrina Kibben View All →

Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.

Katrina has written for,, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.

1 Comment Leave a comment

  1. Katrina, this is right on! I mean, a nuclear hit on the beginning of the application process. It’s a typical story: You pick a company, browse their site, get a sense of where they are going, watch finely produced videos about their culture and commitment to a greater planet, work-life balance and their new ping-pong table… Then, you hit the application screen and it looks like Lotus Notes circa 1999. Ugh! There are so many better ways the make the process easy – joyful even – and transparent. As the competition for the best talent continues to heat up, companies who don’t get with it will be completely unable to attract employees in the near future.

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