Career Sites Missing Their Mark

By Deb Perelman  |  Posted 2008-04-11 Print this article Print

Most job hunts begin the same way: An antsy, underwhelmed or laid-off worker enters the URL of a company's career site or popular job board into a browser address bar and is magically whisked through the Web to a page that couldn't be happier to see him or her. plays to everything everyone hates about offices and urges you to Make Your Move to a better place.

"Why wait to find your perfect job? Why surrender one more Monday morning to weak coffee and daydreams? Start searching Monster's extensive job database now. And propel yourself to a whole new work life."

But beyond that, what happens? According to a new report, very little that's good.

In research released April 8, Forrester Research measured career Web sites at large retail and marketing firms and the four biggest job boards using its Web Site Review methodology and came to a sobering conclusion: It gave all the sites failing scores.

The analysis found that firms were overlooking their career sites. Essential content and functions were missing, task flows were inefficient, text was hard to read, and many sites were missing privacy and security policies. The large job boards, faring better for the most part, still negatively affected user experiences with illegible text, poor use of space and an overabundance of ads.

"A lot of it is really pretty simple stuff. Every site out there had small text and a lot were lacking in descriptions and used a lot of jargon. On job boards, they were formatted in tight columns that wasted a lot of key real estate space, which is probably a throwback to newspaper ads. But they also had full-screen ads, injected right in the middle of the job application process," Forrester analyst Zach Thomas told eWEEK.

Thomas said although there is a lot of talk about "Web 2.0 recruiting" through Facebook, blogs and wikis, these sites need to make improvements.

"Job seekers are still going need a way to submit their applications for a job. These technologies are not going away," Thomas said. |

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