Why Do Companies Make It Harder Than It Has to be to Apply for a Job?

Before I go any farther in this post, I’ll state that I will do what needs to be done to pay the bills. If that requires getting back into another soul-sucking 8 hour a day cubicle job, then I will. But not if it can be avoided.

Except for one year (1998-1999), I’ve spent my entire adult career either in or around the U.S. Navy. It’s been a good run. But there are a lot of needless inefficiencies built into the Navy, and into many of the contracting companies that support the Navy.

I’ve been looking for a job since November. I’ve avoided mentioning it just in case anybody from my previous job might stumble across my blog. But I’ve been looking ever since just before I got fired from my original position. I continued looking while I was stuck in a stuffy cubicle working from Micro-MAN-ager.

I’ve come to realize that, unless you absolutely HAVE to put food on the table right now, the degree of difficulty in applying for a job just MIGHT be a sign of the difficulty DOING the job.

Some jobs have been easy to apply for. I come across the job on Monster or Dice, or even Careerbuilder. I click “Apply Now”. I’m taken to a page asking which resume I want to use, and if I want to include a cover letter. I make those decisions, and click another button. Then I’m done. I get an email confirmation.

But some companies make it really hard. First, you have to register at yet another job site. God help you if you’ve already registered and can’t remember your password, because you can’t use your email account again (Comcast is the worst offender I’ve come across in this regard). Then you have to upload your resume. THEN, after your resume is uploaded, you have to copy and paste your work history and education into text blocks. Even though this information is already on your resume, you have to type it in again.

The government is horrible. Trying to apply for a job through USA Jobs is a nightmare. OK, not all. Some are relatively easy, but I have yet to find an agency that is tied into USA Jobs and can take your resume from the main site. Normally, you find a job on USA Jobs and are taken to another site to apply for the job. This requires creating an account and inputting your information. Some aren’t bad. Applying for a civilian IT job for the Army was actually easy. The Navy makes it almost impossible to apply for a job. I couldn’t get past the first step in the process to apply for a civilian job for the Navy. I put in a trouble ticket. I found out (which shouldn’t surprise me) that I can’t apply because I’m not using Internet Explorer 6, which is the official web browser of the United States Navy.

So, let me ask you: if it’s a pain in the neck just to APPLY for a job, once you get in, do you think you’ll find a massive bureaucracy that makes it nearly impossible to actually do the job?

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