We are building Anthropos with a long-term vision of reinventing the relationship between people and companies. It's a long term commitment that starts with building Anthropos Personal and Enterprise, the two sides of our platform for individuals and companies. However, our first step into the working world starts with a pretty simple action: applying for ...
We are building Anthropos with a long-term vision of reinventing the relationship between people and companies. It’s a long term commitment that starts with building Anthropos Personal and Enterprise, the two sides of our platform for individuals and companies.
However, our first step into the working world starts with a pretty simple action: applying for a new job. While building our first company we have heard people complaining about job application as a slow, old-fashioned process that takes much more time than you would expect. Part of the problems are software systems called ATS (Application Tracking Systems), platforms that companies use to accept candidates and run interview processes.
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Is this a real problem? Try to find a job and see!
When we started diving into this problem, we discovered much more. First of all we tried ourselves to look and apply for jobs on a daily basis: it was clear something was broken for most companies.
While LinkedIn is pretty much the standard way to find jobs, most companies ask you to fill out their job application. Even for the ones where LinkedIn pre-fills some of it, it’s usually a long process where you need to answer multiple forms, and fill out questions that your profile usually answers. Some companies make you sign-up for their ATS (Workday does this, for instance), others are simply asking you questions after questions in a process that brings little value in most cases.
Now, if you are looking for a job, you might already have a job and the entire process results in something much more time consuming that it should be. It’s also frustrating: I found myself quitting some processes because they were too long and I felt frustrated by the request of inserting multiple times the same information.
After a bit more research, we discovered that this problem is quite famous. This thread on Hacker News was very eye-opening for us.
People are incredibly frustrated by job applications and that penalize both parties. The company lose the opportunity of attracting more talents for that role and people tend to apply to fewer jobs because of this cumbersome process.
After a couple weeks applying to jobs we encountered another big problem: we did not remember all our applications. I probably applied to 100+ job postings in 2 weeks and at some point I couldn’t tell if the one in front of me was new…or if I applied already. Talking to friends and colleagues I discovered that people use Excel or notes to copy and paste all the applications to make sure they don’t apply twice. Uh! Some people also tried not to apply to more than one job per company (apparently some companies detect this automatically and penalize the applicant!).
There should be an easy way to track all your applications and see what is progressing and what’s not, without the need for a spreadsheet.
Why is this happening?
ATS provider don’t really innovate, they keep building more features and functionalities to please their customers (aka companies) but have little attention to end-users (people that apply). Companies, on the opposite side, never investigate how difficult it is to “meet” them and HR teams spend most of their resources looking at people that apply.
The result is a pretty big disconnection between end users and companies. You should also add that it’s easy to spot old companies that decided to build their own ATS, making the entire process even more difficult.
There is a bit innovation, but it’s mostly about looking at people starting with skills, like TestGorilla.
You should apply to 100+ job roles – even more today!
Historically people have been applying for “local” jobs: if you lived in Amsterdam you were looking at jobs in a specific area to make sure they were close home. A lot of friends used to “map” cities at 20-30-50 miles from home to check companies and job roles in that area. They would prioritize the ones close home and go to a larger area if they did not find enough interesting positions.
But in a world where companies are working remotely and/or in a hybrid model this is not valid anymore. If you are looking for a job you can now consider companies in other countries, and even continents sometimes.
The number of companies you can work for is 100x what it used to be and that’s to your advantage! Still, you need to apply for these jobs and spend a considerable amount of time dealing with all sorts of broken application flows.
Applying for 100+ positions is a great way to increase your chances of doing more interviews and “test” more potential roles for your skills. It’s similar to raising money from investors if you are an entrepreneur: it’s a numbers game, but also a way to really understand how much you are worth. The more companies you see the better are the chances you improve your salary and land a job that you really like. Last but not least, you ideally want to have 5-6 different offers (and companies) to choose from.
How do you fix the job application problem
This is what we are working on and we should be able to launch something by the end of December. We have tried to come up with a solution that allows people to 1) apply to tens of jobs with 1-click completing all your information just once 2) keep track of all your applications.
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