OK im confused about this one ...... filling out a job app is bad or beneath certain people now?

OK I read this and lt left me a bit confuzzled (not hard to do these days I know)

… But are Résumés and linked in etc making job applications obsolete? Or was filling out an application in front of the interviewer beneath her and a waste of time? I thought it was a test of some sort myself

I can’t speak for the author, but I sure wouldn’t want to work for a company that:

  • Had so little respect for a candidate’s time that they make them perform useless busywork like that. Most likely, they have the same lack of respect for their employees as well.
  • Is so poorly managed that they don’t already have the same information already at hand (surely, the company already had the resume and any personal information)

When I opened the link I expected it to be a tale of some entitled snowflake having a tantrum over having to fill in an application.

But when I read it, I found myself siding with the applicant. You have provided a resume, you have 15 years experience, you can clearly do the basics. Being asked to transfer your details from your resume into an application form on the spot is demeaning at that level IMHO.

At the absolute most, give the applicant the interview then say “would you mind filling out the application itself in due course and getting it to us - we have to have an application due to our internal procedures”. Don’t make someone write it out by hand in front of you.

And I understand your point about it being a test, but a test of what? If it was an entry level position for someone straight out of HS then yes a basic test to see if they can read and write and didn’t have their whole resume done by their mum, then OK yes. But at the 15 year experience level?

Yes, what was the purpose? Handwriting test?

There’s all sorts of stuff you could unpack (speculatively, perhaps) from this. An application form may well be necessary, but it could be provided before the interview so the candidate could bring it complete, or if it is a true formality, it could be given to the candidate blank at the end of the interview with a request to return it filled.
The fact that neither of these things happened is itself a red flag. When you attend a job interview, you are also interviewing your prospective employer - it’s absolutely a two-way process (and this is a realisation that came to me mostly when I was the one recruiting, not the candidate. I actually used to make a point of stating this to candidates when I welcomed them - ‘you are interviewing and assessing us too’).
This behaviour is just a weird potential warning about how (dis)organised this employer might be in their process management, and/or how much value they (don’t) place on the time and skills of their employees.

Not sure I’d have had the balls to walk out like that - I once stayed in an interview for a role that I was sure would be hellish, just because experience of interviews, and reading the room at interviews, is not worthless.

During a period of high unemployment, the company I used to work for used to do exactly that for factory workers. Establishing a basic grasp of written English and some evidence that they were who they said they were was the objective.

The factory was in an area with a large first-generation immigrant population and it was common to find several applications written by the same person. It wasn’t just jobs - there was a big scandal about driving tests because no one at that time had thought to make applicants prove their identity. It came out when one tester spotted that he had tested the same man the previous day.

Yes. Well, at least, the concept of an application is when you reach out to a company to find out about job opportunities, they ask you to fill in an application so that they know who you are. Linkedin and recruiters already do that for you, to a point.

In this person’s case, the reaching out had already happened, they liked the candidate enough to schedule their own managers for an interview. That was not the time for busywork. There’s plenty of time for “I’m sorry, we need these forms to get you loaded to our system” after you have an accepted job offer.

I can understand the candidate and would have probably reacted similarly if in her situation (this company and me are not a good match, I have another job secured, forget them!), what I don’t understand iis the need to post this on “social media” or why newsweek reports it like it was newsworthy. It’s a big meh for me.

At one time (who knows, things may have changed), HR professionals were taught that the Application is considered a legal document, whereas the Resume is not. You typically are asked to sign (or e-sign) an application, and if you lie on it that is grounds for termination. A Resume is not given the same weight.

I would say it would be incumbent on the employer to carefully explain this distinction when requesting that a candidate fill out an application.

I am in the recruitment process with a large company (>$10B in revenue) for a mid level management/technical job (salary around 200k + bonus and stock). I know that they are having a really hard time finding qualified candidates. The job has been advertised since November and I was referred to them by a recruiter who stands to get paid $50k for her trouble.

Nevertheless they have fucked up the process as if they are besieged with throngs of qualified applicants. I had five interviews (each 45-60 minutes) BEFORE I even met the hiring manager. Now I am in the third round of the process (my next interviews are with the CFO and COO). They used to do panel interviews with the entire management team of the department (basically peers to this position) meeting you at once but because these are awkward on Zoom they do this with individual interviews. Most of the questions they ask are exactly the same. I assume they are prescribed by HR. Then you have 4-15 minutes of more open discussion.

They have asked me to fill out two online forms. One is an application that is 40 screens. The other is an online assessment which asks you to write out answers to many of the “standard interview questions”. What are your greatest strengths? Weaknesses? Describe a situation where things didn’t go well, and how did you address it? Blah, blah, blah. Basically ten short essay questions. Which I have already answered five or six times each.

They warned me that this would take the better part of an entire weekend. I told the recruiter I wasn’t doing any of that until I had a verbal offer with terms I could live with.

The scary thing is that their application is required for a part time $10/hour front line job as well. It wouldn’t be 40 screens for them because they’d answer no to most of the questions, but it would still take at least an hour. I think most teenagers and young adults would just give up and go next door. There are lots of screens that are clearly cover-your-ass questions about discrimination and harassment, that should be part of the onboarding/training process.

My niece worked for them in a front-line part-time job in high school about 10 years ago when they were in a rapid growth phase. They were very anti-bureaucratic at that time. It was almost the signature of their culture and for twenty years they were the success story of their industry.

Part of it is working against the “No one wants to work any more” narrative that has been so prominent this past year. A lot of people like to point out that they’d love to work, except that the businesses place all sort of BS limits on job seekers. Imagine if Company A had a hiring culture as described by @ Mighty_Mouse above, while Company B actually read your resume and didn’t play all these stupid games.

Company A would be bitching and moaning about how “no one” wants to work because no one applies for their jobs via this ridiculous process, while all their potential applicants are getting hired over at Company B.

There is a term, “Frictionless”, that I’ve seen used in process design that I think applies well here. One should try to eliminate impediments, bottlenecks, slowdowns, hurdles, or bureaucratic nonsense. It seems these folks are doing the opposite.

They seem to be very impressed with their own success. The theme of most interviews has been “Boy would you be lucky to work at this great company!”

I’m afraid this will all end in an offer that is less than what I’m making now and 30k less than I said i said up front I was looking for. I will be walking away from significant unvested stock awards and they know it. But their bureaucracy will handcuff them even for relatively high level positions where in HR theory at least “everything is negotiable”

And the most important part (IMO): she already had a firm job offer from a different company, so why bother?

Not to disillusion anyone, but this is SOP when applying to Federal jobs. You can have all the resumes and degrees and letters of recommendation in the world, but you still have to fill out this form with the same information, and when you’re done with that, write it all on this one too, and then this one, and this one, and this one. And you did all that in triplicate, right? (and then all the paperwork you have to fill out after they actually hire you, phew!)

The reason for this is standardization. They literally get hundreds of apps a day, if not an hour, and if they’re not all the same, they just don’t have time to comb through everyone’s pile of paperwork. If it’s all the same, they can just scan for the important fields that they already know exactly where they are, and quickly make “Maybe” and “Reject” piles. The “Maybes” get a closer look. The rejects go in the shredder (well, I think they may have to save them for a certain period of time, but they really don’t look at them again).

What if it’s a test of the candidate’s compliance? An organization with heavy process ossification wouldn’t want to hire anyone who’s going to resist bureaucratic demands they don’t agree with.

It was even worse at my state job. I was hired by one agency in 1994 and of course filled out an application at that time, which required listing all of my education back to high school and every job I had ever had. In addition to providing a resume listing relevant jobs and education and a copy of my college transcript since a degree was required. Ok, maybe that makes sense in order to standardize the process and some jobs ordinarily require an application rather than a resume.

I was promoted three times in that agency. No applications were required , just a resume and interview. And then we merged with a much larger agency. And now suddenly, applications were required from current employees for promotions and transfers , even for jobs that were not open to external applicants. That doesn’t even make sense as a test for compliance with bureaucratic demands - someone already knows if a current employee is likely to resist them and it is not at all uncommon for a current employee to comply with the application process ( since they won’t get the job otherwise) and resist compliance with other demands they don’t agree with.

Did they make you fill out all the paperwork in front of the interviewer? That’s the worst part of this story, IMO.

When I was hiring, the last thing I had was time and I’d be damned if I was going to sit in front of every applicant for how ever long it would take them to complete an application. That’s just dumb and not productive at all. Plus it sounds like a power play. You must know how nervous that would make most people.

It was hard enough to put people at ease in such a nerve wracking activity.

I am not going to say HR people weren’t taught this - but in an employment at-will situation, there is no legal problem with firing someone for lying on a resume. You can fire someone for no reason at all, just not for an illegal reason such as discrimination or in violation of a contract ( and in some states, an employee handbook may be seen as an implied contract.) And while it’s possible in at least some states for a court to find that firing an employee for lying on their resume in some situations is “wrongful termination” *, it wouldn’t matter whether the lie was on a resume or an application in those situations, lying on the application would also be seen as wrongful termination.

* One that I’ve heard of is firing the employee right before they vest in a pension or gain some other benefit, years after the lie happened which in some cases looks like the employer is trying to cheat the employee out of the benefit.

You can, but if you don’t have a reason, then they can claim unemployment, and your unemployment rate goes up, potentially costing quite a bit of money.