Disadvantages of Online Job Applications

By Scott Cornell

Online job applications make applying easy, but it does have its drawbacks.
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Online job applications are ideal in many ways for the employer and job seeker. Not only can such applications be submitted instantly, thereby speeding up the hiring process, but you're likely to receive dozens -- perhaps even hundreds -- of applications from interested candidates who find the online application easier than going to the business location and filling out an application. For the job candidate, online applications are easy to complete and can be sent without the cost of postage. Despite the advantages of online applications, there are also some notable drawbacks.

Too Many Applicants

One of the benefits of online applications is also arguably its biggest vice -- the number of applicants. Some positions might attract hundreds, perhaps even thousands of applicants, which can take a lot of time to go through all the applications, so much so that you might not even be able to feasibly get to all of them. This may cause you to miss out on some quality candidates. Also, many of the applicants may not be qualified, which is only likely to further bog down the hiring process.

Tedious Process

On popular job sites such as Career Builder, users must fill out a profile to submit to all jobs they apply for via the site. But if candidates have to apply to positions via the company's website, they'll likely have to fill out a separate profile to apply. This is a disadvantage from the applicant's perspective because while applying online for jobs is convenient, it has the potential to be very tedious compared to printing a resume and cover letter and mailing it in.

Age Gap

Another disadvantage to online applications is that candidates need to have a computer to apply. While this isn't a problem for most Americans, applying online can be a challenge for older people who haven't quite embraced the Internet like younger workers. Therefore, while you might be receiving hundreds of applications, you could be losing out on receiving hundreds more from older and possibly equally qualified older applicants. Furthermore, Project Guru states that most online users are a young, well-educated non-minorities, which could impact the diversity of your operations if online applications are all you're accepting.

Doesn't Always Work

Just because you post a position online doesn't mean that it will be filled. While online applications are ideal for standard positions, some advanced, more specific positions are still best filled by recruiters, networking or by working with universities that support programs for such positions.