An Entry from the Job Hunter's Journal

Article About Career Sites Failing Job Seekers

Job Seekers often ask me if they should post their resumes and/or search on Career Sites. Depending on the circumstances I tell them that it is their best interest to post or not to post.  Since I get so many questions about web sites, I wanted to share the following:

Career Sites Fail Job Seekers

By DENISE DUBIE, Network World, IDG
Published: April 9, 2008

Career Web sites such as and could be making the search for work more difficult for job seekers and causing potential employers to leave positions unfilled, according to Forrester Research, which this week reported the majority of online job sites failed to pass usability and performance tests.

Forrester examined 12 career Web sites in its report. The research firm chose the top four companies in two industries, financial services and retail, based on revenue, and the top four job boards. None of them received a passing score in the research firm’s Web site review.

“As a group, the job boards outperformed other industries, while financial services firms fell to the bottom of the list,” the Forrester report “Best and Worst of Career Web Sites” reads. “Due to numerous flaws revealed through our evaluation, all sites received failing scores.”

Poorly performing career sites not only deliver a negative experience for job seekers, Forrester says, but also hurt employers. “Firms often overlook their career Web sites in favor of other revenue-generating sections of their site. Bad move,” the report reads.

According to the research firm, more than 60% of 25- to 34-year-old job seekers rely on the Internet to find employment information, making career sites the second most common source of new hires for large companies. Forrester expects that popularity to increase as Generation X and Y employees begin to comprise a larger percentage of the total workforce. Yet the study showed that job seekers can expect poor performance from career sites across the board.

“Ten of the 12 sites reviewed scored below zero,” the report reads. A passing score on all 25 criteria Forrester examines would be a +25 or higher, with a score range of between -50 and +50. “Yahoo! Hotjobs fared the best at +10, which is 15 points shy of a passing score; Merrill Lynch fared the worst at -18. The average score across all of the sites evaluated was -8.8,” Forrester reports.

Forrester evaluated American International Group (AIG), Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and The Goldman Sachs Group in the financial services industry. For retailers, the research firm examined JCPenney, Kroger, Macy’s and Rite Aid.  And for job search Web sites, the research covered, Dice, Monster and Yahoo! Hotjobs.

Common problems across all industries including missing content and functions, flawed navigation flows, illegible text and poor use of space, as well as poor error handling and missing privacy and security policies. According to Forrester, companies need to design career sites with the user in mind and begin revamping by first fixing problems that inhibit site usability.

“Once the fundamentals are sound, firms can focus on ways to further differentiate their experience by dedicating resources to finding innovative solutions,” Forrester advises.

Copyright 2008 IDG News Service. All Rights Reserved.