In the late 90s when usability first came to software developers’ attention, a lot of focus was made on the number of clicks a user made and the tracking of the eye on a software interface to reduce user memory. While these are still important considerations, the science of usability has advanced to include the persuasion of a user to accomplish a specific goal.
In recruiting, the goal is to find a good match for a job. While efforts to reduce the number of clicks for an online application are admirable, they are not necessarily meeting the end goal of the application. The focus should be on an easy to use interface that allows an applicant to show whether or not he fits the job.
“The future of design is about creating engagement and commitment to meet measurable business goals.” – Dr. Eric Schaffer / Founder and CEO Human Factors International, Inc. in his white paper “Beyond Usability”
When applicants are polled regarding what they do not like about online job applications, they don’t complain about the number of clicks, but rather the lack of information about the job, the irrelevancy of the information collected, the limited data formats accepted and the lack of follow-up. Most of these are soft areas that relate more to content than technology. However, in both applicants and recruiters minds, all of it is technology.
HR tech vendors can help assist their clients by providing suggested content, best practices information during implementation and staying on the cutting edge of consumer focused technology. The end goal of a talent management application must be to find the best fit for the job, while leveraging technology to save as much time and effort as possible, and to enforce compliance. The end goal often gets lost within the latest industry buzz words and trends, but it must stay in the forefront in order to create truly usable hr technology.