Are Your Browser Compatibility Issues Costing You Good Candidates?

I’ve had enough!

I love HR technology. I really do! However, there are some vendors that aren’t keeping up with the times and it is costing employers candidates and cash — which isn’t a good thing.

More than once in the past year, I have been contacted by family, clients, and friends about issues they have experienced in trying to upload their resume-in an effort to apply for a job. They see a position, they like the job, they attempt to apply — only to see the little icon spinning and spinning, never letting the candidate get any further than the first screen.

The issue?

Browser support is the issue, or the lack thereof. One notable ATS (automated tracking system) vendor, who shall remain nameless, has an issue with keeping up with the times. They are a global company that claims to put all of this money in R&D and yet they are supporting old browsers that make their candidate gateway incompatible with the latest browsers.

This, in turn, prevents candidates from applying for jobs.

Where there are no alternatives but to apply through the ATS, the candidate is left with no choice but to move on to the next opportunity. This is shameful! It is in the realm of where HR people and job seekers alike get annoyed and ask how is the technology helping me?

Something as simple as browser support should be the last thing hindering a candidate from applying for a job. I get the reasons why you wouldn’t support old browsers, but not supporting the latest browser upgrades is ridiculous. For people to apply to companies using this ATS, there are disclaimers and all sorts of other “B” and “C” plans to make the candidate aware of the issues, and yet sometimes, the candidate is left in the dark with no explanation as to why they can’t get through  — which is even worse.

Last night, the angry candidate was my father. He has been unemployed for two years and is looking to find something soon. He went to the website of a community college in New York City  for a Security Director position. He created his username and password and it remained spinning, never fully logging him in.

Of course, he calls me, irate, and wanting me to check to see what the issue is. I had to explain to him that is the same garbage ATS I use currently and that none of his current browsers are supported by the system.

His response?

Why do these companies have to make it so difficult for candidates to apply? It is very frustrating when you trying to look for the job and the road to applying makes it impossible to be seen.

We can talk about ATS being black holes and poor implementation, but these are not the issues. This is where the system is a dud and it is costing companies candidates.

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It is very disconcerting that a vendor proposes all the ways in which this system will provide a return on investment particularly in the form of the quality of candidates you will be able to attract, only to find out it is actually working against your recruitment efforts. That can’t be true, if the vendors R&D dollars don’t lead to positive customer outcomes.

5 reasons why this is a serious issue

Here are the ways this problem is undermining your recruitment efforts:

  • Candidates will blame you not the technology. Nagging issues like browser compatibility give candidates the impression that your company isn’t keeping up-to-date.
  • Using this system, you won’t even have the ability to track where candidates drop off. This means you can’t fix the issue. The lack of insight into how often this issue occurs, and how many candidates you lose, leaves you at a disadvantage in terms of quantifying the impact it is having on your recruitment efforts.
  • From a branding perspective, candidates have more to say about their job-seeking experiences than ever before. If they have difficulty applying on your website, please be aware that it could be blasted out on social media or written up in an angry blog post (like this).
  • Candidates can’t apply to your positions from their desktop, an iPad, or their phone. If they are kind enough to try more than once and still can’t get through, well, you’re in major trouble.
  • Poor candidate experience = perception of poor work environment from a candidate’s perspective. If the candidate experience in applying for a job is difficult, lengthy, troublesome, the candidate is probably thinking that this is how you run business as well. You just lost a potential hire.

Most vendors have gotten this right

It seems many vendors have gotten this right, with the exception of this one. A great institution missed out on a stellar candidate last night and I’m not just saying that because he is my Dad.

It has been and continues to be difficult for people to get noticed in today’s economy. This is a terrible thing to do to people and a very poor way to start off a candidate/employer relationship.

To the vendor in question — you know who you are. Please fix this browser issue. It is long overdue and costing your customers candidates.

You’re supposed to be helping businesses attract candidates — not detract them from applying.

This was originally publised on Janine Truitt’s The Aristocracy of HR blog.

Janine N. Truitt is a human resources professional as well as an HR blogger/founder of “The Aristocracy of HR” blog. Follow her blog "The Aristocracy of HR" at . Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her tweets on Twitter @CzarinaofHR. The opinions shared in her articles are her own and are in no way a reflection of the views of her employer.


7 Comments on “Are Your Browser Compatibility Issues Costing You Good Candidates?

  1. Same ole story. Why recruiters don’t go through the application process within their our career sites/ATS systems is beyond me. I recommend all my clients do a “candidate audit” every 3-months or so to see for themselves how good or bad their own candidate experience is. It’s certainly an eye opening experience, especially on mobile devices. It’s estimated that 94% of the Fortune 100 websites aren’t mobile-optimized enough to meet Google Mobile Search standards… and it seems like over 70% of the career sites I visit don’t have a good mobile experience for candidates at all. Wow! Our industry is certainly behind the consumer technology curve. It’s embarrassing.

  2. Larry- I can’t agree with you more. I believe recruiters should audit their systems as well as the candidate experience of competitors to gauge how you stack up. Most companies do not audit or pay attention to the “experience” so long as candidates are coming in and positions are being filled.

    It is also worth mentioning that many ATS are poorly implemented. This makes it even harder to know where to point the finger.

    Thanks for reading! I appreciate your thoughtful commentary.

  3. Thanks, Janine. Sounds as if you’re like me… just trying to make a positive difference in both the employer brand & ROI for the client AND improve the candidate experience for the job seekers. It’s a win/win when done right!

  4. Google is now the dominant software, Microsoft and Yahoo browser are fighting hard to stop this, I use the free Google software on the web browser to write my resume. Its obvious that all three have compatibility issues when it comes to sending files, browsing etc.
    A lot of businesses are still using the old Microsoft products that cost a fortune to lease and operate, marketing and sales agencies are completely switched on to Google.
    I have sent resumes to agencies and performed a document share with recruiters and I sometimes wonder if they have been able to receive or even open my Google documents. You point is a valid one, software companies are focusing too much on Microsoft products , things have move on!

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