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According to a new study by Monster Canada, nine in 10 Canadians aged 18–30 reported applying for a job online immediately following graduation. But while many are looking online for work, they’re finding the process far from enjoyable.

Fully 67% of those surveyed considered finding a job posting that appealed to them the most challenging part of the application process, while 65% reported struggling to find a position they were actually qualified for. Other frustrations included applying for positions but never hearing back (81%), vague job descriptions (75%), and confusing application systems (72%).

Sheryl Boswell, Director of Marketing with Monster Canada, says companies need to reconsider their approach to employee recruitment. “I think the results of this survey should be a wake-up call for Canadian employers,” she says. “What companies have traditionally done is take a job description and just turn that word for word into the job posting. The results are often vague and unappealing.”

Boswell says that while companies will likely have no shortage of applicants, they still need to consider what it takes to attract top talent. “What we’re seeing from these results is that the millennial generation doesn’t respond well to how onerous the process is,” she says. “Companies need to do more to make it easier to navigate, or they risk turning away potential high-quality candidates.” That means writing clear, engaging job postings that are instil a sense of excitement in the reader. “You want someone to respond with some kind of emotion to your posting,” says Boswell. “You want them to think, yes, this is exactly where I want to work.”

The increasing use of Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software may be part of the problem. ATS sorts applications based on specific keywords in, a useful way to sift through hundreds of candidates without too much hassle. But they’re not an excuse to abandon the basic courtesies that Canadians have come to expect from the job hunt. “We’re hearing from this survey that one of young Canadians biggest pet peeves is that they don’t hear anything back,” says Boswell. “ATS allows for automated replies, so there’s no excuse really—even an automatic reply is better than none.” 

Ultimately, Boswell thinks that while it may be tough out there for recent graduates in a world of online applications, it’s Canadian companies that need to consider how recruitment affects their brand—and their ability to successfully attract candidates. “The days of ‘I want to work at IBM’ or wherever, they’re over,” she says. “Today’s millennials are savvy and they want to know what’s in it for them.”


Have you received negative feedback about your job postings? What do you do to make your application process more appealing? Let us know by commenting below.

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