One Click Apply

As the world moves from web to mobile (our theme this summer), the idea of one click to do something becomes more powerful.

Did you know you can apply for a job with one click?

There are two services that make such a thing possible, LinkedIn Apply and Indeed Apply. In the spirit of full disclosure, Indeed is a USV portfolio company.

If you have your resume on LinkedIn or Indeed and you come across a job posting where the service has implemented the LinkedIn Apply and Indeed Apply buttons (think tweet and like buttons), then you can apply for the job with one click.

It turns out this is pretty popular. ZipRecruiter, a site that lets you easily post your job broadly across the web, put Linked and Indeed Apply buttons on their service and saw an almost 22% increase in job applications as a result. It makes sense, people will do more of something they can do easily.

So what does this mean for the job seeker? It means you should get your resume on LinkedIn and Indeed. What does it mean for the employer? It means you should put these one-click apply buttons on your job postings.

Some other interesting things came out of that ZipRecruiter blog post:

1) they get 3x the one click applications from Indeed vs LinkedIn

2) Indeed's resume database is growing at over 1mm resumes a month

3) Indeed is better for most job types other than management and executive

The world of recruiting has changed a lot in the past ten years and companies like LinkedIn and Indeed are driving much of that change. One click job applications is yet another example of this.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Phanio

    Love the convenience of the β€œone click.” But, your example is not just about mobilebut how mobile can work with traditional computing. You still have to upload your resume toLinkedIn or Indeed and still have to manage it from those sites usingtraditional computing. But, once there –the one click is a great advantage to your time. Or, am I wrong here?It would seem, in this case, that mobile compliments butis not a stand alone here – is that right?

    1. Daman Bahner

      I agree and I appreciate you fleshing out the process one level deeper. Perhaps this could work for those invited to apply once screened by recruiters, kind of an opt-in for pre-selected folks, not apply en-masse like you found a sweet new twitter list πŸ™‚

  2. awaldstein

    Big believer that ‘one click’ to action, mostly to a transaction is the gestalt of mobile value.Honestly never thought of recruiting as a volume game. Seemed like the issue was not the ease and the friction getting someone online but the difficulties of connecting with the right people at the right time.

    1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      1mm /month and growing … still you think recruitment is not a volume game?Yes recruiting is not a volume game but applying has become a volume game.As we discussed over the past few MBA mondays … recruitment is a process … but applying is not in down-times.When in desperation (unemployment on the rise) people tend to apply to as many jobs as they see ( i repeat … see). I have once received 700+ resumes for 2-hires….95% of the resumes rejected just by a glance.

      1. awaldstein

        Numbers on their own right don’t impress me.Throwing mud at the wall in great volume to gather the drops that matter at the bottom is a strategy I guess but a pretty raw filter. No?Thinking about input and value output separately is questionable. Sure I get what you are saying but a system that easily gets me 700 resumes of which only 5% are vaguely useful is at it’s core broken.Just because there are lots of people who need jobs doesn’t imply, to me at least, to herd the need into a funnel is the smartest way to discover value and the right fit.When I’m hiring, which I am right now, I don’t want quantity, I want the tightest filters of applicability with the smartest filters I can find.

        1. Guest

          Which translates into you are hiring from a pool that involves friends, relatives, and business associates, or using the current terminology, you are using your network to hire what you need.That makes Indeed, Linkedin, and one apply useless to actually getting hired or hiring someone.Never was real sure how anything involving keywords and search would find a diamond in a rough.

          1. awaldstein

            That’s why the best of the best recruiters and connectors are so amazingly valuable.Many are trying to platform the processes of the very best recruiters and the essence of a really useful network to this end. I think it’s possible.A volume play even with great filters seems like the wrong approach to me personally for this use case.Carl…you have a lot of sage advice on this subject. Thanks!

          2. Guest

            Locally, I spend way too much of my time on human resources. Like I tell them if you want great Chinese food you don’t go to an all you can eat buffet.Folks go to buffets for all the options and end up eating the same thing they always eat.The trouble with “filters” is that you are talking about keystrokes or words/phrases. None of which will ever tell you a thing about “the person.” I always interview as many people as I can and I always interview more than 10. If that brings me down to 3 then I interview again and hire. If not, then I interview a second time to get down to 3. I have sometimes interviewed people 4 times before hiring.I don’t really think about it as hiring to fill a position but rather as a marriage; I hire looking for people who I expect to be with us for 20 years, who will grow with us. Of course comments are made about how no one has the time to set aside to interview people that many times….Well, if you make the right decision the first time you save a lot of time down the road.

          3. ShanaC

            you’re not.

        2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

          @marksbirch:disqus and @awaldstein:disqusI am not disputing ‘recruitment is not a volume game’ as i said I rejected 95% just spending 1 or 2 seconds on each screen and was really annoyed at what i was doing … i really donno how many good one’s i missed.I just put down the facts that happened with me in 2003-4 .When there is a utility which makes people’s life easier it will be used…whether we like it or not. If there is a ‘cheese hamburger’ which makes people’s health bad but tastes good … people are going to eat it anyways… whether we like it or not.

          1. awaldstein

            Must disagree…One click to value matters. Once click to nothing matters not at all.If you keep eating hamburgers with cheese you will simply get heavier and unhealthier. Most will figure that out and temper the behavior if they are smart.Sure, sometimes action in itself is useful. I can remember this type of knee jerk reaction for myself eons ago pre this technology, Called applying wherever there is an opening.Never got me anywhere that I can remember.

          2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

            @awaldstein:disqus You are talking about You and Me now.I am talking about ourselves ‘eons ago’. What we were doing … the same thing people will do and there is no stopping whether we agree or not.

      2. Mark Birch

        “95% of the resumes rejected just by a glance”And there is the problem in a nutshell. Who cares if some site gets millions and millions of resumes and sends massive volumes to every posting. Someone on the other end needs to sort through that, and you only have a glance to figure that out. All that happens then is you get the best “paper” match to fill the need, but not necessarily the best qualified candidate to do the work required. Anyone can put impressive things down on paper, but the result is something resembling a recent issue with a former CEO of Yahoo…

        1. T. J. Radtke

          I agree. The “automated filters” are inherently flawed because they rely on data supplied by candidates who increasingly know how to play the keyword game. We make the candidates do the lifting themselves matching their accomplishments (think bullet points) to particular requirements for a posting and then provide evidence that what they say is true. We are finding that when you get lots of applicant volume recruiters want to first look at candidates willing to take the extra effort.

    2. Mark Birch

      Absolutely! Hiring is not a volume game or a cattle call.

      1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

        Have you seen companies recruiting for maintenance job? They literally hire like ‘cattle call’. They come with ‘Fishing Net’ not with ‘hooks’.

      2. ShanaC

        Applying has become because of the filtering techniques used. I see it in every field with all of my friends.

    3. William Mougayar

      I agree. What I’d like to see is a “One-Click Match” which answers: “Does this job match my qualifications?”

      1. Abdallah Al-Hakim

        that would be an interesting option for some particular jobs. Lets say you want to hire an accountant, sales person, software engineer with particular number of yeas experience and other qualifications. Where this process will fail will be for small and early stage companies that are looking for people to work in multiple roles and who can synthesize and apply their previous skills in various ways

      2. T. J. Radtke

        We are not down to “One-Click Match” but we do a much better job of mapping a candidates specific skills and accomplishments to the requirements of particular jobs. We put the onus on the candidate to provide this mapping and also to provide evidence (discrete professional reference or documentation) to support their claims. Seems to work well so far in our testing with recruiters in Metro DC with large applicant volumes and well-defined requirements ( soon to be

        1. William Mougayar

          Interesting service. So you have to fax the resumes to get them analyzed?

    4. Aaron Klein

      Fred may be on to something here. If I offer two ways to apply…one click or personal letter and resume…perhaps it increases the signal and reduces the noise in the latter stack.

      1. awaldstein

        Maybe…I’m all about new ways to solve problems. All about ease.But for employers at least More is less juicy a term than Better. Maybe I jumped at the word not the thoughts.

        1. Aaron Klein

          Completely agree. I had the equivalent of 30 one click applications for every 1 high quality, thoughtful response during our recent hiring cycle. My favorite “one click apply” was the person who said he was a great fit for our position because “food service has been my passion.” If authenticity counts when marketing our companies to customers, so it does when marketing ourselves to employers. And to further that analogy, there is no substitute for a kick-ass product. πŸ™‚

  3. LIAD

    One click job applications, one click taxicabs, one click hotel bookings…All preamble to the holy grail of One Click Donuts.

    1. Anuj Agarwal

      Among all, i like the ‘One click’ purchasing for Apple app store and kindle. Makes it so easy for consumers to purchase things which they wouldn’t have done without one-click. It’s like shopping without a real intent to purchase.Founder,

      1. William Mougayar

        Also One-click Add to Wish List

    2. kidmercury

      might result in one click heartburn

    3. fredwilson

      instant gratification

  4. Nigel Eccles

    Wow, that’s a terrible idea!Buying a box set on Amazon? One click is great. But applying for a job should be considered and you should be selling yourself into that role. All this does is create an avalanche of unsuitable and poorly considered applications. That’s bad for both the job seeker and the recruiter.Unless of course they couple it with the One Click Turn Down feature…

  5. Patrick Morris

    One-click apply is a bad thing to use because it is already too easy to apply for jobs online. I think real progress in the job search/application process will come from an application that actually makes it harder for someone to apply for a job (slow web).When all it takes is one-click, less discernment goes into the process and job seekers lose focus on what it is they want to do or what they are good at, and instead focus on applying to as many jobs as possible. Number of applications completed is the false metric of job searching.

    1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      Agree … make it harder for employee and employer. Both.Let them spend some time defining what they want…if they are serious about what they are saying….let them spend some time telling it.Give a page design to the employer and make the on-line application a questionnaire designed by the employer. Only ticks or select button and then build a sorting mechanism based on the ticks. Your resumes gets sort listed then and there before come to you. (LinkedIn or Indeed or XXX gives only framework for the employer to design).Make the questionnaire such a way each applicant spends 15-minutes after reading the ‘JOB REQUIREMENTS’.

      1. ShanaC

        resumator seems to do some of this with their extra field choices. I’ve seen some extremely interesting questions that companies have asked.Granted, I’ve also been asked as part of a resume questionnaire about my favorite music – for a job that had nothing to do about music.

    2. PhilipSugar

      Yes I think all VC’s should have a one click apply button on their website to submit business plans.If you don’t spend 10 minutes….literally that’s it to find out who I am, what we do, and give me a short customized note why you think we are a fit: instant disqualification with no return note provided. I know people were lamenting about employers getting back to people, but you are owed a level less than you give. So a thoughtful note requires a quick reply. One click? Maybe a passing thought in the bathroom.

      1. Robert Thuston

        haha. Right on, but then again… for a job, qualifications are qualifications. There are those that personalize messages toward the job description (because you know they want it and understand customer service), and those that are highly qualified and do nothing because their qualifications speak enough.

        1. K_Berger

          Even for ‘highly qualified’ people, one important part of being the right fit is a desire to join the team and be a part of something. There are exceptions, but that desire (and therefore effort) is part of being highly qualified.

      2. Mark Essel

        “Maybe a passing thought in the bathroom.”Hey, don’t knock thinking in untraditional places.

      3. LE

        “give me a short customized note”I know you even got those from cold calling copier salesman years ago.

      4. Trish Fontanilla

        I agree, you get what you give. The common app for college came out right around when I was applying and I still filled out each application separately and did individual essays for each. I’m that woman. haha Don’t get me wrong, I hate cover letters, but it’s what makes resumes/applications come to life.I think there are great mediums between one click apply and making a job application extra hard. I like the idea of a lot of the video interviewer apps out there. I don’t mind going the extra mile if it’s truly beneficial to both parties.

      5. fredwilson

        i agree that we should have that

      6. Marshall Hargrave

        I thought your first sentence was brilliantly hilarious.There is a large disconnect that you you actually do not get what you put in. Maybe a one click reply would be good? Something to that says, this is why you are not a good fit, etc. But who really has time for even one click? Ultimately the choice is yours to put yourself out there, so you could just not even bother? The one largely annoying issue is those that actually take you out on a first date and then never call again, not even a text!

    3. Dale

      Completely disagree. Why would making it more difficult to apply to a job be an improvement for the job seeker OR employer?Are you saying a cumbersome apply process with slow loading pages and a confusing user interface is better than one that is simple and clean?

      1. PhilipSugar

        One click is great for buying songs, renting cars, buying airline tickets, getting a cab, paying for dinner, checking in etc, etc.For applying somewhere where you are going to spend more waking time than with your spouse, and is responsible for your livelyhood seems crazy.Recruiting sites would be better if you had to provide a brief introduction, no more than this post or your post, showing you actually had a clue about what you were applying for. Simple 100 word note that you could not cut and paste.Sorry but having used them the amount of crap you sift through just sucks.It also means there is no way to get back to people with a no….just impossible given the amount of shit.

        1. LE

          I agree. (But you already knew that).”spend more waking time than with your spouse”As a side to that there is also online dating and ease of “application”. I did jdate and anyone that I wrote to I took the time to write a personal note and something funny as well. I also put a ton of effort into my profile (I have some good tips on that if anyone needs advice..) I went out on many dates (and ended up getting married to one of the dates.I found out the following, among other things:a) Many girls in their profiles post practically nothing of any value about themselves. Lacking looks it’s an immediate pass. (Looks, as you know, is always good for at least a date.)b) Many girls told me they were deluged by emails from guys which said absolutely nothing. It was just the shotgun approach. A woman would post their profile and get 15 emails within an hour or something like that. (Exageration I’m sure but makes a point..)c) I received emails from girls but never anything more than “hey you look nice if you are interested reply back”. (See “a” above).d) My wife’s profile had some really bizarre things in it that clued me that she thought the same way I did. That was a big plus. You’d be surprised at how many people just say things like “I like to dance, laugh, enjoy Chinese food and the movies”. “I like spending time with my friends.” My favorite is “my kids are the most important thing to me” (glad you’re not going to drive your car with them into a lake or anything, good to know..)e) Most people don’t use their correct age or a current picture.As @kidmercury:disqus said one click and using some effort aren’t mutually exclusive. So if you are resourceful I guess that the one click is good. Why? Because it allows you to standout from a bunch of lazy-er people.But for employers, on the other hand, there could very well be someone who isn’t strategically thinking that doesn’t show all they’ve got because they did the easy thing and just clicked “apply”.

        2. ShanaC

          For the record, the job hunter is shifting through just as much crap – most of the posts I see on indeed are repeats of the same company via their recruiters using external sites. Recruiting would be better if we had a hiring oriented society, which was willing to be flexible abouta) trainingand B) actually talking to the people applying.Your solution attacks b, barely. The desire for plug and play people (which is what three quarters of what I see out there) is where things are hairy. Getting through a) with some leniency would probably bring down the amounts of people applying on some level by creating liquidity in the hiring market.(and I say this when I’ve done countless interviews where usually the negative is “slightly more experience” wanted or leaving the job open. )

          1. PhilipSugar

            I realize that it is both ways.There are sleazy headhunters that are just looking to collect resumes, reposters that repost your job description etc. I can’t help that.But I am saying that by taking 10-20 minutes you can start the dialogue. A one click application means you fit or you don’t.If you write a note saying I love your space and here is why, I’ve looked at your company; here where I could fit and make a difference, I checked you out and read your requirements, I know that I’m going to need a little OTJT, but I’m a quick study just ask this person.Your worst case is that you are going to get a note back from me starting a dialogue. If somebody doesn’t respond after you’ve given them a specific note like that, then you don’t want to work there.If you “flip” me your resume and a generic cover, you get the same back in return….we received your resume and are not interested at this time. Sorry but I don’t think many companies are willing to start the dialogue, its an asymmetric use of time…the only person that can do that is the candidate.

          2. ShanaC

            Ha, so I am crazy, and actually a/b tested custom versus form coverletters. The form coverletters actually got more responses. The reason I suspect is because a) three quarters of the time no one is looking anyway and b) the form cover letter has certain repeat of skillsets – which since most people are looking for plug and play, seem as positive signaling.

          3. PhilipSugar

            Well that is just sad. I’ve been on the record here saying that people choose employers not the other way around. I look at resume bingo (putting down every conceivable buzzword and just shake my head). Sorry for your luck.The last programer we hired sent a letter telling us to try out the app he had built, and showed us how much knowledge he had by answering questions on a board. Our biz dev guy found my number and called me up.

          4. ShanaC

            Well if you hear of anything for me πŸ™‚ I’m tired of the sad and like making people happy

          5. Ruth BT

            @ShanaC:disqus I am surprised that your AB test got more responses from a from letter but maybe it is industry specific? I know over the last 20 years two of my jobs I got on the basis of my cover letter alone. One employer didn’t even read my resume, but did check my references. I agree with @philipsugar:disqus generic input gets generic output.

          6. ShanaC

            I fixed the triple comment issueI was surprised too. I think part of the reason is that on some level these companies are equally generic, especially when it comes to the postings. (this is particularly true of the fact that I want to jump into a digital agency* – I don’t see many very unique job postings). Coming up with something to say is hard especially is true when it isn’t the company that is interesting as much as the job. I think another part may be the cover letter in question is well written (i’ve gotten comments in phone screens about how well written it is).*I’m open to whatever, I seem to be an awesome community manager with an analytics kick

          7. Ruth BT

            Well you put it out there – I think the avc community can surely help – C’mon people, we all know Shana to be awesome – who can help her get the job of her dreams? I am sure you would all agree she does great work here and needs more than just some karmic assistance.So now Shana, for right now – what is the job of your dreams – or perhaps @donnawhite:disqus can ask a better question?

          8. ShanaC

            Long term I want to reshape the way media is bought and sold so that you can hedge media. Short term, teaching people how to get communities to scale without causing them to have blistering fights/falling apart. (as a note: I used to/still like doing lots of web analytics work…)

          9. Dale Allyn

            Interesting comment re. media markets and hedging. Is that new for you? I’ve not read you mention interest in that space before, but perhaps I missed it. Do you have a particular attraction to advertising, or are you referring to broader media?(p.s. different Dale than the non-registered commenter. πŸ˜‰

          10. ShanaC

            I know who you are :p.I seem to have this attraction to advertising. I think it might be because at some point while hanging around here a lot of the discussion starts to hinge on understanding advertising, or at least advertising style math (eyeballs?). I think it is also that I managed to realize that if everyone is hanging out on the same sets of sites, and if these ads are going for a bid, even with targeting, price fluctuations should be stable and reflective to broader market trends (like say the euro).One of the larger problems I see with getting a job in adland is that the fact that I want to hedge ads (and am working on techniques to do so privately) is botha) very intimidating to say for someone who has never worked in an agency enviromentb) they want quant geeks, so what is the former art student doing applying for the jobc) a lot of very basic media planning is still very dumb and can (and should be, and in good places is) highly automated. I don’t quite give off the ditz vibe in person. πŸ˜€ (not to say I don’t have ditz moments)That being said, if you know of anyone who would like to talk to/mentor/hire a person who is committed to creating hedging techniques for media while also going out and being “official nice lady” on the subject, let me know!

          11. Dale Allyn

            Thanks, Shana, for the detailed reply. You’re going about it correctly IMO, in that you’re looking to your networks to help facilitate opportunity. Not having done it yet is NOT a reason to not do it. I appreciate the difficulty of “clearing the fence” but there will be someone who recognizes that sometimes the best hires (or partners or teams) are not the cookie-cutter fit.And as for “ditz moments”, we all have them… or should. Without them, maybe we’re taking ourselves too seriously. πŸ˜‰

          12. ShanaC

            as I said, if you know of anyone (or if anyone here knows of anyone) that they think would be a match, please say so!And trust me, I have plenty of ditz moments, but I don’t give off ditz vibes. You know the difference in NY – they talk differently than me πŸ™‚

          13. Donna Brewington White

            Shana — You are doing the right thing by putting this out there. People in this community need to know this about you.

          14. ShanaC

            Thank you donna (lets see if this makes things better. I’m at the point where I am going phhh to advice only because I am doing lots of the things recommended and still, no bites. I call this process a bad version of dating)

          15. Riaz Kanani

            LOL – I am in the same boat in the UK right now looking for the next role and was wondering the same thing. My thinking is that cover letters are read less by recruiters who pattern match first and foremost.

          16. ShanaC

            Same! I also don’t think the hiring managers read them either – they never come up as discussion points.

          17. Donna Brewington White

            This is good advice, Phil.Supplementing this (and using your comment as a launching point):If you are truly interested in a job then you should never just send a resume in response to a job posting even if that is your starting point. If you are just fishing to see if you get a bite, that is another thing. Otherwise, find out who the hiring manager is and email them and if you don’t get a response, call. Write a script before you call so that if you leave a voice message it will be clear, concise and convey some degree of passion (but not desperation).Next step, is find someone who can make an introduction. LinkedIn shows you if you have mutual connections. If there is someone at the company performing a similar job, reach out to that person and ask them for advice on how to get the attention of the hiring manager — or how to get into a job like theirs. People love to give advice. This person may become a champion. This goes for the hiring manager’s assistant as well. This person makes a great champion. I’ve done this with business @ShanaC:disqus

          18. ShanaC

            I see that, however having gone through the process of introduction -> interview and seeing it as also not helping, there is something fundamentally wrong with the process. (Let’s put it this way, people are shocked that I am not working, just based on the sheer amount of interviews I’ve been on and the multiplicity of ways I have gotten them).

        3. Dale

          Was this in reply to my comment?Are you saying it’s better to have a difficult apply process?

          1. PhilipSugar

            It was a reply to you (you can click on parent to see who it was a reply to). If what you mean by difficult is that you need to spend 10 minutes to actually write a note, then yes, I am saying make it difficult. Slow loading pages and confusing interface? No I don’t want that, but I want a human being writing me a note, no different than I’m doing to you right now.

          2. Dale

            I see. You’re talking about one-click in general, and not about the specific Ziprecruiter example in the blog post.All 3 apply methods offer a cover letter. None of the apply methods offer any less information than the others.So – how is one of the three that offers more applications worse?

          3. PhilipSugar

            Ok….I now see your point, and I was wrong. All I want somebody to do is to have to write me a cover letter. The easier that is then great. I don’t want any crazy interface, I don’t want them to fill out stupid fields, I just want to know that this isn’t making technology easier to spray and pray. Look one could argue that years ago MS-Word mail merge made it easier to spray and pray as well.

        4. Dale Allyn

          I agree with you, Philip. The potential for “applicant noise” is immense here. There’s a place for “one click” as you and others acknowledge, but creating fire-hose resumΓ© streams is not necessarily a benefit to parties on either side of the equation.

    4. Matt A. Myers

      This already exists. It’s called meeting people at social events, working with them in some way, connecting with them. It’s usually too time consuming to do this full-time though, as the person hiring is hiring because they have too much work to do on their own already – I suppose this is why people like Donna exist. πŸ™‚

      1. Mark Essel

        Sadly this universe is only big enough for one person like Donna.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          One click upvoting–love it!

          1. Matt A. Myers

            I wonder now what else is one-click that we now are so accustomed to we don’t realize the convenience. Maybe there’s a list somewhere?

        2. Matt A. Myers

          We’ll start a cloning company together. We’ll likely need Donna to train them though.. so hopefully she’ll be on board..

    5. Brandon Burns

      i agree. however, if a platform could take all those applicants and *accurately* organize/rank them according to some criteria β€” aptitude in a certain skill set, demonstration of hyper-specific experience, etc β€” then the problem would be solved.the real problem is LinkedIn and Indeed themselves β€” er, rather, the fact that they still rely on the archaic, limited resume.imagine if google reduced each webpage down to a couple bullets, like a resume, before indexing. your search results would suck β€” not enough data to crawl and provide rich results. so why do we search for people in this way? with limited resume data?and guess what… the data about what people are doing and what qualifies them for a job is out there. its every time they share a photo of something they’ve done, or a friend sent a thank you for doing something awesome. this stuff just isnt on resumes. because the resume isn’t the place for that.thus, it’s time for something new. not a redesign of the resume, but something new entirely.

      1. JonS

        I agree wih Brandon on this. Let’s not confuse the friction of the process with the relevance of the content in front of the candidate. If the opportunities are relevant and the candidate has faith that they are, then he should be able to apply quickly and simply.Excuse the iTypos – iPhone autocorrect

      2. ShanaC

        Got ideas?One of the reasons this is problematic is that there aren’t people who are really bad at everything – context matters, and you could be an A++ player in one and a D in another. How do you find out if people will fit?

        1. Brandon Burns

          you bet i have ideas! i’ve been sitting on the problem of “how do i find someone good at X to help me with Y?” for quite some time. personally, i’m more interested in peer-to-peer, but it’s all related.the chief issues i see that can be tackled are:1) data, or lack thereof. resumes are reductive, but robust search results come from more data to crawl.2) social graph —-> something else. who you know is a poor indicator talent. so why not map people based on, say, skills, instead of degrees of separation?the problem is huge, but gotta start somewhere. if you start with getting more data, by building a network around something deeper than the reductive resume, you’ll have more opportunities to crunch the extra data into something valuable. and if you connect people based on what they’ve done, instead of who they know, you can look at people in a more relevant context… and good talent you’ve never met won’t fall through the cracks.

      3. fredwilson

        great point

    6. CJ

      Friction. Decrease it.As an employer you want it easier for people to apply because it increases the likelihood that you’ll get the right applicant to apply. As a potential employee, I’ll skip any long or laborious application process because my time is too important to me to give it to you without compensation. If you behave this way with my time before I have the job, how will you behave with it if I’m hired? Your solution sounds good but in reality it doesn’t work for either party.

      1. ShanaC

        Actually, as someone in the interview process, I’ve now developed a list of things I would never do to a potential candidate that has been done to me. I’ve also become more selective – and one of my selectivity criteria is actually being nice, since I’ve run into countless people who were just unmistakably rude because I happen to be the job hunter.

        1. CJ

          You should always be nice, aside from the fact that it’s the right thing to do, you never know if the person you were an ass to is the person you want to hire.

          1. PhilipSugar

            Or the person that is going to be in a position to buy your product or help you out sometime.

          2. CJ

            Tech guys always think they should be an asshole or ask those famous Google interview questions to prove how cool/smart they are. It’s annoying and what’s worse, when you get the job you find out how little they actually know. It’s more a pissing on the tree thing to try and intimidate future employees from trying for their job.

          3. ShanaC

            true, but the job market has created a system where people hiring don’t have to be nice. EG: I’ve had people cancel phone screens without telling me. And then I chase them, and they say nothing. Then a formal rejection a month later. That is a level rude that is unimaginable – dude, the job hunter is also scheduling time for you (and don’t forget it)

          4. CJ

            I like to think those people get the employees they deserve. I can’t be sure of this, but the thought makes me feel better. :-)It is annoying though when someone wastes your time, regardless of which side of the desk you’re sitting on, it’s still precious. I don’t get people sometimes.

          5. ShanaC

            As someone actively Jobhunting, this does not make me feel better. It makes me worried that I am unhireable, despite having a reputation of a) being nice and b) automating myself out of a job. I don’t think I am (I meant I helped this community scale, there is talent in that), but still.

    7. Brandon Marker

      Bad fits or bad resumes take about 5-10 seconds to disqualify manually. And that can cut volume by a lot, rapidly. Between a filter and a quick sifting through the pile, you can potentially end up with a considerable amount of extra, qualified candidates.Everything needs moderation. The one-click seems pretty useful in the right circumstances.

    8. ShanaC

      as a job hunter – no. Applying has gotten too difficult, especially because a lot of these older systems are used as a way of screening out perfectly good candidates. Anything to create liquidity is better.

    9. Luke Chamberlin

      I made the mistake once (once!) of trying to hire through Craigslist.Within an hour I had over a hundred resumes, and the majority of them were from automated resume-sending bots that didn’t even come close to matching the job title / requirements. Mostly developer resumes for a marketing role (of course they were developers, they wrote the bots).I agree, one click to apply seems like a bad idea. Sure, the company in the story saw an increase in applications, but an increase in quality? Unlikely.

    10. andyidsinga

      I don’t understand why they don’t take this even further and create a feature called “auto apply to any job that includes keywords in your resume” ..this means that the millisecond that an employer posts a new job req – they’ll get 50000 resumes. TADA progress πŸ˜‰

      1. fredwilson

        nice idea

    11. fredwilson

      if it means that the best person for the job applies when they would not otherwise, then it is a good thing

      1. Patrick Morris

        I think one-click apply is great for getting people into the system, but fear that job seekers don’t put in enough additional effort to actually land the job or even an interview.USV took the approach of making it harder to apply by requiring a video response to 2 questions and got 250 submissions. How many would you have gotten with just one-click apply?

  6. JimHirshfield

    One click wonder?

  7. Marcin

    I have to disagree (I actually love when that happens – shows that I can still think independently) – this might work for mass market positions, where you just need to get lot data in, filter it in a smart way to have a selection of decent candidates. In any situation when you’re looking for highly skilled overperformers it won’t work and if anything will just increase the noise in your recruitment funnel. This is because making it simpler does not make people that are not looking for jobs look for jobs. And you want to hire those that aren’t looking usually.

    1. Marcin

      Seems like quite a few similar comments popped up in the meantime. I will clarify mine, just to make sure my line of thought is clear – this would be great product for small businesses, where you could walk down the street and apply for jobs at shops, service points etc – but the early adopter market it currently targets will hate it.

  8. Michael

    Doesn’t Amazon have a patent on one-click transactions?

    1. kidmercury

      as far as i know amazon does not really enforce patents — there are one click checkouts on many other destinations, and surely more to come. bezos has expressed opposition towards software patents and “patent wars.”

      1. michael

        yes, you are right, though my comment was a joke. Amazon did collect payment from Apple for its use (even if no money changed hands, value did, in terms of cross licensing agreements.)

  9. Guest

    I did some quick research after reading this post…There are 194 million Americans between the ages of 19 and 64; thus your primary labor pool. 41 million Americans are over 65 and another 73 million are under 18.88% of Americans over the age of 18 have a high school degree, 9% of an Associate Degree, 30% have Bachelors Degree, 9% have Masters and 3% have earned their doctorates. What is really interesting is this:”In 2005/2006, women earned 62% of Associate’s degrees, 58% of Bachelor’s degrees, 60.0% of Master’s degrees, and 48.9% of Doctorates. In 2016/2017, women are projected to earn 64.2% of Associate’s degrees, 59.9% of Bachelor’s degrees, 62.9% of Master’s degrees, and 55.5% of Doctorates.”ZipRecruiter has a database of 2.5 million current resumes and receive 1,000 new resumes a day. That represents less than 2% of all working age Americans.Companies complain constantly about not being able to find qualified applicants and according to Careerbuilder the average job listing gets 200+ resumes and less than 20% of those resumes include cover letters.Looks to me like a very few people are applying for quite a few jobs.

    1. John Revay

      Nice Job Carl – always great to have the stats.I wonder about your last item 200+ resume w/ less than 20% having cover letters.It would be interesting to know what % got the actual job X % of people who did vs did not include a cover letter.

      1. Guest

        That would be a real useful statistic. I also think if these sites could monitor who was selected for an interview and which candidate was hired then they could provide the applicants a tremendous amount of assistance. Things like how well the chosen had job titles that matched, or what keywords they had in common, how many keyword matches did they have.Realistically, the “success” of sites like Linkedin and Indeed is almost counter productive to the service they provide.

  10. Tom Labus

    Does the study mention if any of this stuff helps people get jobs or just adds to the job hunt frustration?

  11. LIAD

    One Click ‘X’ is much more behavioural economics than technical substance – and that’s great.Users must complete prep steps for these things to work yet clever marketing subsumes the chore of having to do so.Leveraging simple psychology rather than complex technology to achieve business goals is ace.

  12. ignacio_mobincube

    I don’t like the one-click apply as a recruiter. When we post a job for a software developer we got lots of candidates that don’t have any idea of software development. And there is no one-click apply.What if we let people apply with one-click? We won’t have hundreds of bad candidates…we will have thousands.I prefer to hire someone that really cares to take the time to apply for a job.

    1. T. J. Radtke

      I find recruiters using our service express similar sentiments. While it takes a few minutes to submit one of our “ProofSheets” we find that recruiters are more likely to look at candidates who invest the time to distinguish themselves. And recruiters also want to push those candidates as there is a belief they are more likely to accept an offer.

  13. Mark Birch

    This is a bad idea. The easy, “one-click” job apply concept sounds great in theory, but when it was implemented through sites like Monster and HotJobs, it caused a flood of resumes from woefully unqualified people. That caused the rise of ATS’s that added filters and all sorts of process to weed out the added chaff, but also managed to snuff out many qualified candidates. It also caused hiring managers to lose any connection to the process, added layers of HR administration and intermediaries that had little clue as to the real requirements of the positions.While algorithms are trying to add intelligence to the process, the fact remains that the entire infrastructure of hiring is simply wrong. The paradigm of resume and job description does not work when it comes to hiring the most qualified candidates. We “seem” to recognize this when it comes to hiring top engineering or design talent, thus the uptick in recruitment tech web apps released in the past year. However, we are still completely reliant on suspect pieces of professional history matched with poorly worded and irrelevant job descriptions.What companies do not need is more resumes from a larger pool of unqualified candidates. They need a smaller pool of candidates with better targeted set of profiles that best match the skills needed in the position and the goals of the organization.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      But I really want a 1-click “Book Meeting” with you when I am in NYC next. πŸ˜‰ I suppose that’s a little different than a job interview..Which leads to an idea that you should be able to announce the companies and/or type of companies and work you want to do, types of projects, etc.. and then companies can review you, and offer you the 1-click Apply in a broader way.But isn’t that what email and direct communication for?I see 1-click application processes in hiring more as a way of a mass announcement that you’re hiring/looking to be hired. It doesn’t show being interested, passionate, or inventive in the hiring process though if you’re following sheep – you won’t stick out of the crowd/break through the noise unless you’re someone like Marissa Mayer, and people of that quality are sought out by by professionals anyway.

      1. Mark Birch

        I wrote some tangential thoughts about hiring just now at…The ideas are more holistic in terms of sourcing untapped pools of great talent. I will write more on this later, but suffice it to say I have spent a great deal longer on the problem of matching talent to jobs than many people in this discussion.This whole thread and topic annoys me to no end. One-click is great when buying crap off a website, but has zero place in hiring or even announcing positions. There are better ways of doing it and the first part comes down to understanding what you are even looking for (which almost everyone does a poor job at). Then you target source in the best pools of talent. This is no time for spray and pray tactics. Then you figure out at the onset whether the people even have the skills to move forward. Right now, this whole process is manual and shrouded in terms like “art” and “experience”.As for meeting up, glad to get together when you are around. Just ping me over Twitter, which is where I tend to be most responsive.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Even with limited hiring experience, I fully agree with you that the mass announcements, etc. feel barbaric in nature.I’ve never made quality connections or started to get to know a person through simple interactions or data-based overviews. You like yoga? Cool. That can mean a billion things.I like to get to know people, and if I like them, then I see how and where they could fit into my organization; Mind you, I’m far off from having 1,000 people working with me, though it’s a future possibility, so there isn’t as broad of a selection work available currently to accommodate everyone I like.I’ll DM you on Twitter when I have some tentative dates – should be in 2-3 weeks from now. πŸ™‚

  14. Joolyo

    I couldn’t disagree more with this post. I run staffing for a large company and one click technologies do nothing but enable mass applying by people who don’t read job descriptions. The application process should be a personal and emotional decision. Changing jobs is a big event and should be well thought out but instead we have seen applicant volume nearly triple in the last 2 years with no increase in headcount. It makes candidates look bad when they don’t even remember which jobs they applied to. This volume makes it harder to find the real talent in the haystack because the haystack just tripled in size. It looks great to investors and indeed because they can say they’re driving more applicants but enterprise clients like us are pulling out tens of thousands of dollars because the quality is terrible. One click for buying shoes is great but job applications…bad idea.

  15. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    On a lighter note ….You are just one-click away from your FUTURE….PRESS NOW.

  16. Mark Gavagan

    Perhaps for recruiting, to filter and allow only qualified candidates who are a great fit, combine the one-click for resume+ submission PLUS a required answer to a complex question or problem closely related to the job’s real-world tasks that should take about 10 minutes for a strong candidate to answer. The answer field could allow only 140 characters, forcing concise responses.

  17. JamesHRH

    This is a great idea – so many front line jobs have such black & white criteria (x skills, y experience, z competency) that this will be a huge benefit to people hiring in these areas, where turnover is higher.The comments look like the big game hunter recruiters hate it, but that makes sense too.There is a volume world of hiring out there and both side of the equation need to cover a lot of ground – this will only help, IMO,

  18. John Revay

    I have personally applied to several jobs on LinkedIn using the one click – especially for a job that I am qualified for….buy might not be too excited about.It is fast & easy, with an auto email reply. Within 24 hrs – you usually see some one who posted that positioning looking at your Linked profile.

  19. andyswan

    “So, Jason…..what made you seek out this opportunity with our firm?””Um….I think I clicked a button.”

    1. William Mougayar

      Where’s the Dilbert cartoon to go with it? Touche.

    2. Aaron Klein

      I think I’m in favor of one click apply. Simple filter to decide who gets an interview: did you do more than that?Today, I have to read your cover letter to assess whether you wrote it to me, or to the whole world.

    3. Brandon Marker


  20. John Revay

    “The world of recruiting has changed a lot in the past ten years and companies like LinkedIn and Indeed are driving much of that change.”Another great example of this may be from the side of the head hunter….I was having a discussion last night w/ Mike ( – my college roommate (one of my best friends since we first met)…we got talking about LinkedIn…..I mentioned while talking w/ some head hunters (two separate occasions, last year) about social networking – they both chimed up about LinkedIn…..I recall that these people many years ago each maintained their OWN database of people (where they were currently working, job history etc)……any now they have thrown that out and now just use LinkedIn – (assuming they have upgraded are are paying for an enhanced plan).As Mike commented – it makes their job easier – as people are self updating/maintaining their own profiles.

    1. Abdallah Al-Hakim

      I think linkedIn is a great way to keep you profile updated. I also think contributing content on blog and commenting systems such as disqus is a great way to show traction when you go for an interview. And Engagio makes this even easier for people to discover where you most active and what you have to say.

      1. John Revay

        Good answer – I will see what I can do to link the only concern might be that I am not sure if I want all of my disqus comments Easily avail for people to look at – if I am applying for a job. I fully understand – they are there and can be found if someone wanted to do a deep search of my background.

  21. William Mougayar

    I liked the way you started this post and I was hoping to see us explore a variety of other one-click scenarios.What are other one-clicks you have seen that are really useful?

    1. awaldstein

      One click to purchase is the destiny of mobile.Few clicks to sharing context and meaningful gestures is the global syntax of a mobile uni-language. Write with your thumbs but express with complete thoughts and complex emotions.They who crack either of these with any degree of utility and behavioral naturalness will be monster companies. And I’ll be a customer of both of them!

      1. Aaron Klein


      2. William Mougayar

        I agree there is a need for further innovation in the function itself and what it enables around it. It’s a door opener and lubricant for commerce, relationships and other things.

        1. John Rorick

          As it pertains to recruiting people are getting too hung up on the issues of one click in the current broken process of candidate selection. As a stand alone it is an improvement on a process…unfortunately it drops credentials into a broken recruitment model which still needs to be put on its ear.

      3. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

        +1 on ‘write with thumbs but express with thoughts and emotions’.

    2. markslater

      one click to pay. this is a huge huge one. we are building this in to our app.Others that we have been asked for are:- one click: reservations / appointment making / menu requests / think anything you need to do to complete a conversation with a business should be one click away.we are absolutely in the one-click era. I can think of literally dozens of applications that deploy this as UX.

  22. Zack Konsin

    Glad to see that I’m not the only one who’s critical of the “one-click” job application.When introducing a feature like this, I ask: what is the added value? There are three players here: the services offering the feature (LinkedIn and Indeed), job seekers, and companies accepting applications. It seems like LinkedIn and Indeed win because job seekers will no doubt use the feature, in droves (ease of use is the zeitgeist of today’s tech savvy job applicants). With the shear number of applicants in the pool, job seekers lose under the guise of winning, unless they have the “proper” credentials (read as Ivy League education, brand name work experience). And HR looses as well — they will either waste more time and resources looking at substantially more resumes from unqualified candidates, or develop an intensive resume screening process which will filter out some hidden gems.Perhaps, though, this doesn’t really matter after all. I would like to think that networking and word-of-mouth trumps application volume any day. Smart candidates will realize this and leverage their networks to get their foot in the door.

  23. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    Perhaps one way to deal with large numbers of applicants would be to enforce a word limit on a resume and/or force the applicant to use some images in their presentation. Once that profile is done then you can do the one-click application to various jobs. There is a lot of room for innovation when it comes to design resume. cc @ccrystle:disqus @marksbirch:disqus

  24. thinkdisruptive

    Hard to imagine a worse use of “1 click” technology. Maybe it would work OK for hamburger flipping, but for any job requiring more intelligence and qualifications than that, both the applicant and the hiring manager need to do more.The applicant should be able to write a few coherent sentences explaining why they are a good fit, demonstrating knowledge of the industry and/or employer, and showing that this is meaningful to them, and not just 1 of a thousand jobs where they checked the box. Truly qualified people who are interested in the position aren’t going to be deterred by this.The screener doesn’t need 10,000 more resumes — they need a decent number of the right resumes. This doesn’t do anything to solve the quality problem, but rather exacerbates it, and as others have pointed out, increases the likelihood of the best people falling between the cracks. Keyword sifting isn’t going to help with finding the right people, or getting the pile down to a manageable size, but slowing people down and asking that they write a cover letter and explain why they’re a fit may.Like love-making, applying to a job is a process that needs to slow down, not speed up, for both parties to feel like it was “good for them”.

  25. Robert Thuston

    Some heated debate here! On a different note, does anyone believe that the traditional resume is antiquated, and should be replaced with something else? And if so, what?

    1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      working proto on the net :-).

      1. Robert Thuston

        share link?

    2. kidmercury

      yes, absolutely. the traditional corporation is dying and will be replaced by some type of network that leverages social capital. linkedin does a bit of this with their referral system.

    3. T. J. Radtke soon to be There is too much sunken investment in Applicant Tracking and other HR Systems to support the resume to think it will quickly go away. But we believe the resume in itself (along with keyword searching etc) is a poor tool for matching.

      1. Robert Thuston

        Thanks for sharing

    4. ShanaC

      as a job hunter – yes. By what, I don’t know. I also think the way the job hunting system works now is detrimental to new graduates (since it seems to be geared towards traditional resumes and plug and play people) everyone loses out on that one :/

  26. Richard

    Fred, if you were asked ex ante would one click produce better results than other methods, what would have been your take?

  27. Julia Wilson

    I’d love to know how many job interviews come from a one click application. Compared to the amount of applicantions received it has to be incredibly low. So low that I doubt it provides much convenience to the person reading these resumes.

  28. Shawn Cohen

    I like how 42Floors balances ease w/ friction: They have 1-click via LinkedIn but ask you to write in an email of someone well-known in SEO to recommend you as well as your Hacker News profile.This is ingenious for making it easy to get the expected stuff out of the way (the resume) while maintaining apropos filters so only the best SEOs apply.

  29. James Mitchell

    Just what an employer needs — rather than 100 people applying for a job, he will now have 300 applicants. And I can assure you that of the marginal 200, not one of them will be remotely qualified.This is why I stop using It is too easy for applicants to apply for a job, and as a result, essentially all of the responses are total garbage.

  30. mikenolan99

    We know that firms seeking new employees have a bunch of stacks of resumes. Pile A is the raw first batch – a mountain, and they often use screening software to move resumes to stack B. From there, they do a cursory 30 second scan to weed out candidates and move to stack C.Stack C gets more scrutiny, and from there the applicants for serious review get put into the D stack. A short list of interviews are selected and put into stack E.The goal of networking is to never, ever, ever again in your life have your career rely on getting from A to E. Networking starts you at least stack C – and maybe even guarantees an interview.If Fred called you and said “hey, you should really take a look at this person for that position you are looking to fill” what stack would you put them in?

  31. Cam MacRae

    Yuck.Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to go read Peter Cappelli’s (Wharton) “Why good people can’t get jobs”, and then report back as to whether you still believe 1-click apply is the way forward.

    1. John Rorick

      I have only read reviews and excerpts of Cappelli’s book, but his thoughts appear to be long-discussed and far from novel..although his spin on things like “the long hiring process to cut costs” is different, the issues of a long hiring process are nothing new. He is also giving way too much credit to the ability of at least larger companies to orchestrate such a thing. But as a refugee of a university administration career I have a well-formed bias against the opinions of management professors versus those in the actual soup…fair or not.

      1. Cam MacRae

        His ideas are for the most part common sense, but as one who has simmered in the soup for quite some time I’m quite certain common sense ain’t common at all.

  32. BillMcNeely

    I for one am thankful for the Mobile Linkedin 1 click apply option. Upon returning from Iraq, After 6.5 months of unemployment, I took a job selling cars for 70 hrs a week 2.5 hours north where I live. Some weeks I make as little as $165 for my efforts. I stay with my parents and see my family for 24 hours each week. I don’t really have time to look for a better paying job that better fits my skill set. At the dealership I don’t have access to the internet through a traditional computer only through mobile. I have been depending on Linkedin to push job recommendations to me. A month ago a Senior Director of Logistics at the local hospital came to my attention. I pressed apply at 8PM and by 10 PM that night the HR pro contacted me to schedule an interview. Summer vacations have slowed the process but this has been my best lead since April.

    1. matthughes

      Hang tough.Where are you located?Perhaps someone here on AVC knows of a job lead in your area?(You probably know but there are many entrepreneurs and recruiters in this community that are constantly networking.)

      1. BillMcNeely

        I am in Dallas/Ft Worth Texas. Just wanted to add practicality not just theory to the conversation.

        1. matthughes

          I think it’s a great perspective, from the real world of job searching.I noticed your web site isn’t up and running yet.Perhaps you could link your Disqus profile to your LinkedIn site – I’m sure people in this community would be happy to refer you to jobs in your area.

          1. BillMcNeely

            Type your reply…

          2. BillMcNeely

            Mathew, I added my LinkedIn profile to Disqus account. The car business decided I was too nice of a guy for the business. I refused to show up unannounced at a customers house to talk them back to the dealership. I am back in the job market tonight.

    2. LE

      ” I took a job selling cars for 70 hrs a week 2.5 hours north where I live. Some weeks I make as little as $165 for my efforts.”What is your speciality? What were your duties in IRAQ and what are you qualified to do?

      1. BillMcNeely

        I am a former Army logistics officer with 7 years of advising,consulting and logistics project management within the defense sector. I have been featured in Inc Magazine and was Semi Finalist for the Spring 2011 Tech Wildcatters Class for Hello I’m Logistics.

    3. fredwilson

      try indeed as well Bill

      1. BillMcNeely

        Will do Fred

  33. Riaz Kanani

    This is only v1 if you ask me. It doesn’t really solve the underlying problem – quality applicants yet.I’d rather hire people who think about the company and position they are applying in to. What is uninteresting to one company is interesting to another. Putting all that info into your CV/LinkedIn makes for a long and unreadable document.That leads to the next issue – the content is badly formatted using the buttons, exacerbating the readability issue. Formatting is part of the hiring process for some roles.All the above is solvable using the one click button approach though, maybe with the ability to tweak what you submit. If it stops the jobs pages with a broken submission process that can only be a good thing.

  34. Mark Essel

    How about the reverse, the one click hire. Does anyone think that’s a good idea? Maybe if it’s a personal network hire.As an applicant, I’m not buying an apple at the grocery, I’m applying to a job I think I’ll love. I’d much prefer a more personal channel than a button.

    1. John Rorick

      You are the exception. Not saying that I wish you weren’t the norm.

  35. ahumancapitalist

    Patrick Morris gets it right, “Number of applications completed is the false metric of job searching.”

  36. Sam

    One very important point that people seem to be missing is that the LinkedIn and Indeed Apply methods aren’t providing any less applicant data than the default apply method offered by Ziprecruiter.The apply process was already very simple. LinkedIn and Indeed Apply enable the same exact thing that was already available. They just make it easier.LinkedIn and Indeed simply allow job seekers to apply with a resume they’ve already created. And the Indeed Apply makes it very simple on mobile devices.Does making something easier while providing the same result, equate to lower quality applicants?

  37. John

    I’ve used this one click apply in the past. It’s a great concept. Two things though. 1) Linkedin has a lot of work to do in terms of making profiles more application friendly. Right now there tends to be formatting issues that are particularly noticeable when a site imports info from LInkedin into their own application.2) This is great for jobseekers, not so great for HR depts who are already swimming in available candidates. Lower the barrier to apply and you make it that much harder for them to sort through the mess. Of course this creates an opportunity to find a way to intelligently qualify candidates’ profiles in a convenient manner.

  38. Tim

    I have to agree with a lot of the sentiment here. It’s tempting to point to those statistics and say they’re positive. When it comes to the web, we’re always looking for metrics that show “X% growth” in any area. If you’re Amazon, then the rapid adoption of your “one-click buy” button is superb. This isn’t the case with hiring.When it comes to hiring, it’s always a case of quality over quantity. I work for an online recruitment platform ( where we pre-screen new memberships to ensure the signal is always greater than the noise. The result is that while we may send dramatically fewer candidates than an Indeed or Linkedin, the quality is much higher and our candidates are selected at a much higher rate relative to those other services.When you have the one-click apply, you’re encouraging people to spend less time on getting to know your company and their application and driving up the number of applications means it takes even longer to go through all of them and you risk missing out on the hidden gems. The experience ends up being poor on both ends.

    1. John Rorick

      As you will see from my earlier comment I do not disagree with the concept that some candidate self-curating is lost..that said. If a more passive and talented job seeker is scrolling their Linkedin account and, with little friction, can throw their hat into the ring on a job that comes up in their sidebar or their news feed when they otherwise would not have taken the time in that moment to jump through the application hoops normally required, that is a plus. Gets me a candidate that I otherwise may never had seen.

  39. Joe Lazarus

    One click to apply is a good feature if it’s coupled with better tools for the employer to screen applicants. The resume is in desperate need of innovation. Resumes today remind me of how web search worked before Google. The highest ranked page for a search was generally the one that stuffed their page with that term. It was all self-reported data. Google dramatically improved search by using inbound links as peer feedback.Β Resumes should be ranked in a similar way. If I’m looking for an analyst, I should be able to find the top candidates based on what people who worked with them in the past think of their analytical and other skills, not just on how the candidate describes themselves. I’m surprised LinkedIn hasn’t created a dead simple way to provide continuous, positive feedback on people we work with so that resumes become a living document reflecting peer opinion rather than a document people update every few years with silly buzzwords when they are looking for work.

  40. MartinEdic

    Agreeing with many of these comments. This is going to greatly increase the number of irrelevant applications. It also skips the most important piece of the application process, the cover letter- which is far more important than any resume as it forces the applicant to display their relevance to a particular job opening.As it is, when you advertise an opening you get an incredible number of resumes that have no experience relevant to the position advertised. This will just make that situation worse.On the positive side, if Indeed or LinkedIn develops a filtering process and an intro letter piece they can own the market.

  41. John Rorick

    Pardon the following nerd recruitment rant…but I am a recruitment nerd, so there.The continuing fallacy of recruitment tools evolution is the misapplication of technology to the process of candidate selection. I have seen and will certainly see comments and new tech roll-outs that claim to use a new breed of selection – algorithms that identify traits, supplanting the archaic tool known as resumes. They will sift through and decipher what an ATS and horrid HR recruiters can not do…identify a candidate that will be successful at the company, not just check the box on certifications and noted skills. Guess what? These tools will work as poorly as the 100000 other ones that have been pitched to me over the past dozen years. Then you will have the other camp that says such tools are the problem and you need to personally sit down with your network and each and every candidate to make sure you have that human connection. Nothing else will work. Well, at a certain scale this always fails because of the inefficiencies of doing this at high volumes, sifting through the pile to get to those conversations, while working/driving your business. The recent push for “Talent Communities” is supposed to address this issue at some level. I have yet to use a “TC”. I predict it will have the same success as the candidate vaporware known as Branchout.When tech is used correctly it does what an Indeed does…it applies a clear and successful logic to a distinct problem; in this case the inefficiency of searching for jobs across the web, and leaves you wondering why this is not the norm. Essentially Indeed took the concept of googling for jobs and built it into a successful product from which they are trying to build.You could argue that “one click application” is another step in that direction: taking the distinct problem of having to deliver your credentials in a time consuming and varied manner and making it very efficient. Those who state concerns about the lack of self-curating that may occur are not wrong, but from my and my team’s recruiter seat, that has been a problem no matter what technology has been in place. If it gets me a qualified candidate quicker, and means they apply sooner due to ease of use, then I am all for it. It still does not solve the larger recruitment issue though….candidate communication and efficient selection.We should be applying these nimble tools in our phones and on the web to provide transparency throughout the life of a job opening. That will drive a few distinct behaviors: accountability on behalf of the company hiring and the candidates motivated to apply, quick communication between both parties, and force companies to be decisive when everyone (and I mean everyone applying for the job) understand when and how the decision will be made. A blending of online tools to drive that process with ease coupled with using tech to make it easier for a recruiter or hiring managers to cut the resume stack is the solution. Then everyone applying for jobs will look at such a service and say “why would I apply for a job without transparency and communication deadlines” and opt for the black hole? That should in the end drive better qualified candidates who value where they decide to cast their lot.I have worked on this in my mental garage and am hoping to shape it online…one day. In the meantime I will fight the good fight with the rusty tools I have and try to drive my present company to excel wherever possible in this area. Ahh, one day…a terrible phrase.

    1. ShanaC

      Thank you for saying this aloud. I’ve noticed a lot as a job seeker that there is a ton of friction involved with hiring because of the ways these tools are used to separate out people. Way more than should exist.

    2. fredwilson

      thank god we have some recruiting nerds in the community. you are the ones whose opinions on this stuff matter.

  42. Peter

    Fred or mods: The voting system is doing something strange… I up vote but it votes down… I take back my down vote but that only increases the down vote count…

  43. Elia Freedman

    An area of the mobile web that has been bothering me a lot lately is urls. Say I come across someone new who I want to follow on Twitter. I click their little Twitter icon and it takes me to the web site. But I have the Twitter app installed! Why wouldn’t it automatically take me to the Twitter app and show me their profile? In some cases it is even more annoying then that as it takes me to the site and shows me an ad to download the app, which I already have.

  44. LE

    Thought this would be of interest re the economy and jobs.We have a customer and I happen to take a look at his website. I saw he was an F-15 Pilot and a Pilot for American Airlines. So I wrote to him and told him how much I was impressed by that and how I had always wanted to be a pilot.Here is what he wrote back (at 3am last night):Thank you so much for following up on this. I Truly appreciate it. The aviation industry is reflecting the same dynamics in this country and as a pilot for American Airlines I am being asked to take even more pay cuts. I love my job and surely hope that things shift. Many blessing to you and you life.

  45. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Great for commodity roles – :)Not good for differentiation – πŸ™

  46. Tim Tate

    I’ve had much better response from LinkedIn Apply applications than any other method. Almost every job I applied for at least got an acknowledgement, 9 out of 10 I got a phone call, and this last week I actually got a job. Craigslist ad response rate? Zero. Frankly, I suspect this is because LinkedIn Apply gets resumes in the hands of people that want to read them, rather than being filtered through an HR department that usually has no idea what the hiring manager is looking for other than specific keywords.

  47. unlisted

    The LinkedIn profile IS the resume. Just like AngelList IS the executive summary.

  48. feargallkenny

    I am with the naysayers – as a recruiter you witness first hand the deluge of applicants who have given no more thought to their reasoning for applying than the time it takes to “one click apply”.There is no doubt that applying should be that efficient for the right folks but the issue is with stopping the wrong folks from doing it without thinking.Until someone comes up with an answer to dealing with the deluge, the best source of candidates remains (in order of preference) proactively reaching out to the people you know and trust, the referrals from those you trust and finally, cold searching on linkedin based on criteria that you, the recruiter decide matches your requirements. Inbound applicants for my firm has consistently been a case of finding a needle in a haystack- occasionally you get lucky but it isn’t likely.To aid the third scenario (the cold searching on linkedin and bridge it with the needs of those looking) I created a platform called that allows the candidates that would otherwise “click to apply” have their active / passive job search status / interests seen only by recruiters on Linkedin. With this extra information recruiters get to choose those that they reach out to based on who they come across in their searches. It is just one small way to avoid the deluge from putting the power in the hands of the applicants and puts the control back in the hands of the searchers.

  49. Paul Price

    My problem is not getting more people to apply – it is getting fewer total applicants and more qualified, legitimately interested applicants to apply. That’s why I started doing this:

  50. Ben Apple

    Do selective corporations necessarily want things to be easier? I always wondered why no one had consolidated the application process and made it easier to apply to many jobs without having to re-enter the same information over and over again.My thought was that it was to make sure the applicants were only those that truly wanted the job and not just people who applied because it was convenient. Could it be that the 22% in job applicants is just the lazy bunch that wouldn’t apply until it became easier.

  51. Luke Deering

    Fred you beast! big lover of your blog, thought I would introduce you to my new blog its called We interview awesome startups that have recently come out of an accelerator program, mostly European programs since we are in the UK, but we also have some great one with US Y Combinator companies coming soon! I think you might find some of the companies to be pretty awesome!

  52. Vasudev Ram

    Interesting thread, given the issues at stake, and the differing viewpoints. Apropos, I read this article recently (think it was on Forbes) about a book by Peter Cappelli, who is “the George W. Taylor Professor of Management at The Wharton School and Director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources” (from the article) and blogged about it here:…One of the points made in the original article was that many US companies, for some years now, have been trying to hire only people who have exactly the skills that they need, i.e. not wanting to spend time and money in training (for their specific needs) people who have a reasonable set of skills and aptitude to learn more (which, combined with some job-specific training, could make them suitable for the job at hand), and that they then complain about the skills gap, etc. Thought-provoking article.His (Peter Cappelli’s) book which is discussed in the article is here:http://wdp.wharton.upenn.ed

  53. Paul Hudson

    I do not think posting resume online is a good idea. Some bad guys can use it to do their bad deeds. And then we’ll get into troubles. Like fraud or scam.

  54. awaldstein

    Hey Charlie…You are right of course.Love to hear about how the filters work to sift through the resumes in these solutions.But honestly, I dread volume response as an answer to a need unless there are nets to sort it out, whether they be a crowd, a community or just an expert.

  55. William Mougayar

    That’s a good observation, but I think the point of the post was that one-clicks enable things. The sifting and filtering are separate functions that are also needed. I’m not sure if LinkedIn or Indeed offer add-on services like keyword identification inside resumes to help bubble-up the ones that fit the most. But if I receive 200 applications for a job posting and I’m overwhelmed by that number, that’s a good problem to have.

  56. T. J. Radtke

    I agree that you don’t want to add friction up front at the time of application so what we do is ping each applicant with an auto-responder directing them to create a “ProofSheet” to show how their skills map to the job. We find recruiters first look at the 10-15 percent of candidates submitting ProofSheets and usually find the winners there but if they do not they still have the larger pile they can turn to

  57. thinkdisruptive

    How much more can you tell about the people here because they wrote something and explained their position versus clicking the up vote or down vote button? Even if you knew who was doing the voting, it still wouldn’t tell you much about the person. I’m all for more good quality applicants, but 1-click increases useless volume. Showing the minimal initiative required to write a paragraph in a cover letter, and to tune your resume to fit the job is a good thing, and it doesn’t stop good people from applying. The “501st candidate” is a specious argument (unless you put a specific limit on resumes you will accept) — nothing is stopping that extra person from submitting their application.I do agree that form-based applications which are pages long are equally bad. That is a deterrent to good candidates because it signals that the company worries about irrelevant details and form rather than what’s important.

  58. kidmercury

    siding with charlie in this beef. making something easier is almost always an advantage. if you want to put up obstacles, more meaningless form fields is not it; ask for something personal *along with* the standard resume that can be one clicked.

  59. LE

    “making it simple for applicants to send a resume is not a bad idea at all”I think it totally depends on the position you are hiring for, relative to the job market.If the market is tight in a particular field people actively try to go out and poach. So no need to click any button at all. The opportunity comes to you.In the case of a beauty contest job “click to apply” helps the people with the best looking resume regardless of whether they contain other qualities that might be needed to do the job. It’s a way for the person hiring to easily find people that qualify with less effort. To “satisfice”.I’m a big believer that you can find out much about people by how they handle communication and the initiative that they use (once again depending on the situation and job obviously). So I can’t agree that “click to apply” is anywhere near a benefit w/o clarifying by type of position. That’s the problem with all things you read on the internet. It’s broad advice not specific enough.The advice that I have given others (that I have followed myself the one and only time I tried to find a job post college in a job I had no qualifications for) [1] is to apply for jobs that don’t exist by putting in some effort to making yourself known to people that you would want to work for. [1] I’ve always gotten good feedback on this “strategy” as obvious as it is.First advantage is you are not in the beauty contest. You aren’t competing with anyone at all. You will be evaluated totally on whether you can do the job or not (if there is a job that they plan to hire for in the near future of course). Imagine if you could get into Harvard the same way. Why? People are lazy and time pressed. They aren’t looking to look at resumes and do interviews. They want the easy way out. If you meet the MVP for the job – you’re hired.[1] Early 90’s after selling my company decided I wanted to work in the computer industry. So I identified companies and sent letters and made phone calls. I lined up interviews at a bunch of companies. This was all timed to a trade show that was coming up (Mac World). I flew out at my expense for a few days and made personal contact with all the people I had contacted and more. I got a job and then skipped to a competitor about a year later. Got to work in Silicon Valley for a few months. Great experience. I walked up to the VP Sales at one company who was a kind of rough and tumble guy. Looked like a mafia guy. I took one look and said something nasty to him. I think it was something like “you look scary as shit” or the rough equilvalent. (He had worked under Jobs at Apple in the 80’s) He couldn’t believe I had the guts to do that and that’s how I got the job. (Along with the envelope of 100’s and tribute of course.)Picture attached of the VP.

  60. James Colino

    Three years ago Indeed wasn’t even on my radar. Last year it was my #2 source of hire across the enterprise finishing just behind employee referrals. This included positions ranging from entry level to director.Even though our resume volume is up 130% from 2009 till today, I’ll take it. Blame it on unemployment, social tools or one-click applying…I’ll still take the added reach. We’ve successfully employed the use of filters to help reduce the number candidates who are not minimally qualified as Charlie suggests and it works great.The way I see it…every applicant is a contact. And every contact has contacts. So we segment and message candidates who don’t make it through the process because — who knows — they might know a superstar who is ready for a change and our social sharing tools will enable the transaction.If you can capture data – capture it. If that happens to be a resume, then so be it. Use the volume to your advantage instead of focusing on the dilemma.

  61. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    ha…. did not read your post here @ccrystle:disqus bla…bla ‘ed about the same thing above.

  62. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    200 seriously? Really? Tell me what is that number when you want to recruit 20 people :-). You will be ending up solving this problem than solving why wanted those 20-people !!!

  63. Robert Metcalf

    Reducing the friction for the applicant will definitely create a big opportunity for LinkedIn or Indeed to reduce the friction that they’ve added to the hiring side with all this additional data. The services you’re describing are a great opportunity for them, or a separate company altogether, to help job posters work through all the resume data.

  64. awaldstein

    Just what I needed is another reminder that ‘time is not my friend’ from my friend πŸ˜‰

  65. awaldstein

    Will do.BTW…Two tweets, one FB post, 6 emails to friends and I have a couple of interviews set up for next week for one of the positions.May not work out but I’m a big believer in a networked one to one approach.

  66. T. J. Radtke

    Charlie – my startup (CVCertify…soon to be launched in March. We enable candidates to match their skills and experience to specific job requirements and provide some proof that they meet those requirements. Candidates benefit as they have a place to park and share validated accomplishments for free and so far we are getting good reviews from recruiters. Happy to share more with you.

  67. feargallkenny

    charlie, mark and matt – check out (my own baby – about 4 weeks old) which pretty much covers what you mention matt…all without recruiters having to leave linkedin

  68. awaldstein

    Life is about what might work not about what might not.My new motto for myself.

  69. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    ‘Might work’ … the most wanted and desired word for me today. thanx @awaldstein:disqus

  70. falicon

    For me, it’s all about what I am going to make work…regardless of if it should, could, or might…You control your life and time…not the other way around…

  71. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    I think that is how you get the best applicants. This is why as an applicant – I always let close friends and associate know that I am looking for a job.

  72. Mark Essel

    Way to go @awaldstein !

  73. awaldstein

    Agree…I’m a believer in making the world in the image of my own beliefs as well.But also a pragmatist. Little is perfect at the beginning. Not everything finds its pulse without a big redo at times.

  74. T. J. Radtke

    Pains of rebranding. We are changing name from CVCertify to Acertiv this week. Appreciate the look.

  75. falicon

    As the famous man once said…I agree with you more than you agree with yourself! πŸ™‚

  76. Matt A. Myers

    That’s a good idea; Is that standard practice though?

  77. Mark Essel

    But timing is everything. Standard resource allocation challenge.

  78. LE

    “making something easier is almost always an advantage.”Spam.

  79. kidmercury

    the exception

  80. CJ

    Spam is awesome for the people who send it and those who click it, it just sucks for everyone else.

  81. ShanaC


  82. Michael Makunas

    But then is it truly “one click?””One click apply” is, in the end, just a way of optimizing the process of transferring my data to my potential employer. It follows the same pattern of reducing transactional friction that a hallmark of the web. (Does any web/mobile app ask for anything but and email address anymore?)The result of this is just more data for the employer. Which is great, unless you don’t have the resources, etc. to deal with that data. So optimizing the recruiting process with “one click apply” probably also requires some other optimizations.What would be great would be if LinkedIn, Indeed, etc. provided some other metrics. More resumes can be great, but you don’t really know unless you have some other measure of effectiveness.

  83. John Rorick

    At a large scale, to be frank, a cover letter is never looked at. If the role is internal communications, PR, certain marketing functions that is seen as part of the resume. Otherwise, rarely looked at. This is from a large corporate perspective. Recruiters “ping” a resume in about 45 seconds. Why? volume. Not saying any of this is ideal or the best approach…but it is reality.

  84. LE

    “if you want to put up obstacles”Obstacles are barriers that allow people to differentiate themselves and show initiative and be taken more seriously. That’s important for many positions and life. [1]Let’s pretend you want to push your 911 agenda. Let’s also say you have hit it big and have time in order to make your point known.Do you think if you decided to travel around personally to have meetings with various legislators you would be taken more seriously than simply sending an email or clicking a button? You would. And lest you think it’s only the money it’s not. Plenty of people have money but they aren’t interested in putting in the effort. They are all talk and no action.[1] I interviewed someone who applied to Wharton. The interview went fine and I had to write it up and make my recommendation. I suggested to the student that he make a video so he could clarify a few things that were drawbacks (he was born in Israel and his english was only so so). I said I would attach the video to my review. (Lead horse to water).A week later I get a letter thanking me for my time and “all I told him about Wharton”. (I hadn’t told him anything about Wharton). So I didn’t write any recommendation for him at all. No second chance. He failed. His english wasn’t the problem. He didn’t want to put in the effort even when it was clearly laid out to him. Very strange. And he was Israeli that’s not the norm they are big hustlers.

  85. kidmercury

    you are presenting it as an either/or dichotomy. one can do one click checkout/contact AND a more personalized, labor-intensive approach. i believe doing both when both are warranted is advantageous, and that doing one does not negate the ability to do the other.

  86. John Rorick

    Don’t take this the wrong way, but I will have a hard time encouraging my hiring leadership, especially technical, to just run with your “proof” of job accomplishment. There have been a lot of attempts at the “eharmony” of job boards over the years. If you blend such an approach with tools like Brainbench that could be looked at as an agreed upon assessment standard it could get traction, but then larger companies like mine would just go straight to those assessment tools. Just my two cents, worth much less πŸ˜‰

  87. LE

    I feel bad that legitimate sales emails have gotten tagged many times under the same stroke as fly by night and pie in the sky stuff. That’s unfortunate. Same as happened to “junk” mail. And “advertising” for that matter. And “cybersquatting”. Everybody wants to target a bogie man based on the behavior of the bad actors.

  88. John Rorick

    I think there are examples of that same list of traits being valued at large firms. It just can not be applied at the onset of the recruitment process due to volume. There are examples where culture is THE thing at large conglomerates: companies like GE and some of the big accounting firms (E&Y?) come to mind. Those decrying a one click applicant are doing so within the construct of a broken selection process. Adding volume to a troubled process can be a detriment. My perspective is slightly different. I already deal with massive amounts of unqualified applicants. If one click gets me the casually interested but ultimately perfectly qualified candidate that otherwise would not have taken the time to apply…bonus. We should not stall the progress of one click just because the rest of the engine is not yet fixed. As you said though…my perspective is large company.

  89. William Mougayar

    We received 150 applicants for one of the positions we advertised (not via Indeed). It was daunting to go through it. About 2/3 were totally throwable at first sight.

  90. ShanaC

    As someone jobseeking – thank you for recognizing people who apply as people.

  91. fredwilson

    thanks for sharing experience from the front lines, where the action is. it’s super valuable to get that perspective.

  92. ShanaC

    I’m not sure about what you say when it comes to “beauty contest.” My experience is that this is much like a bad dating process, in which a lot of what is going on is much like a bad date. I found it is almost never about whether you can do the job or not (i’ve been declined for jobs I am overqualified for because I didn’t have exactly the right background). It is about many artificial things to satistifice, a number of which is personality driven.

  93. ShanaC

    what to you is “ideal” vs qualified?

  94. ShanaC

    thank you for handling this.

  95. LE

    “i’ve been declined for jobs I am overqualified for because I didn’t have exactly the right background”It makes total sense to not hire someone who is overqualified even with the right background. You want someone that fits the job and will stay around. Not someone who will be thinking they are overqualified and keeping their eyes open.Mitigating circumstances might be if you only need someone for a short period of time.Here’s an example. A local commercial realtor that I have dealt with had a salesman working for him that used to do real estate development. This guy was a real hustler really aggressive. (An Israeli..) I said to the broker “you will need to cut him in as a partner, this guy isn’t going to stay around”. He was overqualified and he had done his own thing as an entrepreneur. (That’s another strike right there). The salesman left after maybe a year and is off doing something else.I’ve seen this happen over the years and I’ve had it happen with people that I’ve hired as well. You want someone to be good but just good enough unless, and this is important, there is opportunity for them at your company.

  96. ShanaC

    Fair, except what I am seeing is not being dinged based on qualifications, but being based on background.

  97. LE

    If the background is something like “you need a law degree” or “we need someone who has worked on the hill to be our lobbyist” or “you need to be Jewish to run Camp Ramah” there is probably little you can do to overcome that.Anyway, if you know what the objections are in advance (“if”) then you need to anticipate the negative reaction and prophylactically deal with it before the decision is made. I’m assuming you are getting the same type reaction? If so you know then what the objections are.There could be a zillion ways to illustrate this but here is one.Marissa Mayer was pregnant. But she also made it very clear that she was going to not only take very little time off, but she was going to work from home.(I know this is an outlier situation but the points stands that you have to sell against people’s objections. I also don’t think it was a shoe in for her to get the job. After all the board apparently, from what we read, didn’t know she was pregnant when they started to think about her, right?)

  98. ShanaC

    No, I’m talking about something like2 years agency side experience versus 2 years of experience (for the exact same job at say, an ecommerce company or publisher side) it would be like saying “we need someone who has worked on the hill to be our lobbyist” instead of “we need someone who has worked with a lobbying firm on the state or national level with experience implementing a lobbying campaign similar to ours” Someone who did more similar work in a state capital or even a large city may be better qualified than someone on the hill, but the hill person would seem more qualified on paper.

  99. LE

    Oh ok.I don’t want to oversimplify but what I would do is use linkedin to make some contacts with some agency people and offer to buy them coffee [1] and say you would like their help in crafting a way around this objection, or, in further understanding the basis of this thinking so you could effectively handle it going forward. If you had a friend in the business the first thing you would do is discuss this with them and plan a way around that thinking, right. And they would speak the truth with you. Who knows, by doing this you might impress someone enough to get offered a real job (although that isn’t the goal, it really is a fine ploy).So when you meet with them your belly is exposed and you are asking for help.That’s what I would do. I’ve done that with other things. It actually works pretty well for young people.[1] Or maybe tell them you want to interview them for something you are writing for a blog post. Be creative in your approach. (Having coffee isn’t really all that get the point)

  100. ShanaC

    I actually have done things like that…and continue to do. I’m concerned about this post mostly because I see people drained out from this process. At some point, even networking doesn’t help. Which is crazy