BlogBreak guest contributor Gary Wheeler discusses his experiences with job application kiosks:
Prior to the 2008 holidays, I made a few trips to retailers seeking a seasonal position. Consumer spending wasn’t stellar and many big box retailers who normally hire seasonal workers, held off.
Although they weren’t hiring, they allowed you to complete their employment application. I decided to make store visits, in hopes that I would be able to connect with a real live person, look them in the eye and say, I would like to work for you!
Several companies only had an online application process. This is a very convenient way to apply for a position; however, you have to be a lucky stiff to stand out of the crowd on a computer for an $8.00 to $10.00 hour job.
A couple places still had the paper application but most had a KIOSK. The two-top retailers in the U.S. had very sophisticated systems, and it took about an hour to answer all of their questions, depending on the position I was applying for.
There was one KIOSK in a very large company that I will refer to as the KIOSK from HELL. It took 90-minutes to complete the application. The system was sluggish as if it were running on dial-up internet service. I would get kicked out every 10-minutes and would have to either start over or at certain phase of the program. Even the manager on duty complained and said, “it was the worst system he had ever experienced”. It was a nightmare. I decided that I would complete all future applications from the comfort of my own home.
The lesson I learned is to complete the application online vs. the in store KIOSK, if given a choice. If completing an application on a KIOSK, get there when the store opens or you may have to wait a while. Make sure you utilize the restart code process if they allow you to enter one. The KIOSK isn’t going to call you. A person will. You still have to follow up with someone and bug the heck out of him or her if you want to get hired (in a nice way).
The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Have you had a positive or negative KIOSK experience? How do you feel about the trend towards moving much of the job application process online? Does the lack of human interaction hurt or help you in the job search?