How Taleo, and other job application/listing sites, suck. A place of retreat for the job hunter. Got a tip? Send it to

Monday, December 24, 2007

The devil's log in and more sobering thoughts

You're at this blog because your heart sinks just as much as mine does when we see this:

Oh a fun time awaits let me tell you!

Of course one of the reasons why this login screen is so frustrating is that it's so familiar. You've been to this screen dozens of times, but you don't necessarily know if you have been to *this* one. Have I applied for this company before? What username could I have used? This particularly login screen implies I could have used my email address as a username. Did I?

Taleo profiles are unique to the individual company, not to all Taleo companies. More on that later, but it's terribly frustrating, particularly if it's been years since I've applied for a job with this company.

So I might try a few username/password combinations before giving up and clicking on forgotten user name.

Taleo tries to be helpful in its usual not very helpful Taleo way. It's giving you a big hint--email address is the best way because you can enter just the email and get a successful result.

But you have to be careful, as far as I can tell, if you enter in data into other fields in addition to email, and those fields are wrong or don't parse well, then you will not be successful at getting the user name returned.

That's not exactly spelled out here. Names can change, but addresses do a lot...I have no idea which address I may or may not have been at when I last applied for a job with this company. Nor do I know how strict Taleo parses addresses--is 500 North 7th St. the same as 500 N. Seventh Street? Who knows?

You could just create a new profile with a different email address--which is a silly solution, but it does work.

It would be wonderful if Taleo offered one profile that could be used to apply for jobs at any company which uses Taleo. If that's not possible, it would be downright awesome if I could log into a Taleo company profile and import data that I have already entered in to another Taleo company profile. Either would provide the type of convenience that would make me happily accept the crappy interface, technical issues and strange consistencies of Taleo.

But here's the rather sobering thought I had in the shower today: HR departments are notoriously staffed by fools who use odd rules to filter out job applicants (I can't necessarily blame them, because of how many applications they get.)

One of those rules may be something like "no more than two jobs in the previous five years."

I realized today that the Taleo software may very well allow for that type of filtering--all the work an applicant put into getting their stuff online and a Taleo filter immediately removes it from the applicant queue. A human doesn't even get to see the application--which is a shame because that applicant may have just the right resume or cover letter in spite of not meeting some random little rule.

It wouldn't surprise me if the system worked that way--after all, Taleo works for *them* and not *us*. However, if we knew the most common filtering, we could possibly outsmart the software and get through to a human. And if that's the case, this blog has a purpose that I had not previously envisioned.


bendodge said...

I agree: Taleo desperately needs a way to move profile data from one company to another. The amount of time wasted in their system is mind-boggling.

Anonymous said...

Fucking "A" Amen brother. I hate Taleo and matter of fact I forgo submissions for jobs I'm looking for if I see Taleo is that fucking bad. I will use the same username and sometimes it remembers and sometimes it doesn't but the worse part is I reset my password and the next day it doesn't recognize it. This happens ALL The time for Fuck Taleo....