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Friday, August 28, 2009

Exploring SAP. Not sweet at all.

Well I had a little period of unjustifiable job applying, and the results of that is some new usability annoyances, my gift to you, loyal readers.

The first starts off with a Taleo complaint. Keep in mind, I'm not sure if this issue is caused by Taleo, or the hiring company, who has not well-configured its setup.

This comes from the initial Taleo page for a random company (it's actually Kroll, but that's important here.)

The fact that I can immediately begin searching for jobs by narrowing my search down to jobs in Burlington, Vermont implies to me that there are jobs available in Burlington, Vermont.

There aren't any. In fact, they only have jobs in probably 3-4 cities in the nation, meaning that just about any city you choose in that list will lead to no results (or jobs which have no particular geographic location.)

Definitely not a user-friendly or logical outcome. If there are no jobs in that location, please don't allow me to search for it.

My next series of complaints come from some sort of SAP system, as used by the airline Jetblue.

The little calendar pop-up is often a welcome when making airline reservations. I can hone in on a date by looking at the month and such.

It makes little sense here, because often times I don't know the exact date work started or ended. I don't think the employer really cares either. Worse, my instinct was to use the calendar, until I needed to enter in a date for 2007, and the only way to get back to 2007 was to go back one month at a time (clicking for each month on the back arrow.) I quickly gave up on that and entered the date (well, a date) in the box.

Which brings me back to something I've complained about before. Pull down boxes for countries. Completely unnecessary: they slow the job-seeker down annoyingly to find a particular country. Look, if the job seeker worked in that country, they can likely spell the country in an open form-field.

This particular list does not have "United States" as the top listing. While I'm not suggesting that USA need appear at the top of all these lists, given the fact that this is an American company and mostly Americans will be applying, there's no reason why all these job seekers have to scroll all the way down the damn list.

But I am grateful that they did have the Heard and McDonald Islands in their job list, because you never know who will need to note that a job they had was on one of two uninhabited, barren Antarctic islands.

Did I mention they're uninhabited? As in no people. No population. None.

When entering experience, this system wants you to categorize the industry that you had the job in. I hate doing these things, because the categories are often not particularly standardized. (Example: Most of the time "Human Resources" is a top level category. On this site, it falls under "Other Services" which is where I think "Real Estate" should fit.)

Incidentally, I found the listing of jobs on the Jetblue site unreadable in Firefox and Chrome. Not pleased.

I'm going to continue picking on SAP, and for good reason. Their error messages are fabulous:

This is basically a session time out on the First Energy HR site. SAP continues to deliver some of the worst error messages ever.

Let's go back to the main site so I can get a session working, and start looking at jobs:

It's not very obvious how you're supposed to just browse for jobs. You can do so just by pressing the "Start" button, which I guess is searching for jobs with no criteria selected, as indicated by the fact that the three boxes have a field highlighted which is blank. I'm sure this was put together by some very bright database-head, but it's unintuitive and stupid.

Now here are my results:

This page is so unintuitive and badly setup, it makes me cry. I can feel my blood pressure rise, and I don't even eat that much salt.

First of all, it's not obvious that there are more jobs which are available, but I can't see. Each job is a "row" and 15 rows are displayed, so there are six more jobs which aren't being shown. I could figure that out by counting the rows displayed, and seeing that there are six missing, or I could figure that out by the three yellow buttons at the bottom (which are, in order, next row, next page and last row...I'm sure you didn't need me to explain that because it's patently obvious based on their design.)

I don't know why it says "row 1 of 21" because no row (or job...why don't they just fucking call it a "job"?) is actually selected.

I know why they won't call it a job, because it's some lame database that's been hacked together to work as an HR application system.

Since the jobs aren't numbered, it's not obvious where I am in the list, unless I figure out that "row 2 of 21" indicates that job 2 is the first job listed at the top of the page, and that 1 job from the top isn't dispayed, and 5 others are not shown from the bottom of the list. I don't know why I am given buttons to advance by pages, because it's not particularly obvious that this system thinks of things in terms of pages of 15, since it's so damn fascinated by rows. (And how would I know that pages are broken down in sets of 15 rows without actually counting the rows? And at what point would I give up on First Energy when I realize I'm counting jobs on a page in order to figure out their damn system?)

As readers of this blog know, I like to go ahead and open a job I'm interested in in a new tab on my browser. So my natural inclination is to right click on the job...

Grr. Apparently it won't let me do that because I'm contained in some sort of database hell within my browser. So I'm given two options, one to close...well, honestly, I don't know, and
the second to get help on the field I clicked on.

Since the first one doesn't seem to toggle anything, I'll try the second.

Ahh. Yes, now that is helpful.

I might complain a lot about Taleo, but at least they've got a usability designer somewhere. This system was put together by a database nerd and that's it. It's truly awful.


Nicolas said...

All you list here seems very exagarated. But it's all true! I'm upset by Taleo, and I wonder why big companies uses this Taleo system.

Sometime I wonder if it's not part of the recruiting process to keep only the more docile candidates.

Anonymous said...

I have a few complaints about taleo ... one is, if 500 companies use the same system, why do I have to re-fill out all the info for every company? Can't they make it kind of a global thing? Two. It's search capabilities suck. I tell it just my state, and it says "zero listings available", yet if I search ALL jobs, I can find my state with plenty of listings. It's a shitty piece of software.

Andrew Bell said...

Every time I go to a job site for a company and they are using Taleo, I just give up. It is incredibly slow. I seldom works as suggested. How they sold this to big companies, some that (I hope) could make something better themselves, is a mystery. Is there an opportunity here?

Kadim said...

Is there an opportunity here? Interesting question.

I really don't know what Taleo does for companies other than organize the jobs available in one place.

Most, but not all, of the emails I've received from HR people suggest that they dislike the software as much as we do.

So yes, I should think there's some type of opportunity available.

Tim said...

Amen! Why do I have to fill in the same inane forms over and over when I've gone to five different companies all using the same crappy software? (and thank you so much for making me research the exact months that I started and left employers from over a decade ago)

and why is it so hard to support Safari on a mac?

Anonymous said...

Taleo does is absolutely horrible. Every time I encounter a Taleo job app, I search for another way to apply. Its just not worth it. System errors, parsing that doesn't parse, and the same stupid forms --- talk about unfriendly.
Maybe the main product feature is to reduce the number of applicants.

KevinC said...

I absolutely hate taleo... I'm a frustrated job searcher right now.

Rob said...

I just spent 25 minutes re-entering all of the information that can be found on my resume. I needed to add additional work experience. That button didn't work. I thought I'd try to attach my resume first and go back to that aspect. I got an error screen. Why fucking ask for my resume anyway if you just want me to painstakingly re-enter all of the information already contained in it? I suppose they want to be able to qualify/sort submissions easily but this is taxing my sanity. I HATE this company. Fuck you Taleo.

Stephen said...

You have no idea how happy I am to find this blog. I am about ready to pull my hair out applying to so many companies through Taleo. Random errors, questions that don't belong (asking me, a Canadian applying to jobs in CANADA, if I'm eligible to work in the United States? WTF? and when I answer "no", will this irrelevant question somehow flag my application?), email confirmations at the WRONG time (I keep the "thank you for your submission" email BEFORE I actually submit anything), and of course the endless cutting and pasting of information already found on my resume.


But yet, I trudge on, because this garbage software is not worth limiting my job options over!

Anonymous said...

I HWTE Taleo so much! I found some relief when I found this blog and confiding in well intentioned job-seekers like myself wasting their time on an incompetent piece of crap.

If you are a programmer or have the knowledge to make a better system than what Taleo has, I will back you up! Someone could do so much better. I will personally call every company and tell them to drop Taleo to switch. No, I will personally visit the company headquarters and camp out for a week to get them to get rid of this POS program.

Go to hell Taleo.

Chuck said...

I groan whenever I see that Taleo is being used by a potential employer.

Sometimes I suck it up because I want the job, but sometimes it really isn't worth the trouble.

Here is a link to the Taleo Customer page:

While there are some big names on there, they aren't exactly the who's who of quick and nimble companies.

I'm going to refer to this page to look for companies to avoid.

Anonymous said...

I'm another guy job hunting and finding this Taleo poison infecting the vacancy pages.

It is so crappy.

E.g. Get a bunch of results and then select one job. Go back to results ... FAIL.

Right-click the interesting matches to open in new Firefox tab ... nope ... Taleo FAILS.

I also look for other companies or methods to find a position when I see this junk.

Anonymous said...

Gobsmacked these technically inept f*ckwits are still in business.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if they have the filters set to keep more qualified applicants from threatened bosses. For example, say a boss says to HR, I only need someone with a Bachelor degree, and he has a Masters...
Or maybe age? Who knows, they get your date of birth? That's easy to screen, right?
I noticed I was getting immediate rejection form letters in my email. Who in HR works on a weekend, or got through my and others' applications in a few minutes?
There is something rotten about all of this. I see really crappy people in jobs, and heck, how can employment screening software be selecting some of these people?
What do HR people do all day? Is this just one way for them not to be accountable, should someone turn out to be a bad choice, or steal from the company? Can they shrug and say to the department manager, that Taleo selected 5 applicants for them?
I am sure this allows them freedom from legalities in the hiring process, but I wonder how much filtering they are doing on applicants...

Anonymous said...

I absolutely abhor TALEO. It makes absolutely NO SENSE AT ALL that I have to keep re-entering and re-entering and re-entering the same information time and time and time again to the same damn website. How bad do you want the job? No. Forget it. It's not worth it ANYMORE. I agree - I have a very strong feeling that Taleo by its very nature is eliminating the most qualified applicants who have other applications to submit which aren't nearly so cumbersome or time consuming. I hate taleo.

Anonymous said...

Using Taleo is torturous.

Anonymous said...

Yes, definitely not a friendly system for jobseekers or "Data subjects" as we're referred to in their privacy policy. Read it carefully!

Anonymous said...

I wish Taleo could just go out of business. Can't someone develop a system to just blow them out of the water.

Anonymous said...

Taleo is not user friendly, in fact it is tortuous. Sorry, get rid of it and ask for a refund if you paid for it.

kristina said...

Thank you SOOO much for this blog. I have started my own job search website. While researching for a post on my hatred of Taleo I found your blog. Feel free to commiserate at Taleo- a love/hate relationship (mostly hate)

Anonymous said...

These kind of sites are farad. Here is what I do,when I am faced with a Taleo prompt, I exit the job application process. It has proven time after time to not deliver a job follow up, not even a thank you. It is for lazy hr people to allow a computer to deliver an applicant . If everyone would just not apply for jobs requesting Taleo information they would have to go back to considering each applicants resume or using recruiters. This the old fashion way but it works better and produces better results. No telling how many good candidates were now picked to move forward with an interview. Down right wrong!.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of computers doing a job for you. My previous post has auto correct error. Farad should have been farse. and Now should have been not. Computers can't do everything.

Anonymous said...

The engineers who did Taleo should be ashamed of themselves.
Slow, unfriendly, unnecessary complex, ugly,buggy, piece of crap

Anonymous said...

Any company that uses this crap HR softwar is a company I would NEVER work for.

Anonymous said...

Also, what is the purpose of uploading your resume if you have to retype everything anyway? Even though the computer parses through the resume and sometimes might fill in the required fields, you still have to go back and correct it.

Anonymous said...

Dear Taleo,

FUCK YOU! Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

I HATE TALEO. Their Bank of America application process sucks and thats being nice.

Forget your password? They ask you to provide the COLLEGE DEGREE that you listed in your taleo profile. CaSe-SeNsIsTiVe!!! Hello?

Did I enter B.A. or BA Or Bach of Arts or Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor Of Arts OR WHAT??? How the F should I know?

Your account gets locked out after you try to REMEMBER WHAT YOU PROVIDED after many months, even over a year now since completing their huge long account profile.

Their solution? Create another account. Oh, sure. I'll spend another 2 hours recreating my account when all of my information is already there.

SCREW THAT and it doesnt speak fireworks for Bank of America for using this pathetic system. They've lost a DAMN GOOD software developer too.

Taleo sucks beyond all imagination.

Anonymous said...

taleo es una mierda

Anonymous said...

so, i opened up a site for to do an application this morning, maybe around 11:30

takes an hour to answer all their questions and use the dropdowns to input every place i've lived and sandwich i've eaten.

why? it's fucking taleo.

then, when i finally go to submit, I try to see if I can CTRL-A (or otherwise) copy all my data before clicking SUBMIT, as I know there's a shot it'll blow up.

Nope. No way. Cross my fingers.

So, they're doing system updates.


Couldn't they have at least had the common decency to display a pop-up indicating that there was upcoming maintenance at the time I started the application process..?

Yes, they could have.

Even easier yet, couldn't they have closed the door on the FRONT END two hours before shutting down the BACK END..?

Yes, they could have.


Anonymous said...

I hate Taleo !! It's such a shity software made by some stupid coders. Second come SAP for HR management, again holy shit

Anonymous said...

I see what Taleo's problem is. Its plain as day. They use ABAP. Its SAP built CRAP and when I see this I persuade whomever it is to get rid of that garbage "software".

Never have I seen a more horrendously designed system in my life.

I think its time that smart developers get together and develop a system that puts TALEO and everything associated with it OUT OF BUSINESS!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree, Taleo sucks balls and I am not sure why so many companies use it. My issue has been that Taleo has glitches and errors that prevent me from actually submitting the application, essentially denying me a chance at the job. When I approach the company I tried to apply to, they insist that I apply through their taleo site..which either keeps crashing, gives me gobbledygook error messages, or fails to load at all.

Anonymous said...

Taleo absolutely Sucks.

Its not intuitive to use this piece of c***.

This is a prime example of how corporations get sucked into marketing hype and herd mentality.

norcalwgfan said...

This is Heather. How can I help you?
I was looking for a way to thwart potential employees from applying for my open positions. I want a large, bulky HR system like Taleo. How can you help me enrage unemployed talent?
So you're interested in purchasing one of our applications?
Yes, only if it is complicated to use and crashes constantly. The minimum amount of time I want a potential employee using the system is at least an hour

Anonymous said...

First off, why do you have to register to insert a comment on a suck-ass blog? Second, has anyone ever actually got a job by using Taleo?

Anonymous said...

I attempted to fill out an application for Macy's this week and when I had completed filling out my information, I pressed 'submit.' The network would not accept it. It said that I had left a field blank. It even highlighted the blank field for me so I could provide the necessary information for consideration. Funny thing is that the answer was ALREADY in the box. So I attempted to submit it again and it still wouldn't work. So guess what Macy's? I'm not shopping at your store for a LONG TIME!!!

Anonymous said...

I attempted to fill out an application for Macy's this week and when I had completed filling out my information, I pressed 'submit.' The network would not accept it. It said that I had left a field blank. It even highlighted the blank field for me so I could provide the necessary information for consideration. Funny thing is that the answer was ALREADY in the box. So I attempted to submit it again and it still wouldn't work. So guess what Macy's? I'm not shopping at your store for a LONG TIME!!!

Anonymous said...

Adding obligatory "Taleo Makes Me Wanna-" post for 2015. I am panicking over not being able to log in with Google or register.

Anonymous said...

Taleo, you fucking suck.