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Why do employment platforms lead to job search discouragement?

Employment platforms are not accessible for everyone, with most job seekers finding it challenging to search and apply for jobs, reveals new research by Emlyon Business School.

The study, conducted by Guillaume Dumont, Associate Professor at Emlyon Business School, with Stefano de Marco and Ellen Helsper, investigated how job seekers use job search platforms such as Infojobs, Jobs Today, and LinkedIn. They conducted more than 80 interviews with job seekers and recruiters in Spain, as well as a national survey, over two years.

They discovered that users unanimously found the job search challenging because of their limited knowledge and skill in using employment platforms and felt discomfort about posting personal and professional information. Further, they revealed that only 20 percent of respondents were aware of how critical keywords are for recruiters in matching vacancies and profiles.

‘In many cases, people give up on profile creation or provide the minimum amount of information because they are exhausted. This is then further exacerbated by the fact that most of these platforms are on people’s mobile phones and consulted all day long, they feel like they can’t escape the job search,’ says Guillaume Dumont.

In most cases, those who use employment platforms are overwhelmed by the high volume of applications and the absence of tangible outcomes. Additionally, the lack of communication from recruiters fuelled uncertainty and stress, leading most participants to view employment platforms as useless, leading to a process of job search discouragement.

‘With most job offers posted online since the pandemic; our findings are particularly important for job seekers with low levels of qualification. Job interventions are rarely designed to help them craft a coherent profile, to display all the requested information, and to make their application visible by using keywords and targeting the right employers.’

This research has been published by the journal New Technology Work and Employment.

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