Taleo Sucks

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Last year, I transitioned from freelancing to a full-time job. This involved some amount of job hunting, and thus some interaction with the worst web interface I have ever seen.

Taleo is a company that makes talent management and recruitment software. Their backend, I’m sure, is a cleanly written system to manage personnel/HR needs. I’m sure. Peachy, for anyone working in HR. It’s a good thing HR doesn’t have to struggle through the pile of s— their applicants do. The Taleo internet-facing interface is sad…Perhaps ‘make’ was too strong a word at the start of the paragraph. “Cobbles together like 3rd graders mixing farts” is more apt.

Months ago, I didn’t save screencaps of the worst interface offenses, but they are so plentiful that a mere minute yielded this simple issue:

Notice something wrong? Taleo serves jobs for Memphis when the criteria specified Vancouver, WA. Now, perhaps this company isn’t entering locations in the correct field when posting jobs. OK. Maybe HR just messed up. So why does the software have cities listed where the company doesn’t even have operations? I mean, Joseph, OR is a beautiful place with some cool bronze foundries, but the Fortune 100 IT company I grabbed that from isn’t going to be hiring there. Unless they have a secret division doing artistic bronze work.

Next, we get to the horrible javascript mess of Taleo. Click on a job on page 2+ of results, then select a job. When you click “Return to Previous Page”, you get sent back to page 1. Nice. Do I have to keep a sticky note of pages I’ve been through? Or maybe I could just open a bunch of job posts in new tabs as I go through the multiple pages of postings, right? Not so much. Every job is opened via a script, meaning tabs are effectively disabled.

I could spend hours ranting beyond the small sampling of above problems, which range from the sad search interface to the actual application process. The fundamental problem with Taleo is simple: The front end sucks, and given the application process, it saps qualities from an individual and transforms the individual into a set of quantities that give little indication of real potential.

How hard does Taleo want to make it to search jobs? Taleo was such a tremendous waste of time that companies using Taleo fell to the bottom of the pile. I would apply only if time permitted, because Taleo applications could take ten times longer than an emailed cover letter and resume.

Many companies are losing talented applicants to the rancid fart that is Taleo’s web-facing interface. The competition probably thanks you. I do, because Taleo served as a good way to judge the quality of management decisionmaking I would have to live with at a company.

/rant

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