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Recruitment and Job Search iPhone Applications – Part 1

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As iPhone application developers we here at Kaweb take more than a passing interest in the current state of iPhone Applications, whether that be out of pure curiosity or as part of opposition research when developing new App ideas for our clients.

 

But why keep our opinions to ourselves? If you’re currently developing or commissioning an iPhone App we hope this new mini-series of reviews will help you gain an understanding of the current state of iPhone applications and how to make your App stand out from the crowd (for all the right reasons!)

 

Our first set of reviews will take a look at Recruitment and Job Search applications for the iPhone platform and the first App we will review is from Monster.

 

Monster

Monster is one of the biggest names in online recruitment launched in 1999 it later (2007) moved into the mobile arena with it’s mobile job search site and later it’s iPhone and Android App. We’ll be taking a look at version 1.2.0 of the iPhone application.

Monster Loading Screen

Monster Loading Screen

 

First thing to say about the Monster App is that it’s slow to load, it speeds up after the initial load but the really bad news is that the App isn’t persistent after backgrounding, so multi-tasking is a no no whilst using this App.

 

We think that lack of persistence when multitasking is a major hassle for users, if you’re hoping users will spend a lot of time within your App getting this sorted should be priority #1.

 

Monster Home

Monster Home Screen

 

The home screen is clean and simple and allows users the opportunity to search without a Monster account, which is a definite bonus for getting the casual user using your App. If the user doesn’t sign in they will be restricted to a limited subset of features, but once they do sign in they have the ability to manage their whole account from the home screen (shown above). Logging into my account I was able to view my saved job searches, application history and also view (but not edit) my resumes and cover letters.

 

 

The search is beautifully simple, allowing the user to search on job titles, keywords and location. Helpfully they provide examples and details of what type of information should be entered into the form, this is very helpful from a user experience perspective. The search results provide a very clear overview of the key information, location, job title and posted date. All that’s missing is the salary, which would make a nice addition.

 

Filtering search results can be done once the user has conducted a search (i.e. you search wide, then filter down with salary ranges and distance from specified location).  This keeps the main search view very simple unlike some of the more cluttered Apps we will see in future posts.

 

 

The job details are pretty basic, but to the point. The job description itself is held in a separate view from the basic job details for reasons passed understanding. I would have had this all in one view for simplicities sake.

 

The one beautiful feature is the map view, very simply it gives you a two pins on a map, your current location and the location of the job. Such a simple touch but it makes the world of difference to job hunters. The only things I would add is the ability to get driving directions (or at the very least distance in miles/hours) as well as the ability to switch the pin between your current location and the location you searched for. I think the developers over looked the fact that users might be physically searching from a different location than where their search radius is.

 

Once I was signed in the “Sign In” button at the top of the job details view was replaced by an “Apply” button, but frequently I was told I couldn’t apply via the App and I would have to save the job, go online to monster.com and apply there. Why? This is very frustrating! There’s little point in owning the App if I can’t apply through it. I hope this is just a problem with my account or the type of jobs I was pretending to apply for. Your mileage may vary (I hope it does!)

 

Monster Apply

Monster Application Fail

 

Conclusion

Overall I think this is one of the best Apps for job seekers out there at the moment, it has a few issues but these feel like they can be fixed in future updates and won’t require such a sea change in terms of the App’s development. I’m slightly worried by the recent addition of a QR code scanner, it’s gimmicky and they seem to just be going with a trend rather than finding a genuine use for it. They also really need to be careful that users can actually use the App to apply for jobs, I wasn’t able to.

 

If you believe the hype (see: Steve Jobs) we are heading towards a world where a new generation of users will not have a desktop or laptop, they will have a tablet and smart phone. The Monster App goes along way to allowing a user to manage their job seeking just purely in-app, but they still have a way to go and I would like to see them add resume and cover letter editing and then truly you’ll never need to visit their website ever again, you can manage everything from within the App!

 

The one major disappointment of this App is the lack of information, the Monster site has a wealth of information and tools to help you find your perfect career but the app has none of this which is something I hope they fix at a later date I think it could really make this App shine. Also Monster has video tutorials on their own site explaining how to get the most out of the App, why aren’t these tutorials playable (or even linked) within the App? Missed opportunity, this App on the face of it looks a complex, it doesn’t need to be dumbed down but it does need an explantation.

 

The Monster App really sets the bar quite high, next time I’ll be looking at another major player in the Job Search App market to see if they can better it. In the meantime if you’d like our input on your iPhone Application or an idea for one please contact us and we’d be happy to help.

 

Update

The second part of this series where we review the Jobsite app is now live.

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