Recruitment and Job Search iPhone Applications – Part 2
This is the second installment in our ongoing series where the iPhone Development team here at Kaweb take a look at the current state of iPhone applications. We’ve chosen to look in detail at recruitment and job search iPhone applications. In part 1 we looked in depth at the Monster App which pretty much sets the benchmark for job search applications for the iPhone platform. This time around we’re going to be looking at the Jobsite App.
Jobsite.co.uk first went live in 1995 and launched their mobile service in 2010 and is now available in native app form not just for iPhone but Android and Windows Phone 7 platforms too. We’ll be taking a look at version 1.5 of their iPhone app.
First up, it’s quick to start, much faster than the Monster App and the app is persistant after backgrounding (which the Monster app isn’t!). Such a simple thing, but very useful during intense job search sessions. (imagine your flicking back a forth between this App and Google maps, or a public transport planner App to ensure you can actually reach the job your drooling over).
The search options are simply and cleanly presented on the home screen, right to the point, no fluff. The rest of the apps features are easily accessible from the time honoured bottom navigation bar. Basic job searching can be done without access to a Jobsite account, the Shortlisting feature will however need an account.
If you have a Jobsite account you can enter your details within the setting tab or if you need to sign up you can use the “Create an Account” option, this function needs a little work, it’s not a native form, its loads the Jobsite website and for me it doesn’t quite fit (as you can see for the screen above, “Country of Residence”). It’s a bit clunky and there doesn’t seem to be anyway to edit/upload a CV from within the App, so you’ll likely need access to a desktop/laptop to complete your job search.
The Jobsite search has some useful features, including easily selectable sorting and filtering options and the very cute feature of allowing you to expand the results from a short format which just has the location and salary, to a long format which includes a snippet of the full job description (changed via the strange little button in the bottom right of the search results). If your looking to develop your own app you really shouldn’t under estimate the power of these little features. The one usability quirk I found was the + button next to the job listings adds the job to your short list, rather than shows you more details. I found myself clicking that area instinctively to get more information on a job. Usability testing is a key part of app development and i’m not sure how that issue would have slipped through intensive testing! Other basic features like saving your searches are also helpfully present, with your saved searches listed under the “Favourites” tab (I’m not sure thats the best name for that tab, too close to Shortlisting for my liking).
Once you’ve spotted your perfect job from the job search you can click through and get more details, which are a bit ugly it has to be said. The formatting isn’t great but all the information you’ll need is right there. Applying for a job is a bit of a fuss. Once you click the ‘Apply’ button the Jobsite website will appear, showing the same job listing you where just browsing at which point you’ll have to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Apply” again, and then sign in! (of course once I did sign in I was told I didn’t have a CV listed and so couldn’t apply). If your going to build a native app, don’t send your users in a browser to your site once the process get’s a bit tricky. Usability wise having to click Apply , scroll down, click Apply again and then login (again) sucks. Don’t do that, do everything to avoid that!
If you are forced to leave your mobile device behind and go to a computer to finish the application process the shortlisting feature will help to bookmark the jobs you want to apply for and you’ll be able to call that list up once you are on the main Jobsite website.
Overall this is a very simple and to the point app with few flaws. It’s worth echoing the same disappointment I had with the Monster app that being that the app is sorely lacking in information. I think the user experience could be greatly enhanced by adding content (advice, videos etc.) from their site into the App, which they seem to have in the Windows Phone 7 version of the App which hopefully we will review at a later date.
A common theme I’m seeing with these Apps is a complete lack of commitment to keeping the job application process in App. Far too often the more complex tasks will be farmed out to loading a browser window pointed to the website of the App.
The Jobsite App is a good app to get if you’re currently looking for a job, you won’t be disappointed with it’s simplicity and easy of use. Join us next time for another look into the app market. 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.