As some of you may already know, I’m planning a move to Seattle this fall, and as such, I’m researching potential jobs in design in the area. I’ve been told that Amazon is a great employer in the the region, so I pointed my browser toward their aptly titled Careers section (well, somewhat titled… the nomenclature jumped between “jobs” and “careers” a lot, when, really, the terms are not interchangeable… a job is a task or perhaps a series of tasks, whereas a career is an occupation undertaken for a long period of time. Answering phones at a call centre is a job; being a designer is a career).
Actually, I should say I attempted to point my browser at the Careers section. A few links into the process, after clicking, of all things, a posting for a Customer Experience position, the site decided that I had more than one browser window open containing an Amazon.com Careers page and that I’d better close that window, or the terrorists would win. Okay, sorry Careers section, I didn’t know it was a felony to open multiple tabs for different postings. Window closed.
Or was it? I went back to the position listing page, just to have it reload and inform me that I had multiple windows open, and that I’ll need to close them and restart my browser.
EXCUSE ME? I have to restart my browser just to continue searching for jobs? But… but… I have about 20 tabs open. And I’m sorry, but why should I have to do this? You’re the one placing bizarre, needless restrictions on my browsing habits, Careers section!
Okay, luckily for me, I have a surfeit of browsers installed on my Mac. Let’s fire up Firefox. Careful… don’t open up any other windows, lest ye be smitten by the almighty hand of the Careers section! Ah, good, it’s working now.
Now, let’s think about this for a moment: 99% of people would have become so frustrated by an experience such as this that they would close their browser and not bother re-opening it. It’s one thing in a careers section… Imagine it being part of the checkout process! That would result in lost sales and, if the case were bad enough, lost customers. In our example, it would lead to frustrated potential employees, and thoughts of “man… if even reading the listings is this hard, I’m terrified to think of the interview process*.”
*In case you are curious, the interview process is laboriously laid out in another quadrant of the Careers section, including, but by all means, not limited to: 1-2 phone interviews, on-site gauntlet of bravery with 5-7 people, suggestion of bringing note paper, resumé quiz, and one of those “trust falls” you see on team building seminars. Okay, maybe not that last one. But needless to say, they’re quite thorough. You might want to ask them to look for that old catchers mitt you had in the 5th grade while they’re digging.