If you’re job searching in 2023, there’s a strong likelihood you’re going to be relying almost exclusively on applications and digital services to do so. Global research by Cisco AppDynamics finds that the average person in Singapore now uses more than five applications or digital services when looking for or applying for a new job – and this figure increases to eight in the U.S. and nine in India.

Whether it’s jobs sites to find new opportunities, company careers websites to research organizations, social media platforms to engage with key contacts, or employer review sites to learn the employee perspective, jobseekers are using a wide range of applications to find their next role.

Most people in Singapore, whether they’re working or looking for a job, are using jobs-related applications several times a week. Even people who are relatively happy in their job are using job-focused applications frequently, a reflection of the fact that employees have become far more open to hearing about other job opportunities. Recent workforce dynamics such as the Great Resignation demonstrate the extent to which many workers are reflecting on their current careers and positions and constantly considering whether they would be more fulfilled elsewhere.

Our research, conducted in March and April 2023, indicates that this movement in the labor market will continue throughout this year and into next, with 62 percent of employees in Singapore stating they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, and 42 percent reporting they are likely to leave their current job. People are now far more inclined to explore other job opportunities, seemingly on a regular basis, and applications and digital services are enabling them to do so.

Jobseekers react strongly to bad digital experiences

As jobseekers have become wholly reliant on applications and digital services to find and secure their next role, their expectations of how these applications perform have increased dramatically. 99 percent state it’s important the applications they use to find and apply for jobs provide a fast and seamless experience, without any delays or disruption.

Worldwide, consumers have become far more sophisticated and selective in their use of applications and digital services. Evidently, jobseekers are now expecting the same quality of digital experience when they’re looking for a new job as they get when they’re shopping online, streaming content or booking tickets to the movies. They won’t accept a below par digital experience just because an application is related to their work or a job. Digital transformation has become a must for companies, and already, Singapore companies are leading in digitalizing customer experience and engagement as compared to their global peers.

Significantly, people’s reactions when they encounter a bad digital experience have risen, which is in line with their heightened expectations. As we all know, looking for a job can take a lot of time and effort and for many people, it can be an incredibly stressful experience, not to mention the current cost-of-living crisis where income is hugely important. And therefore, when applications and digital services don’t work properly, they feel let down and highly frustrated. In fact, 79% of jobseekers in Singapore admit that they feel anxious and angry if the applications they use to find and apply for a new job don’t perform properly.

Alarmingly for businesses, 73 percent of people in Singapore state that if they encounter disruption or downtime when using an employer’s job-related applications – such as careers pages on a website or email and messaging tools to support the application process – it puts them off working for the organization in question. People will walk away from an employer whose applications don’t live up to their expectations.

A clear message for employers – application performance is critical

With access to skills now a major challenge for almost all businesses, it’s essential that they recognize the importance of digital experience within their talent attraction strategies. Employers can’t afford any disruption or downtime to their recruitment-related applications – otherwise they risk alienating huge numbers of potential new hires.

But to ensure their applications are performing at an optimal level at all times, organizations need to equip their IT teams with the right tools and insights. Currently, many technologists are struggling to cope with soaring complexity within the IT department, caused in large part by the move to multi-cloud and hybrid environments. IT teams don’t have unified visibility across an increasingly fragmented IT estate and therefore they can’t get a clear line of sight on applications with components running across on-premises and cloud native technologies. This makes it impossible for them to swiftly pinpoint root causes and remediate issues before they impact end user experience – in this case, prospective employees.

This is why it’s now critical for IT teams to implement a unified observability solution which spans across both cloud native and on-premises environments and monitors the health of key business transactions distributed across the entire technology landscape. With real-time insights from the business transaction’s telemetry data, technologists can quickly understand issues and expedite resolution, so that applications are always operating at peak performance.

There are no second chances for organizations when it comes to their recruitment-related applications. Most people claim that they will only give employers one chance to impress them with their applications and digital services. Get it wrong, and jobseekers will turn their backs en masse. But get it right, and employers can generate huge goodwill amongst potential new hires – 86 percent of people in Singapore report that they would want to work for an employer that provides brilliant, seamless digital experiences throughout the recruitment process. For many organizations, whose future success depends on their ability to address skills gaps and bring new talent into the workforce, the benefits of seamless digital experience could be game changing.

James Harvey is CTO Advisor EMEA at Cisco AppDynamics. James is a

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