Would You Pay $5 to Apply For A Job?

Mark Gavagan
2 min readFeb 15, 2017

THE PROBLEM FOR JOB SEEKERS: Submitting tons of resumes and applications for jobs, but getting no response whatsoever — the dreaded “black hole.” It’s very frustrating.

THE PROBLEM FOR HR RECRUITERS: Dealing with a huge volume of applications from job seekers who are not even remotely qualified for the position. It’s very frustrating.

THE IDEA: Every applicant pays $5 in order to apply for a job, in exchange for guaranteed responses from the company (no more applying into a “black hole”).

  • Responses might be automated emails from “no reply” addresses.
  • Two guaranteed responses: (1) confirmation your application is received, and (2) if/when you are no longer a candidate for the job.
  • At least half of the $5 application fee goes to a charity (and none of the money goes to the company itself).
  • Even this small fee will cause many job seekers to opt themselves out of applying for jobs they aren’t qualified for, resulting in much fewer unqualified applications for HR to deal with (huge time savings).

Love or hate this idea? Tell me why on this THREE question anonymous survey.

  • This is probably not the right approach for entry-level jobs.
  • $5 may not always be the right amount.
  • Yes, wealthier people would have (yet another) advantage. Nothing’s perfect, including the status quo.
  • The fee would probably discourage some qualified people from applying for a position, but I wonder if that person has much genuine interest anyway. Perhaps rewarding applications that result in an interview with a $50 gift card would counter this.
  • Current HR software that filters applicants for keywords wrongly filters out qualified candidates who don’t happen to have just the right keywords or phrases in their submission.

Love or hate this idea? Tell me why on this THREE question anonymous survey. If enough people provide feedback, I’ll write a follow-up article sharing the insights.

UPDATE: Survey results and reader comments are here.