Finding a job is hard work. Let me amend that. Finding a job that fits your needs, skills sets, and is something you like is hard work. The days of perusing the classified ads or just sending off a resume are long gone.
Why? Because like so many processes in life the hiring process has become largely automated. No, there are not sentient robots sitting by the phone culling through resumes. It is much more impersonal than that. Your ability to get through the labyrinth of the hiring maze is controlled by algorithms. The same mathematical formulas that determine which ads you see on your phone also tell hiring managers who the best prospects are. (OK, they are not the exact same algorithms…work with us here.)
And where do these algorithms start their scan? Why on the web, of course. More importantly, they find you and the enormous digital footprint you have left behind and start sifting through it. So, every post, tweet, like, comment and share are likely part of the evaluation process. Yes, privacy issues are a hot topic right now but the reality is that if you do something on the web – it never goes away.
The sophistication of these algorithms (or, if you prefer Artificial Intelligence) goes way beyond simple sifting for keywords (though they do that in abundance – especially on your resume). Entelo is a company that will search social profiles and determines who is most likely to switch jobs. Talent Sonar will use AI to write job applications aimed at improving gender diversity. Not surprisingly, even Google has gotten into this space with Cloud Jobs – something it has offered to select clients. And, you can imagine what level of data Google has on you.
Now, most companies use this technology to whittle down a list of potential candidates to a select few for the interviewing process. However, there is a disturbing trend emerging that states that real job interviews are useless because of human error. (As seen in this New York Times op-ed piece).
What can you do to “beat” the robots? First, you can’t go back and erase your past – nor do you want to. You are who you are and the match you are looking for should be based on that. That said…
According to an article in Fortune here are some things to consider:
- Grades are not the be all and end all. Yes, you did tell your parents that your GPA was not that important. As a predictor of future job success that is partially true. Things like extra-curricular activities, specific courses taken and even the number of hours you worked in college can carry more weight than how well you did in World History 101.
- Passion and persistence are strong indicators of future success. How you demonstrate that on paper can go a long way towards getting that interview.
- That red solo cup may not be as bad as once thought. With so many pictures on the web of people drinking it is no longer a stigma. However, bigoted comments or posts about drug use are negative indicators.
Every industry has different requirements and looks for different candidates. So, your searches will certainly vary based on your needs and experiences. Be aware that a lot of emotion has been taken out of the job search equation. It is literally a numbers game (as in zeroes and ones). You are a product, a brand if you will, and should market yourself accordingly.
What experiences, as either a job applicant or hiring manager, have you had with AI in the hiring process? We’d love to see your comments!