Job Hunting With AI

Posted On 31 Mar 2021

Job Hunting With AI

31 Mar 2021
Job Hunting With AI

Candidate Resource, Interview Tips, News & Events

Job Hunting With AI

Most job seekers I speak with on this topic are not that enamoured at the prospect of using AI in the recruitment process. It is the fear of being at a disadvantage, being rejected based on algorithms, without the human element. The other concern is the perceived loss of privacy.

However, the concern for AI is not only reserved for job seekers, for AI is in every other area of our lives. The experts also have a lot to say, and they regularly warn us about the misconceptions and the benefits of AI.  Dr. Joanna Bryson, Professor of Ethics and Technology, says, ‘When people think about AI, it’s usually around two concepts. One is human-like intelligence – referred to as general AI – and the other is a single algorithm that suddenly knows everything’.

Let’s unravel this though, and hopefully, I will put your mind at ease!

Firstly, contrary to popular thought, AI is not that new. Its applications are everywhere, have been for a long time and are being developed and perfected constantly. As recruiters, we have been using some form of AI for many, many years.

Here is another thought for you to consider- as job seekers, it has been the way YOU have engaged with us and used technology that had forced the need and proliferation of AI…I’ll explain as we go!

Secondly, and most importantly, AI is for your benefit as a job seeker. Your slight trepidation is understandable, especially if you are new to using AI for your job applications, but you can relax and de-stress!

What is AI? AI and machine learning in recruitment is the use of computers for processing the data, learning, adapting and for ‘problem- solving’. In essence, the use of AI, like all technology introduced to a process, improves the workflow in some regard, experience, efficiency, effectiveness etc.

For the most part, the introduction of AI in recruitment is to be efficient and save time. One of the most time-consuming activities is screening resumes. I was referring to this when mentioning job seekers have played a part in introducing AI and the essential efficiency to recruitment.

Believe it or not, a lot of the resumes we receive (90%) are not suited to the job advertisement. It can mean, for some recruiters, unnecessary hours looking at applications until we find you, our gem and most suited candidate. The ease to which anyone can send their resume and apply for roles has brought this situation about.

So, using AI means you have a higher likelihood of being seen!

70% of the global workforce is comprised of passive candidates. AI effectively and efficiently identifies these candidates, (that is you!). Besides, if you are unsuccessful in your original application, the latest technologies track your career movements and thus for you to be a part of their future candidate pipeline.

Bias and prejudice. Reducing unconscious bias is critical for effective hiring.  AI reduces bias by ignoring information such as race, gender, age etc. and instead looks for set skills, experience, and attributes. However, this is also a tiny bit flawed as AI also looks for patterns in resumes that may indicate what a suitable candidate looks like etc. or what a good candidate has looked like historically. So, intelligence is learned and refined in its approach and searching.

How it works and what you need to know:

If purely screening resumes, AI will look for keywords, experiences, industries, competencies that match with the job or profile set. Therefore, your resume will need to be tailored according to each role you apply for. This is a good thing!

A generic resume will likely not make it through. A generic approach is a little like throwing mud and hoping it will stick.

Job searching is discouraging enough, far better to use technology to your advantage by preparing beforehand to know the keywords, experience, and competencies that match your resume and application accordingly.

Video and online applications have also become popular and work in a similar and ‘smarter’ way. Some Recruiters use video AI software that analyses facial expressions and your tone of voice to look for signals indicating you could be the right match.

For online applications, it is also used to detect any uncommon or atypical behaviour, such as taking too long to answer a question (you could be googling on the side!). All of this reinforces the importance of being your natural self.

A quick word on chatbot – these are there in giving you access to ask those rudimentary, more straightforward style of questions. With it being harder and harder to reach a person now, asking those very quick but needed questions, chatbots are an easy option for you. But a word of advice – pretend the chatbot is still a human. Please remain polite and perhaps save the trickier questions like salary for later and in person. What you write is likely still to be seen and viewed.

You may go through most of the recruitment process, only liaising with AI, from your application to communication of accepting your application, to the first video interview and then even scheduling your first face-to-face interview. If this is the case, my advice is to be aware of now moving to interview with a person! It may seem common sense, but you will be surprised!

Practice your questions with a friend or family member before and still do all your research. If you have made it through to this stage, you are at the pointy end, as I call it. When mainly dealing with machines or technology – think about how much we text and email now – the importance of the human element in how you communicate will be critical when you interview. Plus, this could very well be what sets you apart from your peers, your competitive advantage.

So, treat AI in the recruitment process as an ally. Please become familiar with how it can work for you. It will require some effort in understanding these nuances – but it will be worth it. Good luck!!

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” ― Charles Darwin

About the author
Roxanne Calder
Managing Director

As Founder and Managing Director at EST10, Roxanne has an all-encompassing role that includes building and growing the business, as well as actively recruiting and consulting.

After completing a Bachelor’s Degree at Monash University, Roxanne began her recruitment career with renowned recruiter Julia Ross. From there, Roxanne worked in HR and recruitment with a number of global players and boutique businesses throughout Australia, the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong for over 20 years. She has been responsible for managing large teams and projects, implementing RPO models, managing and assisting businesses to an IPO and assisting companies in setting up their recruitment teams and processes.

Following completion of her MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management, Roxanne launched EST10 in July 2010. In doing so, she hoped to combine the flexibility and high touch service levels of boutique agencies with the structure and strategy afforded to larger firms. Roxanne believes in high-touch, high-care consulting and is always on the lookout for consultants that share this vision of recruitment.