Image Source: Pexels
Digital tools are present in a diverse range of contemporary day-to-day activities. Artificial intelligence (AI) is assisting healthcare diagnoses, virtual reality (VR) is assisting in classrooms. It should be no surprise, then, that some technical knowledge can be an essential component of a thriving career.
It can be easy here to focus primarily on your knowledge of tech as tools of the job. Yet, it plays an important role in the journey to finding a position, too. Not only are there a growing number of online recruitment agencies, but the methods companies use to identify and onboard their talent are increasingly reliant on technology. This means the pursuit of a new job or career advancement can benefit from knowing what these tools are and how they impact the process.
Let’s review some of the most prevalent elements in recruitment today.
Businesses are keen to keep exploring methods of automation that can cut down the time of a task and provide the most efficient results. In recruiting, the main automated tool you need to be cognizant of is applicant tracking systems (ATS).
Companies use this software to minimize the time and labour going into the recruitment process, both in application assessment and general hiring workflow. Your application no longer immediately goes directly to a recruiter or human resources (HR), it gets fed into and filtered by the ATS. The software scans the text of each application, noting certain skills and experience keywords, and uses an algorithm to rank the applications by suitability for the role. The recruiter can then review the top-ranked resumes.
This means when applying for positions, you need to bear in mind that you need to not just write a resume attractive to the recruiter, but also beat the algorithm of the ATS. But it’s not about gaming the system — the software can spot this, and at some point, a human will be reading your resume too. You should therefore be sure not just to include keywords to reflect the needs of the job description. You also need to use these keywords in a context that the system will determine is specifically relevant to the role. For instance, write about how you’ve used a skill (the keyword) to achieve specific tasks the role you’re applying for requires (the context). This not only resonates with the ATS, it also makes for more evocative reading for the recruiter.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a frequent presence in our society. Companies have various interests in software that can analyse large amounts of data and independently make improvements in the business. It should be no surprise, then, that AI recruitment software is being widely adopted.
So, what do you need to know about it? Well, its most obvious use is as a component of the aforementioned ATS tools. But it is increasingly being used to target candidates even if they haven’t applied for jobs. Search software is available that trawls websites — not just LinkedIn, but others featuring professional profiles or membership of career-based groups — to identify candidates to headhunt. As such, even if you’re not actively searching, it can be important to post professional profiles in multiple online spaces and keep these updated with qualifications and achievements. Even a professionally focused blog can be a useful tool to capture the attention of AI recruiting software.
AI is also being used as the first point of contact for job seekers. If you visit a large company’s recruitment page, you are likely to be greeted by a recruitment chatbot. This will ask you questions to essentially screen you for professional and cultural suitability before automatically scheduling any interviews or assessments with you. More often, these are designed with a friendly conversational tone, and much like tailoring your resume for ATS, you need to make sure your responses are in sentences providing a contextually relevant answer whenever possible. Treat the AI as if you are discussing your achievements and skills in an interview. This gives the AI more information to feed into the algorithm and match you accordingly.
Machine learning is often confused with artificial intelligence. There are some similarities. But machine learning has a broad range of applications: automated financial forecasting, streamlining operations management, and reducing cybersecurity threats among them. Needless to say, as an agile tool, it’s found a place in recruitment.
To advance your career, it’s helpful to consider machine learning as the driving force behind digital recruitment tools. It’s the brain that can take data and learn from it. In turn, it provides information to systems like AI and ATS to perform their filtering functions effectively. When we talk about an algorithm running through resumes and comparing them to the requirements of a business, it is machine learning doing the heavy lifting. It reviews the data provided and assesses it against all the information it’s been provided recently and historically about what the company’s interests are, and what makes a good candidate. Indeed, it can also use information about the company to predict the business’ future recruitment needs and how well your data matches up to this.
So how does this knowledge practically help you in your search? Well, there are few ways to “beat” this system. However, it does help you to understand that you need to make sure recruiters have access to the best quality data about you. The more accurate, up-to-date, and professionally relevant information that populates your online profiles, applications, and resumes, the better decisions machine learning software can feed through to its AI and ATS software.
Recruitment is no longer entirely predicated upon the decision of human employers. Technology is playing an increasingly vital role — AI, ATS, and machine learning are instrumental in identifying and selecting candidates. As such, it is important to make sure your approach to advancing your career takes into account the needs of the systems and protocols, so you can get your resume in front of the human decision-makers.