Shelcy Joseph is recent graduate from the City University of New York and when she describes what she learned from her recent job hunt, she says she found out that it’s hard to get hiring manager’s attention, but that “once they like you, they’ll give you lots of attention.”
Shelcy is right. Recruiters like to zero in on high-potential candidates–that’s not new. What’s new is who–or what–determines which candidate has high potential. Increasingly, it is software built on machine learning and early-stage artificial intelligence technology that determines the desirability of a candidate.
That’s why, for the first time, we’ve shifted the focus of one of the largest career management MOOCs from the relationship-centered job search to the data-optimized job search.
Machine Learning-driven Software will Probably Make Make Your Next Career Match
In early 2016, LinkedIn (now owned by Microsoft) acquired Connectifier, a machine learning platform for recruiters, for around $100m. It’s a watershed moment for artificial intelligence and recruiting.
Connectifier, started by ex-Googlers, takes your email address, pulls data from social networks, blends it with your LinkedIn profile, and then uses the data to help recruiters. For instance, recruiters can now take an outstanding performer from their company and use applications like Connectifier to mine LinkedIn for profiles that have a high probability of personality or cultural match.
This means that, in an instant, a recruiter can define cultural traits, technical skills, interests (expressed on your social media profiles), and more and find a cohort of candidates to target. There are multiple software packages leading this job search disruption: LinkedIn’s native platform for recruiters, LinkedIn’s new AI-powered mobile application for recent graduates, eHarmony’s platform for recruiters, and more.
Where People like Images, Robots Like Data
For a long time, we’ve been teaching professionals to make their LinkedIn profiles as visual as possible. We know, for example, that roughly 65% of people prefer to learn via images and that recruiters see well-designed LinkedIn profiles and professional portfolios as a signal of professional competence. But robots like data.
As LinkedIn integrates the Connectifier acquisition into their offering to recruiters, algorithms will be looking for any trace of usable data on your profile: your skills and endorsements, charitable causes and interests, group affiliations, text, and more. You can be fairly certain that, next time you apply for a job at a company larger than 20-30 employees, your application will include an automated ranking presented to the hiring manager that’s based on data mining and machine learning technology.
Your Resume is Now Your Little Data Hub
In almost all cases, your resume is more than a communication piece that’s (maybe) read by a recruiter. It’s your little data hub before it’s anything else.
When I was working as a consultant, we won a bid for a major project with the World Bank. I asked my superiors what we did to win the job and, essentially, they told me that they basically did SEO on our proposal. Today, keyword matching is fundamental to most in-house recruitment efforts.
Those software packages are looking for keywords in your resume (at minimum). Soon, recruiters at top firms will be leveraging sentiment analysis technology to predict your personality type and much of that analysis is going to be based on what you write in your resume.
The bottom line is this: it’s a new day for people like Shelcy and job applicants in developed economies around the world. As data from your “social media footprint,” the text of your resume, and many other sources are combined and processed to determine your career prospects, new questions emerge for job hunters.
For example, what’s your resume SEO strategy? Does your “social footprint” align with your career aspirations? Are you taking advantage of platforms that use machine learning and early-stage artificial intelligence to recommend potential employers?
For job hunters, it’s a changed world out there.