In the future, you won’t have to search for a job anymore. Your assistant will detect your frustrations and uncover more attractive alternatives that suit you. He/she/it will send all the necessary information across. By running some game theory and advanced negotiation skills he/she/it will agree with the assistant on the other side a deal that is beneficial for everybody. It will tell your car when it should drive you to your new location, and as your retina will already be in the database, you can walk straight through security and right into the workplace that is perfectly arranged to cater for your well-being, and extract maximum productivity with minimal distraction. Finally, the machine just reads your mind, solves your problem and makes you feel good. Perfect. That’s how the world will evolve – based on the demo by Aneto Okonkwo of Google’s assistant at the fantasticTextkernel conference “Intelligent Machines and the Future of Recruitment” and pushing the idea a little further.
There are two glaring problems with this scenario: the first being the assumption that people are still needed to do the work (most likely we will all live on a universal income/pension free to enjoy our lives having been replaced by robots), the second being that the future makes current offerings from recruitment technology providers look even more basic.
I have registered for job alerts with many job boards, aggregators and CV sources (such asLinkedin), recruitment agencies and corporate websites. The results that I receive back on a daily basis are poor, often with minimal relevance to my search criteria.
Clicking on the link to read the job description, applying or uploading my CV doesn’t make it any better either. None of these additional data points are being used to increase the relevance, or at least to decrease the irrelevance. Why do I still receive jobs in a location 100 of miles away from the ones I apply for? Why do I still receive jobs that are well below the level I am looking at? I am only talking about relevance on a skills and experience level, not a cultural one. The websites themselves often use little personalisation, which is most disappointing in the case of LinkedIn as they have the largest amount of structured data at their fingertips.
Turning to look at the new innovations being introduced, they either offer ‘more’ (more jobs or more candidates added, from more sources) or faster services (receive relevant jobs instantly). Adding more and more isn’t helpful when you can’t add more relevance.At least ‘faster services’ works along one of the axes of recruitment – speed, but still ignores the other one – relevance.
I am not alone in my desire for more relevance. As part of the idibu research, we asked candidates what improvements they would like to see in recruitment. The vast majority cited more relevant jobs (see below).
There is a lot of talk about improving the candidate experience through better communication, easier mobile uploads and more face to face, or phone to phone,interaction. They are all valuable, but let’s focus on the most important item first – unless you can provide me with relevant jobs, all the rest doesn’t matter, in fact, it will more likely antagonize me and therefore create the opposite effect.
It is the same on the other side, the recruiters’ side. Recruiters don’t want to search through more profiles, they don’t want to sift through more applications, they want more relevant ones. Nevertheless, the approach taken by many providers and practitioners is to focus on delivering greater quantity, faster, instead of first defining quality and relevance and then rolling that definition out to the vast pool of candidates. A great candidate experience starts with a great recruiter experience – at the moment, we provide a poor experience on both sides of the equation.
Careerbuilder – with foresight – already bought Textkernel but hasn’t integrated it yet into Broadbean or its job boards. Other companies such as Gild and BeWorkHappy are making great progress, and a host of new startups like Majio, PocketRecruiter and Reshufl are entering the race. At the moment they are very much focused on the B2B side – the real paradigm of change will happen when it is deployed for the benefit of the job seeker. The other difficult bit for those companies is to show the results their technology delivers, and not get lost in demonstrating how their technology works. It’s always about relevance, in every situation.