#Nextchat: Job Seekers Up Against an Algorithm

Job seekers are up against multiple hurdles these days as they look for meaningful work. While poorly written job descriptions and malfunctioning career sites hinder the job search, they now must face an even higher hurdle -- the algorithm.

Most job search websites have increased the use of software that uses complex algorithms to screen and sort resumes by searching for keywords that match specific skill sets and experience. Other programs, like LinkedIn’s “Recruiter,” can help talent managers find passive candidates by searching for a specific location, title or skill.

While these systems can help employers to lower talent-acquisition costs, they can also bypass qualified candidates and even serve to delay the hiring process.   

In the Bloomberg article “Can't Get a Job From an Algorithm, or So It Seems as Hot Resumes Go Nowhere Fast,” Joel Sarfati, executive director of 40Plus of Greater Washington, says that “Everybody is looking for the striped unicorn with blue eyes. It drives us crazy.”

And while the ability to sort and scan resumes is a boon for HR and recruiters, many organizations may be overemphasizing keywords over culture. In the same article, Josh Bersin, founder of Bersin & Associates, says that “The latest tools are so powerful and new that businesses still are learning how to use them and typically over-specify candidate requirements, creating an “over-focus on the equivalent of the resume and not on the real person.”

So what are job seekers to do as they find themselves up against an algorithm?

Please join @weknownext at 3 p.m. ET for #Nextchat with special guest Craig Fisher, CEO of Talent Net (@Fishdogs). We’ll chat about the latest job search technology and how it’s affecting the world of talent management.

Q1. As a job seeker, what do you think is the most frustrating aspect of the online job search today?

Q2. What are the advantages of using technology that filters resumes for very specific skills and experience?

Q3. What are the disadvantages of using technology that filters resumes for very specific skills and experience?

Q4. How can job seekers use keywords most effectively to ensure their resume gets noticed?

Q5. How can job seekers get around the technology and ultra-specific algorithms that seek to eliminate their resumes?

Q6. What is more helpful in finding a job–online and in-person networking, or a keyword strategy on a resume/LinkedIn? Why?

Q7. Is the labor market more or less efficient now in matching buyers of skills with job seekers?  Why?

Q8. As a recruiter or hiring manager, what do you want job seekers to know when it comes to the online job search? 


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