Does Anyone Care About the Job Seeker?

Everything has changed in the technology world in the last decade. We talk to Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. We have self-driving cars and ubiquitous smartphones, and most of us are always interacting with AI in one form or another. 

There’s AI in your spam filter, in the ads you see on Facebook or YouTube, and even on good old broadcast television. The tech revolution has also changed how we hire. And how job seekers look for work. 

If you’ve been off the job market for a while, let me paint the picture for you.

Today, when you apply for a job, your application is reviewed by a machine. It automatically ranks your application before a human ever looks at it. This means your resume may never be reviewed and you may never get a call back.

Instead, you may simply be automatically disqualified. That’s where your journey ends.

Automation, fueled by powerful new AI and machine learning technologies, has already been adopted by most major companies and is quickly becoming a standard. In fact, 72% of executives believe digital assistants will make their lives easier, according to PwC.

From my perspective, enterprise automation is not slowing down, it’s rapidly increasing. What’s a job seeker to do?

The future is here, but unfortunately, finding a job and getting work hasn’t changed much. In the midst of this amazing age of tech enlightenment, the job seeker has been left in the dark. For example, Indeed, one of the most popular job search engines, hasn’t changed its website in more than a decade. Google entered the job search market, but simply copied Indeed’s old methods. 

There’s no AI wizard or machine learning–powered genie to talk to. No Siri or Alexa to ask why you didn’t get picked for a job or how you can change careers. There’s no intelligent agent keeping an eye out for your dream job. You can’t talk to IBM’s Watson about your professional dreams and aspirations or get advice on how to make that dream career a reality. 

Nobody seems to care about the job seeker. 

That’s partially because it’s expensive to develop new technology and investors like to see a path to short-term revenue. Plus, job seekers aren’t used to being charged for software and services. So many companies, including my own, quickly learn to build and sell software to large enterprise companies, fueling revenue and keeping investors happy. 

Yet the biggest opportunity for innovation is not in the enterprise, but in the hands of the job seeker. A Strategy Analytics report showed that 41% of consumers believe AI will make their lives better. Today, consumer AI is mainly focused on helping people find entertainment — good shows to watch and music to listen to, and of course, compelling ads to click. That consumer-grade AI candy isn’t a bad thing, but shouldn’t we be applying this technology to really improve life? 

A Pew Research Center survey shows almost half of the U.S. already uses the AI we call voice assistants. In 2017, HiringSolved released RAI, a voice assistant to help enterprise recruiters automate some of the tasks involved in finding, qualifying, and contacting talent. RAI now has thousands of users and the RAI assistant technology is a big reason that HiringSolved was named by Fast Company as one of 2019’s Most Innovative Companies in the Artificial Intelligence industry. Now we’re working on bringing this technology to the consumer.

What if you could talk to a super-smart AI that was fueled by billions of workforce data points and could advise you on what career path to take? What if it could simulate your different options and show you how they would affect your lifestyle? Then, what if it could explain the steps you would need to take to achieve your goal and encourage you along the way?

And what if you could talk to this AI before you applied for a job and it could help you refine your resume, cover letter, and interview skills? What if this AI could analyze your financial goals, lifestyle priorities, education, talents and skills, and literally show you the way to achieve your dreams?

When children tell us what they want to be, they’re telling us what job they want. Kids do this because they instinctively understand that your work defines your lifestyle. Location, pay, learning, enjoyment, fulfillment — these are the things we all care about. Your job defines your lifestyle. What if technology can unlock a better life for everyone? Unemployed, underemployed, unsuitably employed. If we’re going to solve hiring, it starts with caring about the job seeker. We can do so much better! 

I love the idea of the choose-your-own-adventure books from the ’80s, where the ending is the outcome of the reader’s choices. What if we did the same thing for job seekers to actually solve hiring? Through the power of AI, we can get technology in the hands of job seekers to actually help them find their best careers and live their best life.

About the Author

Shon Burton is the Founder and CEO of HiringSolved, a leading AI Technology company in the HR Tech industry.  Shon is the designer of RAI, HiringSolved’s AI based recruiting assistant, which has been called “Siri for recruiting” by the media. Mr. Burton is also the co-founder of MLconf – The Machine Learning Conference and conference.ai, two of the top conferences in the field of applied machine learning and artificial intelligence, respectively. Prior to starting HiringSolved, Mr. Burton founded several other companies including Wildcog, Dataverse and GetAnyGame.


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