The Job Hunt – Part 3/3

Check out my previous two posts for the part 1 and 2 of this series.

For many job openings, getting the foot into the door – getting recruited – tends to be the most tricky part. Obviously different companies have different ways of going about this. 3 latest trends that I see playing out in the job hunt marketplace:

  • Recruitment by Resonance.
  • Recruitment by Challenge.
  • Recruitment by Algorithm.

This post shall be on the third trend.

Recruitment By Algorithm

In a recent interview with the renowned business psychologist, Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, he shares an interesting insight on the evolution of the internet. From a ‘consumer/user’ perspective, he says, there are three significant stages in the internet era. Loosely put they can be called as:

  1. Knowledge Era: This was around 1998 when Google became mainstream. We searched for something on Google and the first hit magically turned out to be the answer to what we were looking for – this was a breakthrough from past search engines and a breakthrough in machine learning systems.
  2. Social Era: This was around 2004 with the introduction of Facebook, when the focus shifted from retrieving information to ‘retrieving people’. Whereas Google connected consumers to information, Facebook (and other such Social media portals) connect consumers to each other and make ‘products’ out of consumers.
  3. Social Knowledge Era: The third era, which has only just about begun, combines the two previous ones: it is the era where people can instantly capture and aggregate all the information on a given topic. And vice versa –  all information about people out there can be aggregated and captured. 
Welcome to the era where ego surfing – self googling — is now more important than updating your CV.
As a consequence of spending so much time online, we now leave traces of our personality everywhere. This social media foot print that we leave each single day (think of all the info that we leave on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Path, Renren, Orkut,  Amazon, Gmail, Tripadvisor, or any multitude of other sites each passing day and you get the idea) manifests itself as a folio of Digital Reputation that we build over time.
Given this, and as aptly noted in the HBR blogpost, we are stepping into a time when employers are likely to find their future leaders in cyberspace owing to 3 reasons:
  1. The web makes recruiting easier for employers and would-be employees
  2. The web makes recruiting less biased and less clubby
  3. Web analytics (speak of Big Data) can help recruiters become more efficient

Result: we will soon witness the proliferation of machine learning systems that automatically match candidates to specific jobs and organizations – not just based on our preferences/qualifications and experience (like the current day job portals) but on the basis of our digital footprint that is much bigger and more complicated that we can ever imagine.

For starters, how many times did you google your new boss or colleague? And that begets the question, how many times did you ‘investigate’ yourself and how many times did you reverse engineer your Digital Reputation…..in the recent past?

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