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… the recent past?

The Job Hunt – Part 1/3

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:

  1. Recruitment by Resonance
  2. Recruitment by Challenge
  3. Recruitment by Algorithm
This post shall be on the first trend.

Search for Resonance – The Trend & its Contra Trend

”..If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. ..” has been one of the most revered quotes by Steve Jobs.In many ways this articulates a burgeoning stimulus that has in fact become a mainstream business model of some job sites.

Take ReWork – which asks you to find work that is meaningful to you.

Don’t settle until you find work that you love or until you get an opportunity to work on the issues you’re most passionate about – seems to be the mantra of this site. See their story here:

Or take Escape The Citywhich encourages you to quit your corporate job and do something different, something that you have perhaps always dreamt of doing.

Life is too short to do work that doesn’t matter to you… Change jobs, Build businesses. Go on adventures. Do something different – constitutes the Escape Manifesto. See their story here:

The fact that an increasing number of people have begun to search (often passively and sometimes unsuccessfully) for jobs that truly resonate with them, seems to be the insight behind these ventures.

While searching for that perfect day job where your passion meets purpose meets your paycheck is a defining feature of many a job search today, a contrarian view point seems to be gaining a critical tipping point in recent weeks. In many ways this school of thought almost says – Don’t follow your passion (!)

Cal Newport in his latest book “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” makes a case on why Passion is not something you follow, it’s something that will follow you as you put in the hard work to become valuable to the world – irrespective of what you embark upon. Read another great post that Cal wrote on this topic in HBR here. (And yes, I have earmarked this book on my reading list now).

Irrespective of which side you take, one thing is for certain – the search for resonance has come to underscore the significance that it has for job seekers and recruiters alike in getting the foot into the door first. Like never before.

Do read the above mentioned posts by Cal Newport and let me know which side you take. And if you read his book, tell me what you think of it.