It’s no lie that the recruitment process has drastically changed over the past couple decades. From having to drive across town to hand deliver applications to now having the opportunity to apply to hundreds of positions from the comforts of bed or study, applying to jobs certainly involves a whole new process and experience.  

From a recruiter’s standpoint, recruitment has become more intricate and perhaps more time demanding; yet there are copious technologies which have surfaced to help aid the efficiency and effectiveness of recruitment. Recruiters jobs are becoming more precise and more automated as the years go on. Is the candidate experience changing in similar ways?  Do candidates find it easier to apply to jobs in this day and age, where having a digital presence plays a substantial role?  In general, what is the candidate perspective like and how can you optimize your chances of landing your dream jobs?   

Recruitment no longer revolves around giving a firm handshake and having to answer the age-old “tell me about yourself” statement or the “what are your strengths and weaknesses” question.  Recruitment has come a long way from that. Nowadays recruitment involves a thorough background check of social medias, tracking candidates’ engagement and interest, and likely following that up with phone calls and interviews.  Reasons being, social medias give indication as to how connected your network is and how you project yourself to the public; this essentially is only important for recruiters to see how you like to be seen in a public and professional setting as well as your interests and hobbies outside of work.  It plays a substantial role in the process. 

Due to the large amount of “bad hires” and the financial toll associated with replacing them, recruiters have made extra efforts in making sure they hire the right person at the right time. This has propelled the need for additional interactions between recruiters and candidates; more so than just checking social medias, recruiters are trying to track candidate engagement in relation to job listings. Artificial intelligence has made it possible for recruiters to automate the process in which candidates get selected and filtered to the next stages in the hiring process. Overall, these changes have caused a drastic shift in the means candidates use to be noticed by companies.   

So what do these new trends mean for candidates?  For one, you have to be on top of your social media profiles.  Yes, social medias are meant to be fun and social, however they have become the outlets through which you project who you are, and that is what recruiters are looking at. You need to make sure your social media profiles match up with the kind of person your potential employers want to hire.  Gone are the days when you would post the pictures you found on your phone from a weekend bender in Las Vegas. No matter how great the club was or how attractive the showgirl who accepted to take a picture with you was, there’s zero chance that will fly for a recruiter who’s trying to fill a management position at a corporate office. Be sure your social medias are in accordance with the type of professionalism you want to showcase.  The most important professional social media of them all, LinkedIn, can really help boost your professional career.  Not only can you digitally network, but recruiters can get a sense of your contacts, accomplishments, ambitions, and your potential references.   

Secondly, due to the almost endless amounts of applications an online job listing might attract, it is important to realize what chances you have of landing this job. If possible, try to understand what exactly the job is looking for and tailor your resume to appeal to those standards as best as possible.  You can also expect the process to be lengthy; according to a new report from Indeed and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), 57% of online job openings will likely take 3 or more months to fill.  That’s a lot of waiting and a lot of money potentially lost.  It’s important to find the right portals of job listings and to be applying to positions you are suitable for.   

Again, with the immense amount of job listings available online and the ease of the application process, one would think that finding a job would be a piece of cake.  It’s not, and finding the right job is even harder.  Even if you do find a job online relatively quickly, the chances that it is your dream job or that it suits your lifestyle and interests to a tee is very unlikely. People look for jobs which can yield future growth within the company and not one that’ll soon leave you back in the same position you find yourself in, unemployed and desperate.  It is important to keep this in mind when doing initial job searches. The best way to avoid this is again by applying to serious listings; do atypical research, ask around, direct attention to specific industries or job sectors, etc.  Wasteful research will be just that… wasteful; be smart about where you’re applying and how.   

To further improve your chances of landing a desired job, you must use your connections and tap into your network too.  Personal networks are obviously the best way to find potential job opportunities that are not even listed online and to automatically have a foot in the pool of potential candidates. One of the easiest and fastest ways of expanding your network and finding potential job opportunities is using LinkedIn to your advantage, where you can make professional contacts one click at a time. Additionally, going to networking events, where you have the chance to talk to other professionals face to face is something you need to start doing if you haven’t already.  You can also find other professionals who perhaps have graduated from the same university as you, or who have similar interests and might be willing to vouch for you to possible employers. This all increases your chances of getting job opportunities. Network, network, network and you should do just fine.   

Of course, these are not all the woes surrounding job seeking. The recruitment process for companies varies every time, and many a times there are obstacles which cannot be accounted for.  For example, a recruiter might have something against people who wear all black and during the interview when asked the vital question “what’s your favorite color” and the answer is black, you can expect to be seen out prematurely.  That’s just one of the common examples in a world of peculiar interview questions.  It’s tough to imagine being able to find the perfect job the first time, however with enough thorough research and expansion of one’s network, your dream job awaits you.   

Artificial intelligence has really started to shift the recruitment process, the trend no longer is having candidates get approved based on buzzwords on resumes. While that has been a standard methodology to weed out incompatible candidates, it’s a method which can produce mistakes. With the amount of technology within our reach, it would make sense that recruiters have access to better means to perfect their capabilities; AI provides an avenue of solutions to these type of recruitment challenges.  With AI, applicant tracking is possible and with that technology recruiters can track candidates’ engagement and interest with regards to certain job listings.  Being able to track engagement is essential. It’s also the future of recruitment and has the potential to really change the entire recruitment landscape.   

Well then, what does the future hold for job seekers?  Well with these intelligent tracking applications recruiters will be using, it is important for job seekers to realize it’s not all about having a good resume and good oral communication.  Ironically, what could potentially be more important is the interaction one has with the computer (listing research) during his or her alone time at home rather than the traditional expectations we’ve come to know from recruitment, including having a top-notch resume and the ability to communicate. Candidates can also expect AI to help provide “better fits” in terms of job requirements. Companies have an increasing amount and diversity of data they can use to their advantage to find the best fit possible for each job listing; however, recruitment is still stuck in the past. It is still based on perhaps misleading resumes and potentially biased interview questions.  While humans are the best judges of character, machines are proving to be better at sourcing and screening potential candidates. While it is most likely unwise to solely depend on AI to fill future job positions, AI has definitely changed the manner in which recruitment occurs. Candidates should be aware of this change and adjust their job seeking habits to improve chances of landing their dream job.   

In this new era of recruitment, as a job seeker it is of upmost importance to comprehend the online recruitment methods recruiters are using to track and source candidates.  Since candidate pools are consistently getting bigger and more competitive due to additional sourcing resources like LinkedIn, it is ever important to understand the prerequisites and algorithms artificial intelligence uses to find the optimum candidate.  For now, the best method to grab recruiters’ and tracking technologies’ attention would be to maximize your online presence and be sure to perform thorough research of job listings you are genuinely interested in. Stay informed and up-to-date with the everchanging and unpredictable AI tracking and you’ll be landing jobs that you are genuinely interested in no time. That is of course, if you have the necessary qualifications and a proven engagement track record.  


By: Sebastian Lopez