Automation is the way of the future, but it means a changing landscape for labor.
Not only will automation services affect the way we work, they will force a shift in how we approach work, too. This shift in perspective is an integral part of the fourth Industrial Revolution, which hopes to connect all industrial processes, workers, and machinery, and it may conflict with many current approaches to how we apply for jobs.
Hint: it’s actually already changing job applications procedures.
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Automation is Already Involved in how Companies Hire Employees
It is no secret that employers use algorithms when sifting through dozens and dozens of resumes. If you do not check the appropriate boxes as laid out in the algorithm, a person might not ever see your resume. This affects your ability to get a good job.
How can we apply for jobs effectively if we don’t know by what rubric our resumes are being judged? Apart from this concern, automation services in job applications come with its own set of woes. If you are a freelancer on sites like Upwork, you already know the first item on this list of 5 ways Automation is changing job applications.
1. More and More Tests for job Seekers
Upwork offers a host of exams and tests freelancers can take in order to boost their reputation. If you are a writer and you scored 98% on your American English Language test, you can post that as a badge of honor on your profile.
Similarly, automation means more tests like this or presentations to verify your talents. Glassdoor community expert MaryJo Fitzgerald told Marketwatch her thoughts on hiring processes.
“Research shows that the more difficult the candidate feels the recruitment process is, the more satisfied they will feel in their job in the long term.”
But is this really the case?
Nowadays, when you interview with a company for over a month and DO NOT get the position, you feel cheated. You feel like maybe they mined you for information then ditched you for someone who might have requested a lower salary. In regards to this, automation services could eliminate this feeling.
If you are choosing which tests to take and which skills to prove, you have agency. However, if a future employer asks for a sample presentation via Skype, but then does not hire you, will it feel the same?
2. The Elimination of the Cover Letter?
By now, many job seekers forego cover letters except for the most traditional of job applications. Even Monster confirmed that, because recruiters can only spend an average of six seconds per resume, the cover letter is basically “dead”.
Without cover letters, all you have are your work samples and resume to do a good job at getting a good job. Any hints at other skills and experience are lost.
While some would argue that automation reinforces this, machines can read something much more efficiently than an average human. Again, they may be looking for keywords or phrases, but rather than kill the cover letter for good, it could resurrect it. In fact, it could become a necessity since “culture fit” is an increasingly growing concern for companies.
3. Only Jobs Like AI Programmers Could See Benefits
This item is a natural fit on our list of 5 ways Automation is changing job applications. AI programmers and other similar fields already know how to “hack” the algorithm system. On top of that, as we move toward more automation in job hunting, their skills will become invaluable.
Due to the nature of #5 on this list, app developers may also see added benefits in the new system with our robot and/or neural network job overlords.
4. AI Can Reinforce Existing Biases During the Application Process
As a result of current limitations on how we develop predictive algorithms, there is a human error factor to consider. Remember how we mentioned “culture fit” earlier? That can be used to cover-up hiring biases on behalf of employers. Unfortunately, AI is susceptible to these, too.
The issue lies in how the AI utilizes machine learning. If it learns by scanning examples as input by a programmer, it could develop the same biases we already see in the hiring process today. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that we can see in today’s world.
Consider the fact that, as of November last year, only 25.8% of Microsoft employees identify as women. If an AI is pushing through resumes based on data from a biased culture, it is going to produce biased results.
5. Job Applications may not be in Person Anymore
This is one of the definitely positive items on our list of 5 ways Automation is changing job applications.
Many of us know the toils of driving to and from interviews. Sometimes, for a good job opportunity, we have to fly out, too. The potential employer doesn’t always pay for that either. But for the first step before the interview–the online application–that could be changing, too.
Glassdoor’s 2014 survey on how job seekers search for job revealed thought-provoking results. 9/10 job seekers looked for a good job on their mobile devices over desktop computers or laptops. Some companies have adapted quickly to this data using online applications or quick Google forms.
The next step involving automation services is beyond LinkedIn. Companies will have their own individual apps for applying. Of course, an aggregator will likely still be the choice for job seekers in an automated world. No one wants to download a new app every time they want to apply for a job.
The Future of job Applications in an Automated World
The incorporation of automation services is sure to shift the perspective of employers and employees alike. The truth of the matter is, however, that we can only guess at these outcomes. Our current dataset is, of course, biased amid concerns of job security, financial security, and our health and well-being.
What automation in job seeking (and Industry 4.0 in general) will really require is a complete shift in priorities from companies.