Career

Employers Are Using AI To Assess Job Applications – Does Yours Stand Up?

Young people are already well aware that we’re dealing with a changing career dynamic. Where people once had jobs for life, millennials will have five to seven different career changes. And then there’s the matter of automation, which will eliminate 40 percent of jobs by 2030.

And it turns out automation is also affecting the job search, with recruitment companies increasingly using Artificial Intelligence to screen and assess candidates.

Helena Turpin is part of the change at recruitment company Randstad, where she specialises in process optimisation, innovation and HR technology.

She says Randstad is currently developing a chat bot to screen candidates by asking about their skills and requirements. They’re also using algorithms to assess candidates and match them to jobs that suit them.

Helena says AI is starting to gain momentum across the recruitment industry. “The barriers to entry are a lot lower now, they’re not as expensive as they used to be.”

While the idea of robots assessing your job application might be a daunting one, the reality might be more positive: a faster process, with less bias.

Randstad use a tool called Pymetrics to test for cognitive and emotional traits they’re looking for in their own internal hiring. “It does take some of the cognitive and inherent biases that we have out of the process,” she explains.

Pymetrics tests for 120 different traits, and matches them with what an ideal candidate would behave like. The tool can also help managers understand their employees, and how best to motivate and manage them. Think of it like a Myers-Briggs test that finds you a job.

The technology makes the business of recruitment more efficient, by sorting through a larger cohort of candidates in a shorter timeframe, speeding up the hiring process, and looking beyond skills and experience to find the ideal personality profile for the job.

It also changes the game for job hunters who are expecting their resume to be read by an actual human.

While that does still happen, AI is being used to sort through candidates in the early stage of the recruitment process. Which means if you want your application to be seen by a real person, you also need to cater to the technology.

“Whether you realise it or not, you’re subject to these algorithms all the time,” Helena says, by way of explanation. “It’s everywhere around you: it’s in your Facebook feed, your LinkedIn feed, your Twitter feed.”

Optimise your application

So if you want to impress a bot, what should you do?

Helena says you should think about the keywords you put in your CV and application. “You have to search engine optimise yourself,” she says.

“You can see, for instance, on your LinkedIn profile what keyword searches you’ve come up against, and you should play around with them. You should play around with literally the key words that you use in your profiles, in your job hunting profiles, to see what it is that you rank highest for.”

“Really small changes can make a big difference in how discoverable you are.”

If you’re looking to apply for job, try these 10 quick hacks to improve your resume.


Amelia is the former editor of The Cusp.