In the hiring process, technology, specifically artificial intelligence (AI), has become a widely adopted practice by companies lately. It has become a tool to filter through the overwhelming number of applicants to a job posting to promptly identify the most qualified candidates. However, this development has left job seekers feeling powerless and frustrated, as machines overlook their applications before a human can see them.
The Rise of ATS Platforms
Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are the most common technology companies use during hiring. These systems allow companies to manage and organize recruitment by tracking applicants, collecting resumes, and screening candidates. ATS platforms are programmed to scan resumes for specific keywords related to the job posting, educational background, and professional experience and assign a score based on how closely the candidate matches the desired qualifications. In theory, this system saves hiring managers time and resources by only allowing them to review resumes already filtered by the ATS software.
However, the reality is that ATS platforms could be better. For example, the algorithmic nature of the software means that it may overlook vital information that could be crucial to a candidate's qualifications or, conversely, flag irrelevant information as necessary. Additionally, ATS platforms can sometimes need help reading and interpreting resumes that are not formatted in a specific way, leading to otherwise qualified candidates being overlooked.
The Human Element
Another downside of relying heavily on technology during hiring is losing the human element. Many job seekers feel frustrated and powerless when a machine rejects their applications. They feel their resumes are being tossed into a void, with no chance of being seen by an actual person. This can be incredibly discouraging for those who have taken great care to craft a well-written and tailored resume, only to have it automatically rejected by an ATS platform.
Additionally, the use of technology in hiring has led to the downsizing of recruitment teams, where hiring managers are replaced with lower-level employees. While this can save companies money, it can also lead to the unintentional screening of qualified candidates who do not fit the exact mold of what the software is programmed to look for.
Fighting Back Against the Machines
Despite the challenges posed by AI and ATS platforms in the hiring process, there are ways for job seekers to take control of their job search and increase their chances of success. One strategy is to focus on building a solid professional network. Jobseekers can leverage their connections to bypass the ATS platforms and get their resumes directly from hiring managers. This strategy is particularly effective when combined with a personal recommendation from someone within the company.
Another strategy is to optimize your resume for ATS software by using relevant keywords and formatting your resume in a way that is easily readable by the software. Again, this can increase your chances of being selected by the ATS platform and ultimately being seen by a human recruiter.
It is also essential for job seekers to be proactive and persistent in their job search. Instead of waiting for job postings to come to them, job seekers should actively seek companies that they are interested in working for and reach out to hiring managers directly. By taking control of the job search process and utilizing technology to their advantage, job seekers can increase their chances of success in a competitive job market.
While using technology in the hiring process has advantages, companies must remember that it is not a perfect system. The algorithmic nature of AI and ATS platforms means that qualified candidates can be overlooked, and losing the human element can lead to frustrated job seekers. However, by building a solid network, optimizing resumes for ATS platforms, and being proactive in their job search, job seekers can increase their chances of success and land their dream job.