As technology has evolved so has the labor market and, in consequence, the way job seekers look for their dream job has changed significantly. However, the evolution in job search has not been without a few missteps or a few tangents toward the less-than-useful or counter-productive.
But in the grand scheme of things technological advancements – notably in AI – have been a blessing to job seekers, saving them time and energy and allowing them to conduct their job search in a more focused and better-informed fashion.
In this short article, we’ll take a closer look at how technology – specifically AI – is helping job seekers not only to find their next job but also to steer them down a more satisfying and rewarding career path.
What Is AI in Job Portals?
AI (artificial intelligence) is older than you might think. It’s not exactly a young technology (AI has been in wide use for over twenty years now, conservatively). But we still continue to expand and refine how AI is being used.
When it comes to job portals, the acceptance and development of AI has been slower than in other platforms. This is due, in part, to the fact that a job portal is essentially – at least in its initial conception – an online version of the traditional job board you might see hanging from a wall at the unemployment office or other public institution. The visual presentation as well as its functionality didn’t change much when it first started appearing online.
Competition breeds innovation, and as more and more job portals began appearing online so did the technological advancements accelerate – both in terms of aesthetics and functionality.
Create a machine that reacts to information in a similar fashion as humans do, this is the goal of AI. In a job portal, AI is able to scan a resume and match the candidate with a list of job opportunities in mere milliseconds.
From both the recruiter’s and the job seeker’s perspective, AI gives them access to a far greater number of options, filters out a lot of the irrelevant options, and directs the user to what steps should be taken next.
Not only does AI increase opportunities for both recruiter and job seeker, but it is also a tremendous time-saver as well. The end result is a better recruiter-candidate match and, ultimately, more positions being filled by the right people.
The Flaws of Many Job Portals
Originally, job portals were designed to solve a punctual or temporary problem: a position needs to be filled. While this is a valuable service, it does come with some inherent shortcomings, namely that job portals fail to take into consideration the broader picture.
A job is not the same thing as a career. An open position is not the same solution as a coherent career path.
To address this shortcoming, some job portals have sought to reinvent themselves and have become something other than what they were created to be. As a consequence, they’ve lost sight of their initial purpose: to match job seekers with the right open position.
Some job portals have turned into little more than marketplaces for job-search-related products: online courses, investment schemes, resume writing services, etc. While these services may have their value (check out, first, what to know before hiring a professional resume writing service), the job seeker did not come to the job portal to buy things. He or she came to the portal to find a job.
How Does AI Help Career Search?
AI powered companies like Lensa – in contrast to more traditional job portals such as Glassdoor or Indeed – are able to take into consideration the candidate’s broader long-term career goals. This expands the scope of the job portal, transforming it into something more akin to a ‘career portal’ which seeks something greater than a short-term solution.
AI is able to analyze the resumes of millions of people at all levels of employment and in all sectors of activity. Thus, AI has an incredibly detailed and accurate understanding of what paths lead to what positions. AI has a detailed and accurate understanding of the credentials, skills, and background that go into every career at all its various stages.
We know the old adage: Two heads are better than one. How much better then would a million heads make? A billion? The analogy with AI only comes close to scratching the surface. AI enables users of job portals – both recruiters and job seekers – to access, analyze, and interpret millions of data points in mere milliseconds.
Because this technology exists and is being used to great effect, it’s only natural that traditional job portals (those that do not use AI) should be losing favor with recruiters and job seekers alike. We can now expect a lot more from the job portals. We can use them as career portals to help us not only to find a job but one that fits with our long-term career goals.