• Heather Lu-Lasky

Three Steps to Beat AI & Get Hired! Recruiting Trends & Strategy for Students (1)

Updated: Sep 13, 2019

In 2019 employers want to hire the right person efficiently and at a low cost. New technologies and AI have been used extensively to achieve these goals. In this article, I will discuss how AI is being deployed in several key steps of recruiting and how you can enhance your chances of getting hired by “beating the system.”

Step 1: Sourcing.

Often times the perfect candidate for a position may not be aware of a job. This is due to the large volume of information available to those seeking employment, or, simply lack of awareness of the particular opportunity. Sourcing is how a company targets the right people for a job, regardless whether they even know about the opportunity. Sourcing enabled through AI can greatly improve a firm’s reach by showing job ads to people with certain profiles and interest levels instead of relying on the ‘wide net’ approach. Do you recall seeing jobs that sparked your interest while browsing LinkedIn or other job sites? Have you ever been contacted by recruiters for a position that you never applied for or even heard of before? These are both examples of potential sourcing. Recruitment has become highly data-driven “programmatic job advertising” and there are various channels where it occurs such as social media, campus recruiting, recruiter databases, and internal referral database.

Strategy:

Once you know what interests you, it is imperative to take a more proactive role so that you can be targeted for more jobs. This requires you to enhance your visibility on social media and on traditional recruiting channels. Information (education, experience, skills, interest, etc.) that you provide correlates to the relevance of the job information that you receive. I did a recent experiment with three clients by revamping their profiles on LinkedIn: updated their skills via keywords, included a more descriptive experience section, followed companies that interest them, and added multiple job filters. All reported seeing increased relevant job advertisements and receiving calls from recruiters about positions that matched their interests and experiences.

Step 2: Screening.

Intelligent screening software can scan a huge talent pool by assessing resumes based on parameters employers defined. AI then automatically reads, ranks, and selects the candidates that they would like to further analyze. This is where technology is limited in that it is only assessing your resume and not all of the other things which make someone a well-rounded candidate. As a result, without those keywords that employers programmed for their search, your resume is unlikely to pass the screening, no matter how good you are in reality.

Strategy:

People seeking jobs need to have a resume, social/professional media profile, etc. which “speak to the job” and incorporate the keywords from the job requirement. I am always asked if different resumes are needed for different jobs and my answer is always yes although they do not need to be drastically different. Everyone should have a few categories of jobs that they want to apply for as well as a resume for each category. Experiences, projects, and certifications in those fields can differentiate you from the rest of the competition. When it comes to specific jobs under each category, make sure you read through the entire job description to incorporate all the keywords that you can claim. One size does NOT fit all! AI screening tools are essentially models - you need to provide it with the input to receive an output.

Step 3: The Interview.

It is becoming commonplace for interviews to take place on your laptop. Automated video interviewing solutions can read body language, semantics, grammar and speech patterns and can help reveal a wealth of unspoken information about a candidate. On top of that, it is low touch and cost-effective - no wonder employers are utilizing it more than ever. Most students are deathly afraid of video interviews - some of my clients tell me that they would “blank out” when the camera starts rolling.

Strategy:

As “scary” as it seems, this is also the part that is the easiest to prepare. Most automated video interviews have a list of questions that you likely encountered in a real human-to-human interview, as well as tips to prepare for them. Think through your stories ahead of time using the STAR method, embed the keywords, elevate the results to reflect the “transferable skills” that the company is looking for. You can usually record more than once and select the best one to submit. Practice, practice, and practice some more and you will surely see results that also benefit you during automated as well as in-person interviews.

AI can help to level the playing field for students, especially international students by giving you visibility and access. This can help compensate for the lack of professional experience or network. It also allows you to prepare for certain elements ahead of time. With hard work, you should succeed because your output is directly correlated to your input. companies compete for the best talent through AI, but you can be the ultimate winner if you invest the time and prepare ahead.

Heather Lu-Lasky

Heather Lu-Lasky, CFA is the Founder and CEO of ChampAmerica, a career and workforce development consulting firm based in New York City. @Heather Lu-Lasky

Sarah Williams



Sarah Williams is a Research Analyst at ChampAmerica and a student at Rutgers Business School. She is an incoming Investment Banking Summer Analyst at Citigroup. @Sarah Williams






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