Two items posted to LinkedIn, which capture two sides of the time and process demands of employment applications that ought to be automated: applications that applicants abandon; and the aggregated time lost in hundreds of manually completed applications.
“4 Reasons Why Job Seekers Aren’t Finishing Your Application Process (And What You Can Do About It),” by Carmen Bryant, Indeed (blog), 6 February 2018 (posted May 2018)
The point of Indeed.com’s piece here is spot on: If you as an employer or recruiter have an online application form/process, it should be well-designed to minimize time & effort required of applicants. However there is a degree to which application forms & processes are inherently a time sink. So, how can tools be put into the hands of job seekers to automate repetitive aspects of applications, & navigate various approaches & requirements (which might incidentally let the hiring people off the hook here).
Indeed’s 4 reasons job seekers aren’t finishing applications also sound like good reasons for an “AI” process to take care of a lot of the tedious &/or time-consuming steps in job applications [my remarks in brackets]:
“1. Jargon is confusing to job seekers—so don’t use it.” [From keywords to buzzwords, jargon is hard to eliminate from the process. An intelligent job application program would have them installed & periodically updated, & perhaps be able to learn new ones.]
“2. It’s a job application, not an online interrogation.” [An intelligent job application program should be designed to handle even unnecessarily long applications. A key would be in how it accesses the applicant’s information to selectively & appropriately fill out answers.]
My comment (continuation):
“3. Your jobs aren’t working on mobile.” [Interesting question as to whether an AI process could navigate even sites that aren’t working well visually for a human using a specific medium, like mobile. Presumably yes, if the text strings & spaces for answers are there somewhere.]
“4. Wait, didn’t I ask them that already?” [An AI process could respond consistently to many redundant info requirements in the time it takes a human to utter a single word of complaint.]
Larger issue is how to get better tools that work at the behest of job seekers & are not beholden to particular organizations or employment sites. Ideally this would take care of lesser problems with application design.
A connection shared this in my feed (thx). With absolutely no disrespect for anyone making efforts to find employment, I’d ask us all to consider the cumulative time and mental energy going into 100s of job applications, including the searches to find the listings, follow up, and prep for interviews. Then aggregate across the economy. Huge amounts of wasted time (well beyond the point of diminishing returns of any learning), which equates to opportunity costs. In any other activity, a method of saving labor would be devised to more quickly take care of repetitive tasks, so as to enable us to spend more time on activities that are productive and enjoyable. Yet almost all the automation in the job market is on the hiring and recruiting side. Something to think on during the US Labor Day weekend.