From ‘Speechless’ presentations in San Francisco, to chatbots taking over the hiring process, HRM brings you the weird and wonderful in the world of recruitment.
What does Google’s new recruitment tool mean for jobs sites?
Google takes another step deeper into our digital working lives; announcing earlier this month that it will be launching a new search engine for recruitment to collect and organise millions of job listings at their I/O developer conference.
Called Google for Jobs, the service will focus on all grades of jobs, from entry-level and service industry positions to highly-skilled roles. It will also leverage Google technologies such as machine learning and AI to better understand how jobs are classified and related.
“46 per cent of US employers say they face talent shortages and have issues filling open job positions… while job seekers may be looking for openings right next door,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the audience. “There’s a big disconnect here… We want to better connect employers and job seekers through [our] new initiative.”
Pinchai claimed that Google is not necessarily taking on traditional job search service providers, but partnering with them. For the US launch, the tech giant will partner with LinkedIn, Facebook, Careerbuilder, Monster and Glassdoor, among others. Expansion into other markets is set to happen later this year.
Of course, whenever a heavyweight player such as Google enters an established market, it’s sure to shake things up. The question is what impact this move will have on others.
While some are ambivalent, adopting a wait-and-see policy, many of Google’s competitors in job search say the initiative will help rather than harm their businesses,
Dan Shapero, vice president of careers and talent at LinkedIn, says that Google for Jobs “has the potential to radically improve discovery of the millions of jobs on LinkedIn.”
(Want to know how to recruit tech talent? Read our article about how to attract candidates in the tech sector).
Career advice via chatbot
Chatbots continue to invade all areas of the customer service industry – and now they’ve reached the recruitment sector.
Touted as ‘the career transition industry’s first AI-powered digital career agent for Australia and New Zealand’ (try saying that three times, fast), Ella is the newest chatbot on the market – and she’s designed to help you navigate the often-fraught journey of job transition.
Launched by career development organisation, Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH), the chatbot asks questions about an individual’s skill sets, desired job title and geographic requirements. She then uses this information to search for relevant job leads from a variety of public and private sources.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking you’ve lucked out on a purely artificial recruitment coach; Ella was developed to work alongside career coaches, talent connectors, and recruiting specialists at LHH. It takes the grunt-work out of sorting through thousands of job postings advertised online, and efficiently sorts them based on the requirements most valued by the job-seeker. The idea is that one day, Ella will contribute to the high-level planning, too.
“By automating the process of wading through tonnes of data, individuals will be able to focus on more sophisticated and personalised components of a job search, such as interview preparation with a career coach and networking,” says Ross Heron, managing director, at Lee Hecht Harrison, Australia and New Zealand.
(Messaging apps are invading our workplaces. But there’s also a dark side. Read our article about communication app Slack).
Poking fun at presentation mania
While there are a number of tools available to gauge the suitability of a candidate for a role – a person’s ability to communicate is still best assessed in person. However an age-old problem perpetuates: how to communicate authentically in the workplace – particularly when it comes to presentations.
Some 350 presentations are given every second – or about 1.26 million per hour – in Silicon Valley, according to Microsoft. And while most workplaces are unlikely to put their employees through quite so many, they’re undoubtedly the bane of any office employee’s existence.
The latest trend to come out of San Francisco seeks to give tech employees a taste of their own boring powerpoint-presentation medicine.
It’s called Speechless; it’s usually held far from the slick corporate offices in the grimy alleys of the Mission district – and involves topic titles such as “The Weird Intern” and “The HR Nightmare”. An unseemly marriage between tech-bro culture and stand-up comedy, presenters are handed a laser pointer and microphone, but have no clue what insane images await on the PowerPoint slides… until it’s far too late to escape the stage. Once revealed, they must ad-lib through a performance while a rowdy crowd simultaneously heckles – and eggs them on.
However the real imperative behind the concept is to shake corporates “out of the presentation rut by encouraging speakers to rely on quick wit and imagination instead of a black-and-white presentation template,” says Speechless producer, Scott Lifton.
(Organisations are increasingly looking outside of technical skills; read our article about why you need to be hiring for soft skills).
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Image credit: Google IO convention website