From Crowds to Clouds: Online Technology is Transforming Recruitment

The right person for the job might be one in a million capable candidates, or could be the only person on the planet with the exact skill set you need; either way, to hire them you have to find them first, and online technology is making it much easier to have your voice heard by an ever-larger crowd.

Big brands like Facebook and Google are increasingly announcing developments with implications for the recruitment market, more directly in the case of Facebook Workplace, and less directly with exciting creations like Mark Zuckerberg’s AI pet project, Jarvis.

The jobs market holds plenty of promise for Facebook, Google and their digital peers, as work completes the picture of many people daily lives, alongside the social content they post to those online platforms for friends and family to see.

What these social networks and similar crowd platforms already have is vast personal data about individuals, just waiting to be monetised in new ways, while for the end-user if it means better job opportunities next time they are looking for new employment, many – perhaps even most – would welcome it.

What would Google do?

The Google Cloud Jobs API is one of the latest announcements in this area, and effectively automates part of the process of matching candidates, skills, personal goals and career history to the job opportunities advertised by recruiters.

Certain skills can be prioritised independently, while the algorithms can also seek certain combinations of skills, experience and personal preferences, to deliver candidates who truly meet the requirements of the role, and not just a box-ticking exercise based on the words used on their CV.

The outcome aims for pinpoint accuracy for recruiters, and highly relevant vacancies for applicants, and again while this requires access to considerable personal data, individuals looking to get the absolute most from their career are unlikely to object.

Face to Facebook

Facebook too is increasingly acting as a mediator for recruitment, serving as a go-between from employer to candidate with trials to allow Page admins to list job opportunities and post advertisements to relevant users across the social network.

This is perhaps the most exciting foray into the social side of recruitment, reaching out to individuals on a platform many access multiple times every day, but usually only use in their personal life, rather than their professional life.

With a growing number of people seeking employment that they find rewarding on a personal level, that boundary is already being blurred, and a platform that can target candidates based on their social skills and even their hobbies and interests makes growing sense for the maturing 21st century.

Of course, this wealth of data means detailed profiles of candidates too, again going far beyond what can be gleaned from an individual's CV, and providing plenty of confidence in the validity of that profile.

As crowdsourced recruitment and richly detailed data from social networks and cloud platforms continues to mature, the next question will be whether candidates are content to allow recruiters to target them in this way, or whether more will attempt to ‘curate’ their social interactions in an attempt to produce the kind of online profile they think employers are looking for.

This is one of the major emergent trends to watch in this area, and may ultimately map out the progress of online social recruitment technology in 2017 and beyond.

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