After successfully piloting its AI-enhanced job search technology, Cloud Talent Solution, with select customers including Johnson & Johnson and CareerBuilder, Google made the product publicly available last week, VentureBeat reported:
Cloud Talent Solution, which launched as Cloud Jobs API in 2016, is a development platform for job search workloads that factors in desired commute time, mode of transit, and other preferences in matching employers with job seekers. It also powers automated job alerts and saved search alerts. According to Google, CareerBuilder, which uses Cloud Talent Solution, saw a 15 percent lift in users who view jobs sent through alerts and 41 percent increase in “expression of interest” actions from those users.
Alongside the public launch of Cloud Talent Solution, Google introduced a new feature to the toolset: profile search. It allows staffing agencies and enterprise hiring companies to, using natural phrases like “front-end engineer” or “mid-level manager,” sift quickly through databases of past candidates. Profile search is available today in private beta.
Organizations can try Cloud Talent Solution out for free (pricing kicks in at over 10,000 queries per month) directly through the Google Cloud platform, or request access through one of Google’s talent acquisition technology provider partners.
The public rollout of Cloud Talent Solution is another sign of Google’s extensive investment in AI and machine learning and the rapidly growing application of these technologies to talent acquisition and management. It is just one of several avenues through which Google is moving into the recruiting market.
LinkedIn’s latest round of updates to its job posting tool includes features designed to help smaller organizations without dedicated recruiting functions to more easily source and track qualified candidates, Monica Lewis, Head of Product at Linkedin Jobs, announced on the professional networking platform’s Talent Blog last week:
Now, when you post a job on LinkedIn, these new features will work to deliver a pool of relevant candidates who you can’t find anywhere else. … Once you’ve posted a job on LinkedIn, Recommended Matches will scour our network to find candidates who have the experience and skills you’re looking for. And, most of these candidates are exclusively on LinkedIn: 57% of our users in the US did not visit the top three job boards last month.
We put these potential candidates right in front of you, giving you access to their full profiles. In one click, you can indicate if you’re interested in a candidate and start a conversation with them about the job opportunity. Based on how you rate candidates, our algorithm learns your preferences and delivers increasingly relevant candidates.
LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft, has also reconfigured its matching algorithm and given organizations the ability to add their own targeting preferences, giving them more control over who sees a job post. The update also makes it easier for users to keep track of candidates they are considering or wish to contact.
The new features are deliberately designed to encourage smaller and medium-sized enterprises to use LinkedIn as a job board. ERE’s Joel Cheesman calls this “a smart move at the right time”:
Sifting through hundreds or even thousands of applications for one job opening is perhaps the most time-consuming task recruiters face in their day-to-day work. This process is seen as a promising target for automation, particularly in hiring for technical roles where a candidate’s mastery of specific skills can be more important than their credentials and experience. Accordingly, many new platforms have sprung up, offering gamified assessments that test candidates’ skills and AI-powered software whose creators say it can make more objective and less biased hiring decisions than human recruiters.
The emergence of these platforms could reshape recruiting significantly by bringing a new level of transparency and objectivity to the process, Ryan Craig, Managing Director of University Ventures, writes at TechCrunch. Craig sees these intermediaries, which he compares to the talent agencies that decide who gets to work where in Hollywood, as the builders of what he calls “online competency marketplaces”:
Competency marketplaces will help candidates understand the jobs and careers they’re most likely to match, and help employers identify candidates who are on track (or on a trajectory to match in the future) and manage long talent funnels in an automated way.
What will a competency marketplace look like?
Over the past few years, recruiting leaders have been struggling to find the best ways to apply a plethora of emerging technologies to their function. The challenge of keeping up with the pace of technological change, along with the potential headache of implementing new tools and the risk of making an expensive mistake, can make recruiting leaders understandably hesitant to take the plunge. Woo, a recruiting platform that matches employers with potential job candidates, is hoping to make it as easy as possible with the launch of Helena, an AI-powered headhunter that automates candidate sourcing and also communicates to the company on behalf of the candidate.
Woo, which has received over $11 million in funding, claims that 52 percent of candidates sourced by Helena advance to the interview stage, compared to about 20 percent of human-sourced candidates. It automatically finds the best candidates, matching them to the company and role description. Helena also makes the first outreach and then works on behalf of both the candidate and the company. In addition, the product includes data about how similar companies’ listings for similar roles are performing and how and why job seekers choose not to pursue an opportunity.
While Woo is currently trying to automate just the start of the recruiting process, its founder and CEO Liran Kotzer tells Forbes he believes they can automate the whole thing:
“The recruitment market is broken,” Kotzer says. “It’s a 200bn market in the US alone – and the problem we have is that 95 per cent of the effort and money spent in that market is wasted. When you have talent and employers trying to find each other – 95 per cent of both of their efforts are going on filtering each other. Even if they go to interview, most interviews end without a hire, so that’s another point where both parties filer each other out…
In a peer benchmarking session at the ReimagineHR conference CEB, now Gartner, is hosting in Washington, DC, recruiting leaders representing hundreds of organizations expressed uncertainty about the role of technology in their function and its impact on their work.
Previous conversations we have had with recruiting leaders have suggested that technology investments were mostly focused on the front end of the process—sourcing and branding—but participants in Wednesday afternoon’s session said managing the talent pool was actually the top priority for technology investment, with sourcing second and branding lagging far behind. Those who chose talent pool management were primarily high-volume recruiters looking for a more efficient way to sift through thousands of applicants per open position.
When asked if they thought applying text analysis to job descriptions would have a demonstrable effect on hiring for diversity, recruiting leaders were skeptical. Only 14 percent believed it could, while the rest said no or that they were unsure. Textio and SAP are working on text analytics solutions to aid diversity efforts, but this uncertainty from their potential customer base underscores the idea that technology is not a cure-all for diversity.
Erin Griffith at Wired profiles ExecThread, a site where executives can share and find job opportunities within an exclusive network of their peers. The site is the brainchild of entrepreneur Joe Meyer, who realized the potential for disruption in executive recruiting when he sold his startup HopStop to Apple in 2013 and was approached by dozens of recruiters bearing job offers he didn’t want:
He quickly realized that C-level job opportunities weren’t listed on job boards—they came through friends or colleagues. So he decided to share the 99 job opportunities he didn’t take with his network, building an informal online community of high-level professionals. The hope was that his professional contacts would share their unwanted “hidden” job opportunities, too. …
Over the past two years, the site has grown by word-of-mouth to 15,000 self-described “high-caliber” members. Of those members, 80 percent are vice president-level or higher. Cumulatively, they’ve discussed more than 7,000 jobs. Beginning Thursday, anyone can apply—but you may not get in. ExecThread vets applicants based on recommendations from existing members, how networked applicants are, how willing they are to share job postings, where they’ve worked, and what titles they’ve held. Existing members vote on incoming applicants.
Meyer tells Griffith that he hopes for ExecThread to “democratize” high-level job searches by allowing executive candidates to compete for opportunities that are not pitched directly to them by recruiters. He believes the site can do a better job of sourcing talent than executive recruiting firms, but also envisions eventually monetizing ExecThread by selling users’ data profiles to those firms.
Mark Van Scyoc/Shutterstock.com
As many US employers rethink their recruiting and talent development strategies in light of the prospect of tighter immigration policies under the Trump administration, LiveStories CEO Adnan Mahmud suggests in the Harvard Business Review that employers should look beyond traditional sourcing tools and use civic labor data to locate hard-to-find tech talent in the American labor market:
There is no doubt that these tactics will make a difference. But there is one strategy that could have an even bigger impact, one that HR pros don’t seem to be using: leveraging civic data insights to build more-targeted hiring and recruitment programs. LinkedIn may give you the ability to target individuals who are on LinkedIn, but civic labor data gives you the ability to find much larger populations of potential candidates.
Tech companies can make better use of the massive amount of information that’s put into the public domain by the U.S. government. They can then use the insights from this civic data to geotarget ads on career websites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor, so these messages reach candidates in markets with fewer high-quality job opportunities. Companies could also use civic data to select a local trade journal to advertise in that reaches candidates in a very specific location with a very specific occupation or skill set. They just need to know where to look to find these data insights…