AI, bots and recruitment.

Over the last few months, I’ve applied for over a hundred jobs. The application process for some of these jobs has been downright insulting. After writing a 300-word cover letter and tailoring the resumes to the job description, I was disgusted to either-

  1. Never receive a response
  2. Receive a comically quick response
  3. Have a fucking bot/AI analyse my application (this being mentioned in the job description)

With all these rejections, some of my best experience has been where the employer/recruiter was kind enough to provide feedback. This has helped me learn and grow. 

Addressing (1): I understand that there are hundreds of applicants and some companies may have limited resources to go through all the applications. From what I hear, the recruitment process is time consuming and expensive. But allocating some resources to responding to the applicants leaves a good impression. It also reflects positively on the company. 

Addressing (2, 3): Now I’m all in for working efficiently. And I’d love to see AI and bots take on tasks that are repetitive. But the match here isn’t equal. If the employer/recruiter is using an AI to analyse my application, then they should be expecting similar tools to be used by the applicants. It’s like the applicant bringing a knife to a gunfight. 

xkcd 2237: AI Hiring Algorithm (just for some gags)

Before writing this blog, I looked up tools that help applicants with a cover letter and a resume. I’m stoked that these tools exist. Because I know there are startups working on tools to make recruitment easy. But we need an equal army on the other side of the process to understand both the applicant and the company and then design a tailored application. The biggest hurdle I see here is that the applicant may not have the means to afford such a service, so an appropriate business model needs to be thought up. 

Call me salty but I say I’m principled. I want to see a levelled playing field. I want to work towards a democratic future because I find it unsettling to see one set of people holding more power than the rest. 

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