Future Job Hunt

By | August 18, 2011

I’ve spent the past few months making my own humble contribution to adding an analytical layer to a job search site which we’ve also been working on making more interesting and social networkish.

These initiatives have given me some time to think about how rapidly the process that we call “job hunting” is changing, both from the candidate’s and from the hiring manager’s perspective. Based on what I’ve learned working on these projects, and generally from posting to this blog every day, I’m prepared to make a few predictions about what job hunting will be like in the near future.

1. It will keep getting sillier, and probably won’t get any more fair.

Job candidates can continue to expect to be asked questions like, “How many bricks are there in Shanghai?” and “If you were the size of a pencil, how would you escape from a blender?” Once organizations decide that they’re being creative and cutting edge by asking them, it’s hard to get them off the stupid job interview questions. No matter how nice we ask.

Meanwhile, there seems to be no slowing down in the practice of discriminating against the unemployed,or even the arguably-less-employed-than-they-should-be.

Expect your future job hunt to involve a lot of hoop-jumping and the very real possibility of being eliminated for reasons that have nothing to do with how qualified you are.

2. The resume is dead (long live the resume.)

I don’t have a ‘resume” per se any more. I have a LinkedIn profile, a Zapoint Profile, a Jobster profile, a Naymz profile, a Facebook profile, and some really out-of-date online resumes on Monster, CareerBuilder, and at least a couple others.

My LinkedIn profile looks like a resume but it’s more sophisticated and adaptable than a resume. I was able to import it into both Zapoint and Jobster to create my profiles there, both of which allow me to do various kinds of analysis of my skills and experience.

Time was we created a resume almost entirely for the consumption of others. But increasingly, we are seeing the data that comprises the resume as the real asset — rather than one superficial organization of it that we print out and share with potential employers. That data belongs to us, and it is as much for our use as it is for the use of others.

3. Job Hunt = Bucking for Promotion?

Speaking of it being our data, we can increasingly expect HR systems within organizations to be driven by the same kinds of profiles that are currently replacing resumes. Talent Management is looking to become the latest in a long series of processes to be automated and handed off to the consumer (or in this case, the employee.) Talent management has always been a massive exercise in cat-herding anyhow. Why not let the cats herd themselves?

We’ll find that career management inside the organization is going to look more and more like career management outside the organization. Trying to get a promotion (or even stay in the position you’re in) is going to require using many of the same tools and skills currently required for the job hunt.

4. It will become more “social.”

I put scare quotes on the word social because job-hunting is already one of the most inherently social activities we engage in. It’s been known for a long time that those who create and maintain strong social networks (as distinct from “social networks” ) have a tremendous advantage in looking for a job over those who aren’t successful at creating and maintaining such networks.

The difference today and into the future is that the social aspects of the job search will increasingly rely on social technologies. These technologies will provide new ways for friends to refer and otherwise connect each other with opportunities. Referrals and ranking, even completely subjective “thumbs-up” type ranking, will likely become an important part of candidate selection criteria.

Some will see that last sentence as a reaffirmation of point 1, above. And if we’re not careful, that’s exactly what it will be.

5. Candidates will get some new advantages.

It’s not all downside for job hunters. The profile-driven approach described above will make it possible for candidates to get a much clearer idea of how close a match they are for given positions — using objective criteria. The job hunt will not become a completely mathematical proposition, but it is going to tend in that direction.

Likewise, large collections of profiles raise the possibility of creating an aggregate profile database. With everyone in a database of job-seekers using the same tagging “language” to describe their skills and experience, it will be easy fora job-seeker to run a quick calculation to determine that he or she is the 5th (or 5000th) most qualified candidate applying for a given position. That should save everyone a lot of time.

Of course, there will be many other changes in the job search process over and above the ones I’ve listed here. What major changes do you expect to see?

Cross-posted from Transparency Revolution.

  • http://wherearethefuturejobs.blogspot.com/ Queen Esther Collins

    This article is very useful. One of the truest statements on the page is “The resume is dead (long live the resume.”
    It statement allows the reader to take a look at other more efficient ways to market themselves other than the traditional resume style.

    Great Informaton.