The Dehumanization of the Application Process

Are you stuck in a seamlessly never ending process of submitting applications for employment with no response?  The modern job search has changed!  Today the process includes automated screening with artificial intelligence.

Most applications are not seen by a recruiter or HR professional.  The ATS and AI systems screen them out.  Why?  The applications fall short of the definitions set by the hiring manager, prior to the job being published.  Math equations are used to calculate the validity of an applicant’s candidacy via AI.  The AI was programmed to look for and assign a value for certain key terms.  Upon completion of the scan, the points from the key terms are added up.  If your score isn’t high enough, you are removed from contention, by the system.  You are removed before anyone ever looks at your application.

The dehumanization of the new method in which candidates are screened is frustrating many job seekers. They feel they are owed a response of some kind for why they were not selected.  Imagine you think you are perfect for a job, you submit your application and then don’t even get an interview.


Forget What You Know To Find The Keys

Ultimately the goal is to be the one selected. Many things factor into how an applicant can successfully navigate from candidate to landing the job.  To win, you must learn to think the way that employers today think.  You cannot rely on the methods of the past, as they will not work for you.

I want you to consider how things are done now, so you can see how to proceed differently.  First step, forget everything you think you know about looking for a job.  This sounds easy, but if you’re like most, it’s the hardest part.  You have done things a certain way most likely your whole career.  I need you to clear your minds and allow me to paint you a new picture.

Once you have a blank canvas, I can paint the new picture for you, and you will see things you’ve been missing.  The keys to success in today’s world are subtle, but of the utmost importance.  What are they and how do you gain access to them?


What’s the Problem?

The answer to the whole riddle lies in a simple question.  What is the problem?  Really? Yes!  The problem isn’t yours, your problem is easy, you are unemployed and need a job.  Case closed?  Nope.  So if I’m not talking about your problem, whose problem am I talking about?  Simple, the company you want to work for.  They have a problem and the one who solves it will get the job.

Why is the company looking for a new employee?  They have an unresolved problem.  Could be a million different things, but whatever it is, is the key to getting hired.  Can you identify the issue and be the solution?  If you can, and you can do it better than anyone else, then you will likely get the job.


Figuring Out the Problem Starts with the Job Ad

The days of glancing at the job ad, or speed reading through it are over.  To identify what issue a company has, and why they need a new employee, read the ad carefully.  What can you infer from the ad?  A company without need, will not hire new staff.  So what is it that they need?  If you don’t know, you should do your best to find out.  If you can’t figure it out on your own, ask the person who posted the job.  “What are you hoping to accomplish most, by filling this position?” is a great way to phrase the question.

Most look at the job opening as a way to earn a living and/or to gain new experience.  While those things are true, most neglect to consider what’s in it for the company who hires them.  If you haven’t figured out what the company needs in its new employee, you should definitely ask in the interview, if you get one.  Addressing their needs will give you a much better chance of landing the job.


Stretching Out and Moving Up

For many years, several decades or longer, job applicants could count on moving up the ladder, by switching companies.  You would see a job in the classified ads and think, “I can do that,” submit your resume for consideration, interview and sometimes, land the job.  It was common.  Those days are over.

Stretch jobs are a thing of the past.  Want to get a promotion now?  You need to stick with your employer to get promoted internally if you want to advance your position!  Why?  You will not match the ATS criteria, nor get chosen by the AI, if you don’t meet the qualifications of the job listing.  Where a human might look at you and see raw potential, AI will see you as under qualified and unfit for the job.

Want to move up?  You need to allow your rapport with your current employer to help you stretch into the new position.  If you are selected by a human, one who knows you and likes you, you are more likely to get the call now.  Employees need to work on becoming what their employers are looking for in the next level.  Company hopping, which had become normal, I believe will actually be less common moving forward for this very reason.


Stiff Competition so Compete To Win

You are in a fight!  The job ads today are circulated around the world, not just posted in the city paper.  People from every corner of the world are applying for jobs that used to only be seen by people in a local market.  What does that mean?  It means you are competing with hundreds or thousands of people.  Applicants who pass the prescreening will all have the right qualifications for the job.  To win, you must dazzle the employer with outside the box thinking.

One way to do that is to focus on the solution to their problems.  Tell them and show them how you are the answer to what they are missing.  If you were able to figure out the reason they need a new employee, show them how hiring you, will eliminate that problem.  You will catch their attention.

In your interview, talk to them about their company and point out how you will help them accomplish their goals. How will you do this?  Research.  If you are going into an interview, you better be prepared.  The competition for the job dictates that you prepare like never before.  Do your homework on everything from market trends to when they were founded.  Find out what they are good at, who their competitors are.  Look at who they sell to and what products/services are recently released.  You surf a wave from the front, so look to see where they are headed as a company. Show them that you see where they are headed, then help show them how you fit into the picture.


Close the Deal By Selling You

You are the product.  No matter how you feel about sales, your job is to sell yourself, to the employer.  Why should they hire you?  You need to drive the point home before the end of the interview.  Show them that you uniquely understand their needs, and will resolve the underlying issue they face to achieve their goals. Do it with a humble confidence.  Maintain a friendly countenance and let them know you want the job.

I know this isn’t the way it used to be.  Times have changed.  Forget what you used to know and learn what works today.  You can land the job you want, presuming you can correctly identify the issue the employer faces, get past the ATS/AI screen and then sell yourself as the solution to their problem.  Best of luck as you navigate the new world.  If you need help, many are starting to hire career coaches to gain an advantage over those still going it alone.  Perhaps now that you are looking at things in a new way, it’s time to rethink going it alone too?