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To Thine Own Self Be True

Hiring by algorithms

bud bilanich, annie jennings pr, jenningswireThere was in interesting article in the Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks ago  called “Meet the New Boss: Big Data, Companies trade In Hunch-Based Hiring for Computer Modeling.”  In part it said…

“For more and more companies the hiring boss is an algorithm.  Jobs that were once filled on the basis of work history and interviews are left to personality tests and data analysis.  Under pressure to cut costs and boost productivity, employers are trying to predict specific outcomes, such as whether a prospective hire will quit too soon, file a disability claim or steal…Powerful computers and more sophisticated software have made it possible to evaluate more candidates, amass more data and peer more deeply into applicants’ personal lives.”

This sounds creepy to me, especially the part about peering more deeply into applicants’ personal lives.  But things are moving in this direction.  The journal article reports that global spending on talent-management software was $3.8 billion in 2011.  If this trend continues, I bet you’ll be seeing internet ads for how to game algorithm based hiring software pretty soon.

Don’t fall for those ads.

If you have to figure out how to game the software, the job probably isn’t right for you anyway.  You’ll be unhappy in it if you do get hired and will end up looking again.

The Journal article had a mini four item paired choice test.  I took it and answered as honestly as I could.  The results showed that I would be a good fit for an “employee trainer job”– which is exactly the first job I had when I began my career in business.  In other words the software nailed me and my interests.  That training job was the base on which I’ve built my career as a speaker, coach and consultant.  I’ve been helping people climb the corporate ladder ever since.

Do what you love

All of this is related to the career advice I provide in Tweet 7 in my career success book Success Tweets: 140 Bits of Common Sense Career Success Advice, All in 140 Characters or Less.  “Figure out what you really want to do.  Work you love will make it easier for you to create the life and career success you want and deserve.”  If you know what you want out of your life and career, you’ll be more likely to land a job you love – and in which you’ll succeed.

Being desperate enough to try to game some software just to get a job – any job – flies in the face of this advice.  If some software excludes you form a job, so be it.  Chances are you wouldn’t have liked the job – or more important – done well in it anyway.

But if you figure out what you really want to do with your life, no matter how many algorithms they throw at you, you’ll be fine.  If you find yourself in a situation where you are asked to complete an online questionnaire, answer honestly.  If you get excluded, chances are the job isn’t a good fit.  If it is a good fit for you, you’ll get invited to an interview where you’ll be able to strut your stuff and nail an offer.

My best career success advice as we enter this brave new world of computer based hiring is simple common sense.

Stay true to yourself and you’ll be fine.

Don’t try to game pre-employment questionnaires.  Answer those questions honestly.  Don’t worry if the computer excludes you from a job.  You probably wouldn’t have been happy in it any way.

That’s my career advice based on the Wall Street Journal article on algorithm based hiring.  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for taking the time to read my musings on life and career success.  I value you and I appreciate you.  If you want to learn more about how to climb the corporate ladder faster check out the free rebroadcast of a webinar I did recently.  You can find it at http://www.mycorporateclimb.com/squeeze_pages/13337-bud-bilanichs-corporate-career-success-webinar/