In July 2017, news reports revealed that companies including Unilever, Jet, and Goldman Sachs were ditching the traditional hiring process in favor of automated hiring. Rather than relying on exhaustive candidate searches and unstructured interviews, they’ve begun to rely on artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms.
It’s a move that’s about to land like a ton of bricks on every Business Analyst looking for job in the years ahead. Here are three ways in which AI will soon rock your world if you’re in the job market.
Automated hiring strategy #1: AI filters initial candidates
We’ve known for a while that employers are using keyword searches to quickly scan through resumes. That’s a highly mechanical process, so employers are now taking it to the next level. It’s easy to foresee employers feeding keywords and phrases into an AI, which then scans many resumes in an instant.
In cases like Unilever’s, the process begins when a candidate clicks on a link for a job posting. As the candidate fills out preliminary information, the company’s software pulls the candidate’s LinkedIn profile. Based on criteria the employer sets for the AI, it filters out a large number of candidates immediately.
This first step doesn’t need to employ a human review of resumes. With automated hiring, the AI is entirely responsible for making the first cut. If your resume and application don’t hit the initial goals the employer set up, you will get immediately disqualified. If you get past this step, even more AI awaits you.
Automated hiring strategy #2: AI uses “brain games” to hone in
The next step involves playing a series of “brain games” created by companies like Pymetrics. These games employ neuroscience principles in their design. They test such things as your short-term memory, as well as emotional and cognitive traits. There are no right or wrong answers. Everyone will have strengths and weaknesses, or approach problem solving in different ways.
The games produce a large number of data points. An employer can then create the ideal “profile” of traits to prioritize more highly for a position such as Business Analyst. Any candidate whose scores don’t come close to that profile once again face elimination without any human decision-making.
By the way, if you want to know how you would fare with these brain games, Pymetrics allows you to play them beforehand and get a report for free!
#3: Automated hiring strategy #3: AI scans pre-recorded interviews
Companies can invite applicants to submit a recording of responses to interview questions. Applicants can then complete the recording on their smart phones, tablets, or computers. The employer is not present during this activity.
Once again, the software will match each applicant against a profile the employer establishes. Employers can then invite the top performers who made every cut to come in for a final, in-person interview before making a decision.
So how do I nail the job in this new age of AI?
Like it or not, the age of artificial intelligence is here. And along with it will come increasingly automated hiring. The successful candidate will be the one who knows how employers are leveraging AI, and can therefore best position and train themselves to beat the algorithms.
For Business Analysts, it will pay off to make sure your resume contains exactly the information employers are looking for. Hard as it may be, put yourself in the position of an AI scanning your resume automatically. How likely is it that your resume will be flagged for further review, for that particular job? At a minimum you must ensure the resume has the necessary key words and phrases based on the job description. It must also use the “lingo” Business Analyst employers expect to see. If employers move further towards using LinkedIn instead of your resume, then you’ll have to do the same kind of work on your LinkedIn profile.
There’s no use “worrying” about cognitive tests. These tests have been around in some form or another for a long time. There’s no way to know (yet) what kind of “profile” Business Analyst employers will be looking for as they move to online testing. It’s also likely to vary from job to job anyway. Given the diversity of work to do in business analysis requiring different cognitive and emotional skills, it will become a matter of applying for those BA jobs that most closely align with your strengths.
In my view, AI screening that scans your recorded response to interview questions highlights the importance of mastering soft skills for any candidate, and especially for Business Analysts. Given the role that BA’s play, it’s easy to see that traits such as eye contact, good body language, and ability to speak well are going to rank highly on the list for an AI to evaluate. So it is more important than ever to practice, practice, practice your interviewing skills so that you come across as the smooth, polished Business Analyst the employer is looking for.