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Ask Lawrence: What relevance will AI have on my ability to find work?

22 Mar 13:00 by Lawrence Akers

Lawrence Akers Artificial Intelligence AI find work

Whether you like it or not, Artificial Intelligence is revolutionising many tasks across many industries. Many of the process-driven tasks that people do within their roles are likely to be absorbed by this automation in the years to come, especially as the technology becomes more sophisticated and advanced.

Greg and Chris Savage recently ran their Savage Sells training in Melbourne which opened with a discussion around this and they raised some food for thought on the matter. When you consider that there is already technology that has the capability to search the internet for suitable candidates and then shortlist the best matching, it won’t be long before recruitment consultants can spend more time focusing on building better relationships over hours of searching for a couple of needles in a haystack.

As you can gather from that last point, this advancement in technology obviously has some advantages. I can assure you that the majority of recruitment consultants you speak with don’t get much joy out of searching and searching and searching and searching. It can be a draining experience to say the least. If they can be freed up to spend more time actually talking to people and building authentic, genuine, meaningful relationships, I’m sure we can agree all round that this is going to benefit everyone.

It actually works to the candidates advantage. Statistically, most CV’s have six seconds to make an impression before the hiring manager will shut it down. Human error can happen. This technology will be able to fine tune that search far better and, provided a person has set up their profile properly, are more likely to have the technology find them.

It does raise an obvious question though; how will this technology impact on someone trying to find work. If it is taken away from people looking at CV’s to technology finding them and bringing them to the front of the queue, how will they know that they’re going to be ‘found’?

Consider this question for a moment; what is your social media footprint? What profiles do you have on line and what do they say about you professionally?

I’m not talking about those drunken night out profiles here; I think many people are guilty of that. I’m talking literally about profiles that talk about who your are professionally for your career.

To profile or not to profile

I’m often asked by people if they should create profiles on professional networking platforms.

My answer to that is, in short, absolutely. Why would you not want to be found so that you can continue to make money doing something you love?

You could rely solely upon word of mouth however I’m sure most people would agree that this has a limit to how successful it might be. You could do a lot of cold calling if you wanted but, again, how many people enjoy doing that especially given that this approach is being seen as a bit more ‘old school’ now.

The reality is that the way in which people are ‘found’ has changed with social media and a smart person is going to utilise every avenue possible in order to continue building their business. More clients means more opportunity which means more money which means keeping your business doors open and you doing what you love.

I do know some people who have set up profiles but who ‘don’t want to be contacted’. You have to ask the question, ‘why’? It’s like going to McDonalds and when asked what you would like, you reply with, ‘Oh nothing, I’m just here to look at the menu.’ It is, after all, a PROFESSIONAL NETWORKING platform. The word ‘networking’ implies that you would want to use it to connect with people and to build relationships. Obviously, it doesn’t mean connecting with everyone but if you’re on LinkedIn and you have a handful of connections, maybe just keep to something like Facebook instead.

What to say on your profile

I tend to refer to this as the ‘goldilocks problem’.

Some people have just too little information on their profile. If you look at your profile and you’ve got the company and the job title, then you’re not really giving out enough information about what you’ve done or how you’ve been successful. It’s highly likely that your profile is not working for you in the most effective way.

Focus on what your responsibilities were and what achievements you had during your time. You want to approach your profile in much the same way someone would approach any written piece for search engine optimisation; keywords are critical here.

The other problem is people who put almost too much information here and come across as being a ‘jack of all trades, master of none.’ I’ve seen people who claim to be able to do every single medium under the sun and the reality is that, while they might have done a project in each of these, it is highly unlikely that they’re specialised in that area. People want specialists. They want people who have a niche - such as retail or packaging or branding or publishing. You might be a generalist, and some people may want someone who can do a bit of everything, but if you want to be ‘found’, specialisation is the way to go.

Realistically, no process is ever going to be 100% full proof however the advancements we are seeing in technology now is ultimately about creating more time for people to do the parts of their job that computers can’t do far more thoroughly. If you’re smart, it also means that you’ll be aware that this technology can be worked to your advantage and help you to have a steady stream of conversations that could lead to exciting and fulfilling opportunities for you.

Lawrence Akers has been working in the creative recruitment industry for the past 14 years and is a Senior Consultant with Creative Recruiters. For more information on current available creative positions, visit the Creative Recruiters website, join our LinkedIn Group and LIKE our Facebook page.