A 2017 Wall Street Journal study found that it is very, very difficult for employers to find employees with the soft skills they need. But what if employers are looking for soft skills and don’t see them? The vast majority of medium and large employers in the US, UK and Canada use applicant tracking systems.
More employers say it’s harder to find hard work than labor.
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) allow employers to post new jobs online and manage the hundreds of job seekers who typically respond to each job posting. No recruiter reviews hundreds of applications.
Instead, the ATS prepares a manageable number of eligible candidates for the recruiter. How does the ATS do it? It’s not magic, it’s a keyword-based filter that compares resumes to posted job descriptions and selects the candidates who seem most suitable.
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The keyword filter at the top of the recruitment funnel has interesting implications for most employers. One of these is the phenomenon of CV spamming: Candidates literally copy the job description in white letters on their resume to pass the exam. The second is an overemphasis on technical skills.
Faced with the need to distinguish between hundreds of applicants for each online job opening, employers have added many new job requirements, most of which are technical in nature.
According to Burning Glass, the multitude of skills required in job descriptions are now dominated by technical skills, rather than the cognitive and soft skills that are combined for almost every profession.
The predominance of technical skills in job descriptions probably reflects the fact that it is easier to formulate 10 technical job requirements than 10 different ways to describe problem-solving or communication skills. Because if they don’t have those technical skills, they won’t pass the TSA filter. And if they don’t pass the ATS filter, they are virtually invisible to employers.
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Does this mean there is a soft skills shortage or that all millennials are latecomers, disorganized and poor communicators? Punctual, organized, articulate millennials who employers like to see follow the rules and finish their studies.
But because almost all colleges and universities continue to live in a bubble, hovering over the mundane concerns of the job market, and because they continue to believe that the role of higher education is to prepare students for the fifth job.
Colleges have not made a serious effort to provide students with a last mile technical education. So all the millennials are gone.
First, all millennials should have an opportunity to be considered for employers through technical training.
Second, employers should avoid the tyranny of a keyword-based filter at the top of the recruitment funnel. For example, employers should seek advice from their ATS providers. B. Taleo (Oracle), they need to use new technologies that allow them to filter (and search) by skills rather than keywords.
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The shift to merit-based hiring is inevitable and will result in a widening of the top of the funnel to candidates with excellent soft skills and experience, which is likely to be more diverse than the current hiring system based on pedigree and degree.
Gyro’s founder, Anand Sharma, seems pretty happy when we meet at the Mill, a hip coffee shop known for its $4 toasts in San Francisco’s NOPA district. It’s a rare sunny day in the city, and his startup is growing.
The self-monitoring platform with an elegant user interface has been extended with a genetic and step counting component, and soon with a blood recording component. It has also obtained a small amount of angel funding from key investors like Keyvon Bakpour, founder of Periscope.
Even Jack Dorsey started using a gyroscope, he tells me. Sharma has been in office for more than two years! At the time he called it AprilZero, but the idea grew to include friends and soon anyone who wanted to follow themselves through a series of health and wellness measures.
The plan now includes where you go, what you eat, how many times a year you walk and how much time you spend looking at the screen in front of you.
Sharma is currently working on his next big project.
The platform looks like a spin-off of Quantified Motion, a technology that combines physical activity with personal data to help you improve your life in some mental or physical way. But Sharma rejects this suggestion.
I don’t want to put myself in that category, he says. Especially since these guys are a little weird. He’s not wrong. The movement, also known as life recording, conjures up images of people wearing six different health bracelets, having sensors on their heads and measuring every little thing they do in every part of their lives, which is sometimes very unclear.
But Mr Sharma, who we have already talked about when he started working on the platform, shaped it from the beginning. Gyroscope now in the App Store!
He thought about the components of performance, e.g. B. the amount of time you spend online each day, and made the platform a little more competitive so you could compare the number of steps you took with your friends on the platform.
This summer also saw the launch of a feature called Insights, an AI component designed to help you make connections between certain behaviors and what you capture on the platform. Sharma explains to me that the system would work by drawing these links and then sending push notifications to motivate and remind those using Gyroscope to do something related to their goals.