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  • Writer's pictureCharlie Render

The Quiet Automation Arms Race Between HR Departments & Job Seekers

Updated: Mar 7

Web scraping and automation have led to a technology stand-off for job applications


ai job applications

When LinkedIn was launched in 2003, there were already other job searching websites available in the market- Monster, CareerBuilder, & HotJobs to name a few. But LinkedIn was different; they sought to become the first professional career development website that was designed like a social media platform. Since then, LinkedIn has become one of the largest job posting platforms in both the United States and the world, and has surpassed even giants like Monster in terms of total market share. 


One of LinkedIn’s competitive advantages has been the social element of the platform. There is a personal component to the job search on LinkedIn relative to other platforms. From an employer’s perspective, LinkedIn offers a detailed lens into potential candidates that a resume or cover letter just can’t capture on their own. From a job seeker’s perspective, LinkedIn allows you to find current employees of the company, engage them, and create a stronger rapport before a screening phone call or interview ever takes place. 


Employers Begin to Automate


Over the last decade, the increase in technology has shifted the dynamics on LinkedIn- as well as the other major job finding platforms- to be less personalized and more of a numbers game. While some of this is natural for a growing platform, some comes from the rise of web tools servicing employers by automating the process of screening applications. 


hireez job application ai

Applications like hireEZ, Zoho Recruit, and Greenhouse offer a variety of widgets that systematically take the personalized touch out of the screening process. One of the main functionalities these tools offer is resume parsing, meaning there is an automated tool reviewing resumes and discarding or rejecting resumes based on missing keywords, phrases, or other requirements that the employer marked as important. This can filter out many qualified candidates who just didn’t hit the right keywords, and also demoralize a job seeker who spent a meaningful amount of time on a job application only to be rejected before a human ever reviewed it. 


Candidate automatic screening and social media profile scanning are a couple of other functionalities that these platforms incorporate. These are just some ways employers automatically filter out candidates for open job positions without human involvement. All of these types of automation tools ultimately disadvantage job seekers.


Revenge of the Job Seekers


For years, the power dynamic shifted towards employers, but in the last 3-4 years, tools directed towards automating the tasks of job seekers have emerged. Many people know about ChatGPT, and some job hunters use it or a similar alternative to write resumes and cover letters. But this is just the beginning. 


Tools have been developed to automate the job application process itself. At first, basic browser extensions became available that could autofill some of the more straightforward answers as the user filled out the job applications in real time. Next, LazyApply came onto the scene. They offer a fully automated process without the user having to navigate to each website page or job application manually. 


applygenie automation job search

The most recent and advanced tool to enter the job application automation space is ApplyGenie. ApplyGenie allows users to apply to hundreds of jobs after only a few basic inputs from the user, and offers advanced question-answering and job criteria-matching functionality. ApplyGenie also allows users to try the platform for free, lowering the cost to leverage automation to zero for job seekers.


Where Do We Go From Here?


As tools like these continue to gain popularity, there is a question mark around the future dynamic between job seekers and hiring teams. As rapid technological development continues to happen in real time, a transformation towards automation for both sides is inevitable. 


The real question to ask is whether the change will be positive or negative. There could be a world where an advanced two-sided job matching marketplace offers high-accuracy job matches, benefiting both parties with advanced algorithms delivering near-perfect employee-employer fits. Depending on your perspective, this could be seen as dystopian or convenient!


Hypothetically, automation should be a good thing as it makes everyone’s lives easier, but one worrying concern will be whether automation disconnects us from one another. If you are interested in learning about some other ways automation is being applied in the business world, give this blog a read

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