Online recruiting tools have failed. They forgot the humans.

Almost everyone looking for a job today goes to any number of job platforms from Indeed to ZipRecruiter, Workopolis and a thousand others. The various platforms boldly pronounce with striking marketing statements that they use magical pixie dust algorithms that perfectly match candidate to employer. They’ll filter out all the bad prospects and deliver you a bunch of perfect candidates. Your hiring problems solved! Except they don’t work as promised and need to be fixed.

Technology has failed here because these online job boards have forced humans to comply with the technology. The algorithms are designed based on forcing compliance. Which is based on assuming fixed and highly defined roles within an organisation. But all companies are chaotic, very few, aside from perhaps the military, are really well organised and role defined. Humans are a messy lot. Algorithms don’t like chaos. Algorithms like defined ingredients for a defined recipe.

The second area that these online career platforms fail is for small business, which employees the bulk of people in all Western nations. These platforms can be expensive for a small business. In addition, the technology can actually filter out candidates with more flexible skills and small businesses often want people who can adapt and wear more than one hat. Small businesses don’t have a lot of defined processes, larger ones do. The large job boards are designed for enterprise clients, not small businesses. Perhaps the only decent platform is LinkedIn.

There Are Opportunities
So that’s a rather scathing evaluation of how online recruiting platforms have failed in their use of technology, especially algorithms labeled as “artificial intelligence.” They can do better. Platforms like Indeed or ZipRecruiter etc., could use less algorithms for humans and skills and make them work for small businesses and roles versus skills. They could also be more flexible in the algorithms and they could do a focus area specifically for small businesses. They might also include more social networking features on their platforms.

There’s an opportunity for a small business focused recruiting platform, but I’ve yet to see one done right beyond LinkedIn, which has some challenges of it’s own.  These massive platforms work at a huge scale and the technology is missing the needs of small businesses especially and prospective employees.

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