Applying for jobs in a tech-driven process: The takeaways

Last week I presented on job searching in a tech-driven process to Columbia Business School alumni. By tech-driven process, I mean conducting a job search that feels largely driven by technology rather than humans. This could mean:

  • Searching and sourcing job opportunities online (LinkedIn, Indeed, company career pages)
  • Applying via company application portals
  • Reaching out to contacts via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

This is, in many ways, the reality of the modern job search! But as someone who has touched so many elements of technology in the recruiting process – as a recruiter, a data analyst, a product manager and a recruiting operations leader – it crushes me to hear how painful people’s experiences and outcomes are with these elements of the job search. I don’t know that I can make it less painful, but I certainly find some sliver of fulfillment sharing why the process is configured this way and how modern job seekers can proactively pursue opportunities instead of feel like anonymous data bits in a huge world of applicants.

In my presentation, I go through some of the elements of why companies share their jobs the way they do and then talk through the myths and realities of applying. I’ll post here when I have another presentation coming soon. In the meantime, I’ll share some takeaways for job seekers.

  1. Online applications should not be your only connection to a company. There’s a lot to this single sentence – sometimes applying immediately for a job you see posted is the best way to go! But if you are spending all your time applying online, your job search will likely take a very, very long time.
  2. Forget gaming the system – apply as if you’re communicating with a person. This is because at many companies, the goal is to have a person touch all relevant applications!
  3. Companies that are serious about hiring treat their applicants well, and poor experiences can be an early red flag. Companies that are competing for great talent are thoughtful about the experience for everyone going through their process – whether they get an offer or not. So consider your own experience as a candidate informative.