Resumes Out, Algorithms In?
The Wall Street Journal published an article this week focusing on Unilever’s radical hiring experiment. Instead of reading resumes, Unilever’s new process relies on algorithms to sort applicants and targets potential hires using smartphones.
What does that mean?
- To get the word out about jobs, Unilever is placing targeted ads on Facebook, WayUp and The Muse. People who click on the ads are directed to a career site where they can apply.
- From there, an algorithm scans the applications and surfaces candidates who meet a given role’s requirements. “The software weeds out more than half of the pool,” according to Unilever spokeswoman Joelle Hutcheon.
- If the candidate passes that portion, he/she is asked to play 12 short online games designed to assess skills like concentration under pressure and short-term memory.
- The top third of those people are invited to submit video interviews on HireVue, answering behavioral-type questions. “To determine which candidates are most likely to be successful at Unilever, the AI uses data points such as how quickly they respond to questions, their facial expressions and vocabulary.”
- Finally, direct human judgment is the last step, which is typically a final in-person interview with Unilever human-resources executives and managers.
Whew! Still with me?
Unilever says hiring has become faster and more accurate — 80% of applicants who make it to the final round now get job offers, and a similar number accept — and saved on recruiting costs, too.
Yes, the argument can be made to use technology and algorithms to do the heavy lifting, but how is that changing what applicant tracking systems already do? In an earlier post, I blasted ATS’s and how they are weeding out the best candidates. Isn’t Unilever doing the same thing but with newer technology? Yes, they are being more targeted by going to where the people are, but they are still weeding candidates out with algorithms, tests, and video interviews. Again I ask, where’s the human element in the job search process? When will companies start treating candidates like people? What do you think?