Regardless of your age or generation, many people are afraid of social media —and with good reason! A few sound bites from the daily news is all it takes to put the fear of social engagement forefront on our minds.

Fear of Social Media isn’t generational

When I was a kid, and someone said something that wasn’t helpful, we would respond with, “I take it back.” Social media engagement isn’t something we can “take back.” Once it’s out there, it’s out there forever. This fact has caused many of us to be wary of what we tweet and post. In some cases, it has caused many to disengage entirely.

It’s interesting to me that this isn’t generational. So many people criticize the Millennial generation with accusations that they are always on their phones. That may be true, however, many of my young friends are not on social media or their phones. I even have to text one individual to ask him to check his email! He prefers face-to-face and showing up in person!

Everyone who values relationships, seniors over 60, and youth, can find value on a smart phone. It isn’t generational anymore and now, it is a critical success factor in your career.

Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, social media is now part of your career success

Did you know that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become the new ideal career behavioral specialist? According to developers, their algorithms can accurately predict whether or not you will move from your current position and whether or not you will be happy after you move.

Developers believe that their algorithms can more accurately identify those people with the perfect skills, and match personality with company culture, and save companies hours and cost in the hiring process.

Artificial intelligence isn’t just ranking candidates. It’s now ignoring good candidates simply because not enough data is available on them. Your professional online presence is therefore no longer optional if you want to sustain a career.

This is similar to your financial credit rating. Not having any debt is worse than having bad debt! The key is to have debt and gradually pay it off. Over time, your credit rating rises and stays high. Positive social media engagement raises your credibility to employers and over time, it builds your credibility —IF you manage it consistently and successfully.

How do they do this?!

It’s all about the data.

Last week I was captivated by the idea that Uber drivers are feeding developers all the information they need to perfect driverless cars. The more I read about artificial Intelligence, I realized that its ability to predict behavior is based on how much information is available.

With enough information, developers believe they can make better decisions faster than mere human beings.

Again, it’s about the data.

Where does the data come from?

I’m sure you are aware that everything we do is being tracked, tagged and stored. Data collection isn’t limited to Facebook, Amazon, and Google. There’s our credit cards, banking info, cell phone apps…and don’t forget LinkedIn, Indeed.com, Glassdoor, Monster.com, and CareerBuilder.

Oh…our public history of real estate purchases, public school records, such as the Dean’s List, awards, sports participation, and don’t forget our driving records and everything we check out of the public library, iTunes, and our Amazon-plus choices.

Do you have a smart app for your refrigerator? … is that where you keep your beer? …will that information help or hurt your jobsearch?

Apparently, these new HR applications, such as Arya, believe that they can find enough information to accurately predict who should be considered for a particular job.

When I spoke to a representative from a company that develops HR applications that use AI, I was informed that four global companies collect data on individuals for them. Those companies sell the data in blocks of 1,000 people for $500. I was proudly told that “once I buy the information, it is mine forever.” …hmmm, my social profile is worth 50¢…sigh.

Can you be found…for the right reasons?

The media continues to tell us that the economy is doing well and with the very low unemployment rate, it is hard for companies to find qualified people to fill positions. They are looking for people who have highly specific sets of skills and employers are picky.

Everyone can be found, like it or not.
A while ago I thought I might rent out a room in my house. I was considering someone as a potential renter and with only a cell phone number, approximate age, and $11.99, I was able to obtain an enormous amount of information in about 20 minutes.

So just how much information do “they” have on me? What is it?

What do they know about you?
How about you? Is there enough information to accurately predict whether you should be considered for a position that you are hoping to land? Is it the right information? Is it the information that will cause you to be considered for an ideal position?

What should you do?

These new HR applications, and the new ones coming onto the market, have paved the way to use Big Data and AI to identify the best candidates to be considered in the hiring process.

Is that a bit scary to you? It is scary to me. It may feel a bit like some collusion or conspiracy. But it’s the new wave in the HR hiring process. To land a job, we have to be known for the skills that are needed in today’s job market. Do you know what skills are needed? Can they be linked to you?

Do we have a choice?

These changes are quickly becoming standard across hiring communities. With the reduction in the cost of hiring and the success rate that these companies are using in their marketing, I don’t see any way to avoid it.

Last year, I decided that there had to be a way to manage this situation. Sitting on the sideline and waiting for someone to call my clients just wasn’t my style. I was determined to find a way to understand these new processes and find a way to engage with them and have them find my clients as the top candidates in their field.

My action plan!
After a speaking event, where I demonstrated what was going on with the new hiring technologies, several in attendance asked to be a part of a focus group where we began developing their credentials via social media.

Three jobseekers who participated in the group come to mind. Two were in sales: one in an industry that is being disrupted by 3D printing and the other in technology/software sales. Another was in the public service sector. We did two things. First, we identified the gold-standard identities that companies were looking for. Then we created profiles on social media platforms to attract and solidify their credibility to potential employers.

The first step gave every person the ability to discuss their value to potential employers in ways that were meaningful to the employer. It abandoned the elevator speech of what they had done and moved directly to the value they bring.

If each person deliberately continues to promote their gold-standard identity, then, over time, they will be easily identified as top candidates in their field. The program set them up for their future identity, value and career success.

I highly recommend that you get additional information on this topic from my friend Neil Patrick who brings an insightful approach to what really makes a great employee, Visit his blog: AI in recruiting really mean ‘abdicated intelligence’.

If you are interested in a program that aligns your online profile to support your future employment, call me at (860) 833-4072.

Articles of Interest:
Seen and heard at HR Tech

The Future of Recruiting and Hiring

How far is too far? The Moral Pitfalls of Big Data Analytics.

AI takes over as massive layoffs continue in HR departments…



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