Artificial Intelligence (AI) was the hottest tech trend of 2017 and it continues to grow like crazy. Companies are using it to make better decisions, do a better job of selling and marketing, create better software, make predictions about the future as well as countless other applications. AI is also increasingly being used to find and choose talent, as well as monitor how current employees are conducting themselves online.

Technology automatically mines the digital world for talent.

Patrick Ambron, CEO at BrandYourself, a company that provides tools and services that help people and businesses monitor and improve their online image, points to a couple of disruptive platforms which source talent according to digital activity.

Consider Helena, an AI-powered headhunter created by Woo, which recently landed $7 million in funding. It works by letting tech pros anonymously create a wish list for their dream job and then showing them only the opportunities that match their skills and requirements. The recommendations engine analyzes how candidates react to open positions, including why they may have passed on one. It also offers benchmark data which compares hiring companies.

Another one is Headstart, which uses AI to recruit graduates. The platform uses neural networks and machine learning to profile each applicant according to personality, interests, demographics, skills and work history.

Rebecca Barnes-Hogg, author of The YOLO Principle: The Ultimate Hiring Guide for Small Business, says that all the major job boards use components of AI. Software is available for reference checking, scheduling, prescreening video interviews, and chat bots that answer FAQs and keep candidates informed of their status. Software she has used: SeekOut for sourcing candidates; Textio, a writing platform that analyzes job postings to attract qualified candidates; Loxo, a sourcing, engagement, and marketing platform; and Respondable, which analyzes email subject lines to determine the likelihood of a response.

Technology can weed you out before you even have a chance.

Vodafone is one company putting a lot of trust in this kind of technology. It uses AI to screen its video interviews, assessing candidate recordings across 15,000 dimensions including body language, facial cues, voice intonation and speech cadence. If the AI determines a person is suitable, her or she gets invited to an in-person interview.

It's easy to imagine that this kind of thing could disqualify people who aren't good in front of a camera, but may have been stellar on the job.

Barnes-Hogg advises researching a company to see what tools they might be using. If you know, in advance, that your facial expressions may be monitored via video, present a positive expression when discussing previous employers or supervisors. And be conscious of the words you use.

And if you're on the hiring end of the equation, know that AI certainly can fail to bring you the superstar you're looking for.

Barnes-Hogg tells the story of interviewing a candidate because he was highly recommended by a human being. Within a few minutes of meeting him she knew he could excel in the position, even though his background was in an unrelated industry. In an AI or machine learning environment looking for certain key words, such a candidate would not have surfaced.

Stand out by optimizing your online presence.

Want the AI recruiting bots to like you and suggest you to an employer? Ambron suggests a few strategies:

Having an online presence in the first place: He says 56 percent of employers won't even consider you if they can't find you online. That means you should at least have a well-built LinkedIn profile and some sort of positive online presence that showcases your expertise within an industry, such as a personal website and other professional profiles.

Blogging: The more content someone finds about you, the better. Blogging thoughtfully about your area of expertise or industry showcases your knowledge and can give you an edge over other candidates. 

Being active on social media related to your industry:  Get on the right social media profiles for your industry and stay active. Follow other industry influencers, share news and trends, engage with others in the field, and share any unique content you've created. 

AI can get you fired, too. 

According to Employee Benefit News, performance management analytics, or people analytics, employs AI to monitor and predict employee productivity using huge amounts of data that companies collect on workers. Used by big names such as eBay, Electronic Arts and Google, the technology can monitor and collect data about employees' personal and professional lives, beginning from the point of application throughout the employment cycle. In essence, it's capable of combing through anything a person does online to figure out things like engagement, absenteeism, productivity and even whether a particular commute time will affect performance and attrition.

Ambron says Workday is one platform capable of some of these things. SAP SuccessFactors also operates in this space.

Here's how you can look squeaky clean to your employer.

Ambron says several red flags can get you fired, so it's in your best interest to be intentional with how you handle yourself online. Here's what he says you should avoid:

Derogatory language: While it may seem obvious, people continue to make headlines due to inflammatory remarks that they've made about race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and more. Employers identify comments of intolerance as a clear indication that a potential candidate or current employee is a serious liability. Just think of Justine Sacco, an executive who was fired for racist and insensitive tweets which she claimed were satirical. 

Unprofessional work or school behavior: Complaining about coworkers, bosses or past employers as well as posting to social media about skipping or showing up late for work or school without a legitimate excuse is like telling the world (and your boss) that you are unprofessional, unreliable and dishonest. According to a Cross-Tab study, 40 percent of HR professionals rejected candidates based on comments criticizing previous employers, co-workers, or clients. 

Irresponsible drinking or drug use: While a photo of sipping a glass of wine when you're over the age of 21 shouldn't be a big deal, if alcohol or drugs feature heavily into your social media presence, employers may assume that this is an important part of your personal life. Drinking and drug use is viewed as a potential liability to employers--38 percent of hiring managers rejected candidates based on this kind of information. 

Published on: Feb 28, 2018