Companies are logging in and looking past the résumé

Companies are logging in and looking past the résumé
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A professional résumé might not necessarily disclose a job candidate’s love for Harry Potter, but thanks to the rise of applicant-tracking software and artificial intelligence (AI), it no longer matters – their hankering for all things Hogwarts is out in the open.

While that may well score points if the job seeker is looking for employment at somewhere such as Indigo, it can often be far more embarrassing. As a result, performing a thorough spring cleaning of public profiles is just one suggestion that Somen Mondal has for prospective candidates.

“Regardless if it’s AI or no AI, you should always expect that someone is going to look through everything,” he says.

As co-founder and chief executive officer of, a Toronto-based company that uses artificial intelligence to automate recruiting tasks such as sourcing and screening candidates, Mr. Mondal generally deals with companies that deal with a high volume of recruiting. Not only does his software sift through résumés, it learns as it goes along. At a specific company, it might examine all people who applied for a position, those selected for an interview and who was hired. Within that group, it might then also look at who is performing well within their roles, using performance rating, longevity and other such metrics.

For those searching for employment, one suggestion he has is to stop stuffing a résumé with key words and phrases that relate to a job and its description, in the hope that it will get picked up by a computer’s search engine.

While he says that may have worked in the past, he says that improved technology is moving past the point of getting tricked.

On top of that, AI has the ability to pick over the contents of every résumé, and other information besides, in far greater detail than the human eye ever could.

“Typically these days, if they’re not using AI, a human might look at a résumé for six to 20 seconds, that’s a fact,” he says. “So imagine someone is spending 2030 minutes on your résumé, going through each part of it in great detail, cross-referencing which companies you’ve worked at … looking up any information that’s available on you online.”

While the increasing role of technology in the hiring process can seem daunting to prospective job seekers, it also can be positive in some situations.

Toronto-based Plum uses employment surveys to help companies hire the best and most suitable candidates for each role. By assessing qualities such as cognitive abilities and social intelligence to produce a Plum Match score, the company helps both employer and job seeker find the right match.

As a top-of-the-funnel recruiting tool, Plum helps whittle down applicants to a manageable level where the hiring decision makers can then start poring over résumés and conducting interviews. It can also open some unexpected doors. As Caitlin MacGregor, co-founder and CEO explains, because there are no right and wrong answers, the nature of the survey means “you start looking at candidates that you typically would have overlooked and you end up with a more diverse applicant pool.”

It’s not just the prospective employers who benefit though.

Candidates who take the assessment also get a free profile that lists their strengths, gives them career advice and suggested interview questions. Ms. MacGregor has even seen people take those findings and put them on the résumés, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles.

With more companies than ever putting a heavy emphasis on culture, which begins with making the right hires, companies such as Fortay are gaining increasing traction in the corporate world.

A Toronto startup, Fortay uses a binary sliding scale across 20 or more questions to assess candidates, helping to ensure the appropriate culture fit between a company and a candidate, something that millennials are increasingly seeking in their employer.

This article was written by Paul Attfield from The Globe And Mail and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

Edited on 25 October 2017