Presented by hireEZ

Software’s dominance over our lives has accelerated in ways we may not have imagined before.

Household names like Amazon, Google, Tesla, and Netflix have solidified technology’s unparalleled impact on consumer sentiment across different markets. More recently, some of the biggest IPOs of 2020 include companies, like DoorDash, AirBnB, Robinhood, and Snowflake, who have done more than just release products. They’ve changed the normal definitions of how we live, work, and interact with each other.

If there was ever any doubt, it should be clear now. We need a consistent and ever-growing supply of qualified technical talent to keep innovating at this pace.

Now this is where things get really interesting — software is also transforming how people hire.

AI and big data technology are spearheading the latest stage of evolution in recruitment technology. Much like how Robinhood has democratized investing for a digitally-savvy generation of investors, hiring software is stepping up to make the internet recruiter- friendly for companies to make the most of an active digital environment — and rely on more online channels than just LinkedIn.

The responsibility now falls on organizational leaders to recognize how AI will inevitably change how we hire technical talent for software development, and capitalize on the unique hiring opportunities it will bring in our increasingly digital world.

Understanding the connected generation

In 2020, digital spaces boomed with users looking for ways to find a sense of belonging and to contribute to community initiatives from their homes. Virus updates, mental health, and unemployment were some of the big topics that internet users have come together on through social apps to tackle isolation, career coaching, and mentorship programs as well as verticalized labor marketplaces.

As internet communities grow, so does an employer’s accessible talent pool. AI-driven recruitment software empowers employers to move beyond posting and praying, and instead find more immediate channels to target their intended audience and start a conversation.

Let’s take GitHub for example. A recruiter who uses Hiretual for technical sourcing told us, “GitHub is where you’ll find people who don’t want to be found, usually really great engineers from top-tier companies who might not even have LinkedIn.”

Open-source project creation and contributions on GitHub grew 27% in late March when the pandemic hit, with more developers spending time on public COVID-19 projects like case counters, virus tracking by location, and lists of companies who had gone remote. For that very reason, recruiters on Hiretual use our AI talent sourcing technology to find contact information of top active contributors on GitHub and parse repositories into a readable resume format to be shared with hiring managers and team members. Before AI recruitment software, finding top talent on GitHub wasn’t as straight and simple.

At Hiretual, we use this same approach with other online communities on the internet, like Stack Overflow, Behance, Upwork, and even professional databases like Healthgrades. Recruiting automation has moved far beyond interview and email scheduling, now adopting an augmentative approach leveraging contextual searches and a rich network of publicly available data for recruiters to look across multiple online communities simultaneously in a single search.

How is this changing the way we communicate?

In this digital attention economy, you only have a few seconds to make an impression. People are busy, especially if there are shiny new products and innovative opportunities popping up every single day to pull their interest. Your first interaction has to be memorable and relatable. We saw this pretty recently when the Biden administration’s new white house website left a digital “Easter egg” embedded within the site’s HTML, a move met with enthusiastic response on Twitter.

<!–If you’re reading this, we need your help building back better. –>, the message read.

Not every employer has the capacity or time to do this, but it does teach us a few lessons about what it means to grab the attention of a generation who consumes content through threads, stories, and TikToks.

Above: Source: Canva

Candidate engagement has changed drastically. Not only is priority placed on conversational convenience and immediacy, but 54% of Gen Z job seekers won’t apply for a position if they feel their employers aren’t keeping up with social trends and are implementing outdated recruitment processes. Take for example this viral Tweet knocking on employers with long job-application processes.

AI recruitment software is helping employers adapt to these changes with conversational chatbots and dynamic databases for market research to help recruiters reach their ideal hires with less of a lag time.

Most importantly, software like Hiretual gives employers immediate access to the most effective outreach channels. If your candidate has a cool GitHub project, send a quick email referencing that project right away. If you found an active Twitter profile, drop a Twitter DM or tweet a reply before you send your outreach email. You’ll be surprised how much time recruiters save without manually searching and screening the open web one profile at a time.

AI’s role in making tech hiring equitable

Here’s the catch — if you’re not looking at these talent attraction and engagement strategies through the lens of building a diverse and inclusive technical team, then I challenge you to scrap what you’re doing and start all over again.

A Hiretual survey last November showed us close to 40% of hiring teams found it time-consuming to source for a diverse workforce despite less than 10% stating they had a small talent pool to search from. What does this tell us?

While the combination of AI recruitment software and diversity hiring makes some organizational leaders nervous, their concern should be geared toward the lack of tools and insights their teams have to find a diverse pool of talent in a reasonable amount of time.

If recruitment teams want AI software to subjectively judge candidates or automate parts of the hiring process which requires critical thinking, they will likely find themselves using ethically suspect software embedded with algorithmic biases. These include AI software that ranks candidates based on facial features or word choice in resumes.

However, there are areas where AI can assist your team’s diversity recruiting efforts without overstepping a recruiter or hiring manager’s role in speaking with candidates and making a judgement with proper context.

One Hiretual user explained that the analytics in AI hiring software are often underutilized as a key driver in successful diversity hiring campaigns. “These technology systems do a lot of the work for you and tell you, ‘within these particular areas, there’s this percentage of diverse talent with this particular title,’ and research is the important part — doing that ahead of time before you launch a campaign, you’ll find a lot more success,” he said.

With thorough resource vetting, careful AI automation — and not allowing AI to subjectively judge candidates — employers will be able to successfully expand their talent pool for diverse tech talent using AI technology.

We still have the power

It doesn’t matter if it’s recruitment tools, electrical vehicles, or streaming platforms. Technology will continue to be interwoven in our daily lives. However, we must always remember we hold the power over this tech. In our digital world, technology is still useless without humans to constantly use and better it. By doing so, we have been able to accomplish amazing things.

In recruitment, organizational leaders will have to take the time to identify how AI software will change unemployment in the new year. Whether it’s looking for younger talent in an internet age, taking an objective approach to diversity recruiting, or investing in integrative software, the power is in your hands to capitalize on hiring opportunities in 2021.

Steven Jiang is Co-Founder and CEO at hireEZ.

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