As we all wrap up another trip around the sun, I can’t help but ask one question:

What major shifts did we see in the world of work during 2017?

Funny enough, I’m reminded of a conversation I had with my older brother before we hit our teen years. We were talking about being old enough to drive. Since he would obviously get there first, I asked him what his dream car was.

His reply was ahead of his time:

“Forget the car. When I’m old enough to drive, we’ll be zipping around in space ships.”

Such futuristic optimism brings me to my first topic.

 

2017 JOB SEARCH TRENDS.

In late 2016, I mused that hiring managers would soon be able to pick up their iPhones and say “Siri, I need a new marketing manager.”

And then Siri serve up a reasonably intelligent list of candidates for instantaneous review.

Well, as of the end of 2017, we’re not there…yet.

I may have been a tad ahead of my time, but we’re on our way.

 

HIGH-TECH HIGHLIGHTS.

Launched in June of this year, Google For Jobs is an AI-powered job search engine created in collaboration with LinkedIn, Facebook and the big name job boards.

Its primary purpose is to help employees find relevant job opportunities easily.

It does, of course, what Google does best: provide targeted search results based on your needs as a job seeker.

Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, shared at launch that: Google’s machine learning technology is able to parse through millions of listings to deliver more personalised results to job seekers, and match the right jobs with the right candidates.”

Best of all, you don’t need to leave the Google search engine interface to review your results.

If you’re in the US, that is.

Plans for expansion into Australia are slated for 2018.

From the hiring manager/employer side, Google’s HIRE app launched shortly after Google For Jobs.

It integrates the job search engine’s power into all the applications small and medium-sized businesses use from Google’s G-Suite, such as Gmail and Google Calendar.

But there’s still the regional hitch. Because if you or your candidates can’t use the search engine piece of it where you live, the HIRE app doesn’t yet step into its full power.

Again, hope for 2018.

Speaking of AI—and we did speak of it a lot last year—we all know that 2017 saw the Microsoft and LinkedIn merger. But you may not know that an outcome of the merger was a product that uses AI to write your resume.

The feature, called Resume Assistant, builds machine learning into Microsoft Word.

So, if you are redoing your resume to target a role outside of your experience realm, the bot suggests keywords and phrases served up from LinkedIn that are relevant to your desired new opportunity or field.

You can also search by skill for inspiration, or to learn what skills you’ll need to acquire.

In pure Orwellian fashion, The Assistant will also ask if you need “professional help.”

While the question may sound like a jab at your sanity, their intentions (we hope!) are less ominous:

  1. To connect you with LinkedIn’s ProFinder freelance network so that you can get a quote from one of their registered resume writers.
  2. To ask if you want recruiters to know that you’re looking for job opportunities through LinkedIn’s Open Candidates program.

 

HINT: You don’t need to use Resume Assistant to take advantage of this feature. You can do it on your own via your LinkedIn profile.

HITCH: The Assistant has yet another demand: That you be an Office 365 subscriber to use it. However, much like Google’s job search forays, Resume Assistant is predicted to become more widely available in 2018.

 

BUT WAIT – THERE’S MORE.

2017 brought us TalentWorks: an AI platform that, for $70 USD, promises you will land an interview in 60 days.

A former Amazon software engineer, Kushal Chakrabarti founded TalentWorks because, according to his calculations, the probability of getting a job interview from one application is just 8.3%.

This startup—a hybrid AI and human solution—was created to assist the underemployed in finding suitable opportunities.

 

QUICK OVERVIEW.

  • While the ‘underemployed’ originally consisted of millennials, Chakrabarti soon realized he could also help mums returning to work, as well as workers who had recently been made redundant.
  • Ranging from an Amazon-esque one-click checkout, to assistance from a human coach in resume writing and interviewing, TalentWorks offers users several tiers of service—as well as a full refund if there is no employer response within 60 days.
  • While Chakrabarti won’t give an exact figure of how many job seekers are using his platform, so it’s hard to say if his company is in it for the long haul.

Are these innovations merely fads? Or, are they job search game-changers that will help you find meaningful work?

Only time will tell.

 

HERE’S MY TAKE.

Yes, a robot can match your career history to a job ad.

But in the job search business, that’s really just table stakes. Primarily because it leaves a critical question unanswered:

“How are you uniquely different from other candidates?”

A recruiter is likely to have 20 resumes in his/her inbox, for example, from CFOs who are applying for a CFO position. A robot can help you to be one of those 20.  

To become the finalist, however, you’ll need help of a human resume writer.

Earlier this year, the Arielle team published a guide to standing out in a crowded universe of job applicants. Because the last thing we want is for technology to prevent you from connecting with a live recruiter to land the role you want.

We’ll do more detailed reviews of these new tools in 2018, so watch this space.

Now let’s shift gears.

 

2017 LEADERSHIP TRENDS.

When I look back over the last year and see all the ground we covered together, it struck me that 2017 was the year…

  • It became undeniable that the digital world was here to stay, and essential for talented people to stand out.
  • Innovation and creativity became requirements for leaders beyond the technology and startup world.
  • Planning for AI and robots in the workplace became standard practice.
  • Having at least four generations in the workplace became the new normal, and the term ‘migratory workforce’ was born.
  • The traditional notion of focusing on a few star performers was ousted by the proven success of the team dynamic.
  • Mindfulness as a leadership approach went mainstream and leaders began to realise they could accomplish more by slowing down.

 

It was also the year we took a thorough look at the tough questions and issues leaders face, such as…

  • How to deliver negative feedback.
  • How to do change management right.
  • How to manage remote teams, and should we microchip them?
  • How to admit when your company has become irrelevant and your culture needs a revamp.
  • Why more CEOs are corrupt than ever, and should AI be in the boardroom?
  • Why does burnout happen, why work / life balance is an illusion, and how to function in a 24/7 culture.
  • What does transformational leadership mean, and why do we need it now more than ever?

 

AND, HERE’S THE CLINCHER:

Why being a master in your field is meaningless if your work isn’t meaningful.

With so much change coming at us constantly this, really, is what it’s all about. 

Now more than ever, the pursuit of meaning in our work and life has to be a conscious focus—as well as a daily choice.

While we can only predict that 2018 will bring greater technological advances, our internal work as senior professionals continues to be showing up as the best human beings possible.

Next year, beyond the internet maze that is job search, expect more from us on how to make the most of where you are.

Whether you’ve just landed in a new role, been promoted, or are seeking more meaning in your career.

Until then, my talented team and I are taking stock of all the good things life has gifted us this holiday season. And that includes each one of you reading this right now.

Thank you, and see you in 2018.

 

– Irene

 

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