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How AI is Impacting Job Searches: Somen Mondal from ideal.com

Expert Interview Series

Somen Mondal

CEO and Co-founder, Ideal

Somen Mondal is the CEO and Co-founder of Ideal, the leader in artificial intelligence for recruiting. 

We recently asked Somen for his insight on how AI is being used for hiring and what job seekers need to know about making their resumes more AI friendly. Here's what he shared:

Tell us about the mission behind Ideal. How are you impacting the way companies hire?

Ideal uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tedious, time-consuming tasks including candidate sourcing and manual resume screening. These tasks are notoriously inefficient, expensive and monotonous. Using our technology companies can free up their hiring team's time for enjoyable, high-value work and increase recruiter efficiency 3.7x. We are using data to help Talent Acquisition professionals have more time for what they do best: interviewing candidates, promoting company culture and building incredible teams.

What excites you about how artificial intelligence can be used for hiring and job searching?

AI for recruiting is fundamentally changing how employers can identify, hire and retain their best candidates! At its core, this technology will benefit candidates by reducing wait times, increasing transparency and matching them with the roles that they are a great fit for.

How should young job seekers approach writing their resumes and professional online profiles with AI in mind?

This is a very interesting question that I get asked a lot. The beauty of AI in recruiting is that natural language processing allows us to assess the content of a resume just like a human would. Until recently, employers were forced to use basic resume parsers that were extremely vulnerable to misinterpretation and keyword stuffing. This level of technology could not decipher between a candidate who could use Microsoft Office and a candidate who worked at Microsoft, so you can imagine how inaccurate these systems were. Using machine learning, our algorithm pulls from millions of data points to understand those differences. How does this impact candidates? Resumes will be more effectively matched to relevant and compatible roles. 

My best advice for job seekers is to be thorough in their descriptions of their work experience. If you’re short on experience or switching industries, you can support your resume and online profiles with volunteer work and extracurriculars.

My best advice for job seekers is to be thorough in their descriptions of their work experience.

What tools or resources should young job seekers make sure to take advantage of during their job search?

I talk to a lot of job seekers as a part of our product development. There are more tools out there than ever. I think there are three types of tools that every job seeker should be taking advantage of:

Employer Review Sites – In a push for more transparency, websites like Glassdoor are building huge databases of anonymous employee reviews, ratings and even salaries. Use information like this to learn more about the company and how their employees really feel about their roles.

Recruitment Marketing –  One of the most important factors in retaining employees and keeping morale high is to find great company culture fit. More and more, companies are using recruitment marketing to show off their office, culture and happy employees. You can look for videos on their website and YouTube to get a glimpse into what “a day in the life” looks like. 

Interview Prep Resources – Once you’ve landed the interview, do not underestimate the impact of interview prep. Countless articles online can help you structure and prepare for common questions—make sure to utilize them. You may even be able to find examples of questions that other candidates were asked at the same company. Even a short time commitment here can make a huge difference.

What are the most common "rookie" mistakes you see young professionals making when searching and applying for jobs? What should they be doing differently?

I think the most common rookie mistake is resorting to the “spray and pray method.” This is when a candidate takes a generic resume and sends it to a ton of employers. The idea is that this increases their chances of scoring an interview—unfortunately, usually it’s the opposite. 

Employers are looking for candidates that can show that their interests and experience are relevant to their company specifically. Even for two roles that may seem similar, a cashier at a large bookstore and a barista at a local coffee shop for example, the employers could be looking for very different things. You would be better off to detail your love of Harry Potter or your favorite latte than to describe both skills as “customer service.” 

Quality over quantity is key. Make sure to personalize each resume, even if it takes longer in the beginning—it will pay off in the end.

What trends or innovations are you most excited about for how they'll impact the way we find jobs in the future?

There are a number of companies working together in this space to improve the job seeker’s experience. We are thrilled to be a part of it all! From an employer’s perspective, a lot of money is wasted when candidates are interviewed for roles that they not interested in or not a fit. Even worse, from a candidate’s perspective, this is valuable time lost and their job search drags on even longer. Using AI to help both employers and candidates find the right fit is going to improve the candidate experience overall. Job searches should be exciting, not excruciating—and we’re excited to be at the forefront of this shift.

Get help finding your first job or internship. Give Vocate a try.

Zack Andresen

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