The following material has been excerpted from Electronic Job Search Revolution by Joyce Lain Kennedy and Thomas J. Morrow, Copyright (c) 1994, Joyce Lain Kennedy & Thomas J. Morrow. This material has been provided in cooperation with John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and is intended for your personal use only; it may NOT be otherwise copied or distributed without specific written permission from the publisher.
Joyce Lain Kennedy and Thomas J. Morrow
More than ever before, technology has changed almost every facet of business. From telecommunications to robotics, technology has increased productivity and, in many cases, lowered the costs of doing business and the number of people necessary to perform certain functions.
This change hasn't occurred without a price. In recent years, many people have lost their jobs because of the recession and consequent restructuring at every level of almost every organization.
Besides the price paid in real terms by the people who have lost their jobs, the requirements for the remaining workers have increased as organizations have reduced staff while requiring the same work output as before. Organizations must try to get as much as they can out of the remaining employees through more effort, longer hours of work, and new technologies.
Technology has played a critical role in the contraction and restructuring of the work force, but, until recently, it had done little to assist people in their search for employment.
The necessity of a merger between new and evolving technology and human potential has become obvious.
In the job search, this need can be readily seen. The recruiting process was formerly somewhat analogous to a game of darts between novices: hit or miss. Now it is much closer to an art form, as tests and personality profiles give human resource (HR) professionals a better method to match the right persons to the right jobs, before they even meet the applicants.
New recruitment technology allows automatic elimination of candidates whose work experience and particular skill requirements do not fit the profiles for certain jobs, and offers more time to search for the remarkable candidate among a group of excellent candidates. This advantage serves both the human resource professional and the job applicant.
With the introduction of new technology in the workplace, the role of the human resource professional has developed and expanded. Not only must human resource professionals be proficient in the use of new technologies, but they need to know the best way to introduce them to employees, how to improve service, how to make sure that a new technology will not inhibit productivity, and how technology will reduce costs.
Thus, not only the role of technology will shape the work force, but the relationship of technology to the most important aspect of any business--the human component. Human resource professionals, therefore, are charged with merging new technology with human ability.
The impact of new technology in the workplace does not mean that former elements of the human resource profession are to be discarded. Even with electronic and voice mail systems, the importance of human contact remains extremely important to both customers and employees. Human resource professionals must give this new corporate structure a human face, not only in interviewing, but in explanations of benefits packages, problems in the workplace, safety and health concerns, and termination.
Even as the responsibilities and influence of HR professionals have grown in magnitude and importance, they have not been immune to the overhaul in corporate restructuring. In some cases, human resource departments have been sharply reduced in size, yet not in scope. With fewer people doing more work, technology has had to step in and fill the void. Less time can be spent by human resource professionals to find the right person for the right job. Old ways of resume collection and dissemination by staff are slow, tedious, and expensive.
Fortunately, technology has revolutionized the search for employment itself. A new and ever growing element of the technological age in the workplace can be found in recruitment databases, and there is little doubt that electronic recruitment will become a key component of employment searches--not only for the potential employee, but for employers as well.
More and more companies and their human resource departments are establishing automated applicant tracking systems and resume databases to assist in recruitment. With fewer resources and less time available to them, HR professionals are finding electronic recruitment invaluable.
The interview still remains a crucial step in employment. However, the initial interviewer may be a computer that tests the prospective employee on his or her knowledge and disposition for solving problems. The results of the computer interview will be available to the second interviewer, a person.
Of all the new technology, resume databases and other forms of electronic searches hold the most in store for people searching for employment. They allow job seekers greater time for research on prospective employers, and opportunities to enter into direct contact with them. Applicants gain the ability to have their resumes read by potentially hundreds of employers for a fraction of the cost and time. The time and money saved can be better used by the job seeker. Thus, although new technology is a useful tool, it does not wipe away traditional methods of the job search--it augments them.
Electronic Job Search Revolution holds vital information about the resources available to merge new technology and the search for employment. This first-of-a-kind book is written in an easy-to-read, understandable style. Incorporated at every turn are suggestions from human resource specialists to help readers gain a better understanding of how to best use this valuable tool.
Joyce Lain Kennedy and Thomas J. Morrow have a wealth of knowledge and experience in bringing workplace issues and changes to the public, and this outstanding work is no exception. More and more information today is distributed and disseminated through computers and other electronic means, and at this important juncture where technology meets the job search of the 1990s, you will be in a position to benefit through their work.
Technology promises many positive developments for the modern job seeker and the human resource professional. Alone, technology is not enough; coupled with traditional methods of job hunting and recruiting, it can be a pillar of support and an outstanding ally.
Michael R. Losey, SPHR, President
How many times have you picked up a book that promised to help you get a job--or to move up in life--only to realize you had already read the same ideas in other books? This isn't one of those. The following pages are neither retreads nor reruns of books you've already read about finding a job.
This book could not have been written earlier. The engines driving the job search revolution are only now coming together in our fast-moving, technology-escalated society.
The information we've gathered has never before been presented in a concise, comprehensive, here-it-is format. Bits and pieces have appeared in scattered media, but the trend-identifying big picture is presented here for the first time.
Before you can get the words "No way do I want to struggle through a technical book" out of your mouth, be assured that this book is an easy read.
You needn't be frightened or even apprehensive about what you're about to learn. We tell this complex story in a way that doesn't require knowing in advance any computerese. When we must use technical jargon, we explain what it means in everyday language. You don't have to be a technojock to understand and use profitably what you'll find here.
Remind yourself that you need not understand the inner workings of a clock to tell time, or know how to repair a car to drive one. To benefit from this book, it isn't necessary or even important that you understand anything about how a computer works.
In fact, we'll let you in on a secret. Both authors, Joyce and Tom, are dropouts from Techie U. Joyce keeps her copy of WordPerfect for Dummies as a desk reference. Tom says his learning curve on computers is somewhat slower than a speeding bullet. We're kidding, but only a little. The point is, both authors believe that if they were able to learn how job search technology works, anyone can learn it!
If you're an accomplished job hunter, Electronic Job Search Revolution along with its companion volume Electronic Resume Revolution, adds a fresh layer of expertise to your knowledge.
If you're a beginner--or haven't looked for a job in years--this book starts you off at the right place in time because it reflects the phenomenal shifts in the job market occurring, literally, as you read these words. (Yes, we do recommend that you beef up your overall job search skills by reading other job hunt guides.)
In these pages, we offer suggestions from human resource specialists working on the front lines--specialists who are using the incredible applicant tracking systems every day. We share interpretations from software authors. We reveal tips from database experts, many of whom are key movers in the job search revolution. This is what you'll learn, chapter-by-chapter:
Electronic Job Search Revolution is a book of resources. It has to be, because there is no other way to document the dramatic recruitment innovations taking place across America.
We can shout "Job search is changing!" until we're blue in the face, but until you have the chance to see for yourself the myriad variations of the electronic job search universe, you may still be a doubter.
"You've got to make it believable--even if it's true," jokes Hershell Price, a San Diego friend of ours. After reading our manuscript, he says he is "astounded, just astounded!" Price adds that when the book is published, he wants to make sure that both of his adult daughters, facing the crowded labor market for new college graduates, get copies.
To save valuable time that you can better use for a job search, we have included dozens of company names, addresses, and telephone and fax numbers to use in your quest. We went to a lot of trouble to be certain the contact information is correct as we go to press. Let us hear from you (Kennedy and Morrow, P.O. Box 3090, Carlsbad, CA 92009) if you find errors or if company information changes. Things move speedily in the world of computerized resume databases and applicant tracking systems--and all the other wonders of innovation.
We didn't include every new project that came to our attention, either because some entrepreneurial efforts struck us as too visionary or because the newcomers were not scheduled to open their doors until after this book reached the bookstores.
Even with those ventures left out, the emerging electronic recruitment industry is vastly more widespread than we had imagined when we began researching this book.
In fact, we were planning to title Chapter 1 "It's Dawn Breaking Time on the New Job Market" because we thought we might be a little ahead of the curve. But after a year of deep digging into the topic, we realized the title should be "Dawn Has Broken on the New Job Market."
But these last words don't sound very exciting, and this is exciting stuff.