Technology & the Job Search

It’s 2015, you’re probably reading this on your phone and have a hard time remembering a time when we didn’t have an overwhelming amount of information available at our fingertips. Technology plays a huge part in everything we do, and the job search is no different.

2014 job search statistics show that 43% of job seekers search for job postings on their phone. This means people can now search for a job at any time, they no longer have to wait until they get home to search online, or even look in the newspaper.

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Additionally, more people are looking to social media to find jobs. Sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter not only provide job opportunities but allow job seekers to observe their potential employers and receive job offers and notifications through contacts on these sites.

However, looking for a job was not always this easy.

Let’s take a look back on the evolution of  job search process and how technology is changing the industry:

Early Civilization

In early civilization, jobs were assigned based on gender. Specialized jobs began to emerge as cities started to form but jobs were still decided for you based on the jobs your parents held.

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Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution increased the production of goods which led to more jobs, meaning people had more positions to choose from. Companies began to post “help wanted” signs in the windows and would take almost everyone who applied.

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The Industrial Revolution also led to increased specialization of job positions, creating the hierarchy of lower workers to high management we see today.

The Newspaper Age (1891-1999)

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Newspapers became the primary vehicle companies used to advertise their job openings. Classifieds became very popular but were the most expensive part of the paper to advertise in.

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1900s-1999

Recruiters emerged largely in response to the war (see our previous blog post on the history of recruiting) and they built an entire industry around finding suitable employees for companies in need.

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When responding to company job postings in the paper during this time period, people would have to type out their cover letters and resumes and mail them to each individual company. This was very time consuming and forced people to keep their application submissions to local companies and companies specifically within their field. Most people would also stay in one career their entire life because the process was too time consuming to switch jobs.

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1999-Present

The emergence of the internet in the late 1990s allowed companies to put their classified online. Since 1999, internet hires went from 1% to almost 100% (present day).

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In 1999 Monster.com aired a Superbowl commercial that changed the way people see job boards. Airing this commercial meant that Monster had enough traffic and postings to compete with newspapers.

The increased popularity of job boards meant that job seekers could be more selective in their search. They could now see available jobs from all over the world meaning they no longer had to stay local. This led to an increase in job applicants per posting, also leading to increased competition in part because the because the application process was also so much easier.

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Present day

Employers must now be very detailed in their job descriptions in order to attract qualified candidates. Companies must also brand themselves online using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn in order to establish themselves as a reputable brand and attract top talent.

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Job seekers have also turned to social media to research potential employers, find job opportunities through contacts and market themselves to the companies they are interested in. Studies show 73% of companies have hired a candidate using social media.

There is no signs of slowing down when it comes to technology and the job search. Studies show that 2015 will be the year that mobile and tablet sales outsell desktop computers, meaning more people will be able to actively search for a job no matter their location.

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While the technology is advancing and we are able to find a job from the palm of our hand we are still following the same structure: look for a way to promote our skills and find suitable employment. So while our methods of search are constantly evolving, in the end both company and job seeker are still looking for the same thing we were centuries ago. And in that respect, some things never change.

Sources:
https://www.mindflash.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/111017_westsidejobsearch_V1.png
http://web.jobvite.com/rs/jobvite/images/2014%20Job%20Seeker%20Survey.pdf
http://www.social-hire.com/social-recruiting-advice/4824/the-evolution-of-technology-in-the-recruitment-industry