Current scenario & roadblocks
The development of career centers is one of its most tangible and lasting accomplishments; post the vocational guidance movement in the U.S. (1970).
Afterward, career service programs have seen a very lull period. Each of the contributors (colleges, students and recruiters) has started working in silos. The need of a platform that brings them together has been felt very strongly. In 2000, the country witnessed the entry of Career Service Platforms to help to bridge the gap.
While the career service management industry is still in the nascent stage, but it has started taking up different projects to ease the pain for students, staff and recruiters and created a successful career service program. With the help of rapidly changing technology, the transformation is smoother and quicker.
Let’s discuss the fundamentals for a successful career service management system:
Purpose or Goal: Goals are the centerpiece of a useful career service management solution. A well-designed plan includes more than just a list of placing the student to an organization or hiring a good candidate. It includes –
- Knowing students’ aspirations and goals,
- Understanding how a college or a university can nourish them
- Creating a plan where they can work collaboratively with recruiter/organization to create a sustainable career path
- Training and scaling up their skills as per the organization standard
Communication & accessibility: Any great plan doesn’t become a success unless it is communicated well. So, while we are creating a full proof plan that can take the engagement to next level, we should also be planning how we are communicating it. The key is to find ways to collaborate on multiple levels with both student and organization to jointly accomplish the shared goals and objectives of most value to the institution.
Implementation: A smooth and easy implementation always gets a ‘thumbs up’, but it is going to happen when we adhere to the followings –
- Identify the obstructions
- Educate the staff, recruiters, and students on benefits of implementation
Measure & analyze the effectiveness: Once we launch the ‘career service management system’ the next step is to track and analyze its effectiveness. In this increasingly data-driven age, we must rely on data and metrics to assess and evaluate all our activities and actions. Surveys, focus groups, and other forms of evaluation and assessment, for example, have been techniques embraced by career services professionals to measure and analyze the effectiveness of any CSM system.
Timely feedback: Feedback is a key element of any successful plan implementation. We defiantly need to hear from the stakeholders (student, recruiter, staff) on how the process is making changes in their life, how engaged they feel, do they want any improvement. This exercise is going to only enhance the effectiveness of the CSM in future.
Career service management is scaling up every day. It is very important to pick up a CSM that suits the individual need. That is where the career service platform like Cynaptx can be a helping hand.
What are AI and ML?
AI and ML have become part of mainstream technology and do not need any introduction.
The seeds of modern AI or Artificial Intelligence has been planted by classic philosophers long ago. They have floated the possibility of intelligent machines as a literary device to help us define what it means to be human. The term has been coined by Prof. John McCarthy in the 1950s. Google defines AI as, “Artificial intelligence is the intelligence exhibited by machines or software. It is also the name of the academic field of study which studies how to create computers and computer software that is capable of intelligent behavior.”
Machine Learning or ML is the learning in which machine can learn by its own without being explicitly programmed. It is an application of AI that provides system the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience.
Over the years, AI and ML have enabled the organization to scale up in diverse fields by providing expert insights. In the field of career service management, colleges and organizations have started to implement machine-learning solutions to streamline the hiring process, engage the students and train staff.
How does AI and ML apply in career service management?
Provide a better user experience: The job seeking and hiring process have gone through a huge transformation over time. Only a decade ago, personal connections and recommendations played major roles while hiring or landing a new job. Slowly, students and recruiters have moved online for better search capabilities. In recent times, with the help of AI and ML career service management platforms are providing a unique experience to students, staff, and recruiters. AI and ML analyzes the data which is already fed into the system and suggests relevant job and candidate profiles.
Also implementing AI applications like a ‘chatbot’ increases engagement with all involved parties.
Provide time to focus on higher value items: Danial Russ, Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT once said in her speech, “I have robots in my kitchen making cookies while I am concentrating on my research work”.
The amount of data that is being created while applying for a job or hiring candidates is going to grow exponentially. As a recruiter, student or staff, one can focus on more productive work than being busy with daily chores.
Help to Minimize Error: AI has a low error rate compared to humans if coded properly. It has incredible precision, accuracy, and speed. These qualities are not going to be affected by hostile environments, thus able to complete tedious tasks, explore in space, and endure problems with fewer errors.
Cost Effective: AI can help colleges and organizations to decrease the time to reach recruiters and students, detect fake documents, duplication, etc.. These actions ultimately reduce cost.
How can we get started with AI & ML?
Identify the need: Whether one is a 500 plus institute or a university that is spread across different geographies, the first step is to identify your needs, and what you are going to achieve using AI and ML.
Get help from the Career Service Team: Based on realization, ask your Career Service Management team (Cynaptx) to design the platform you want.
Implement & Feedback: Once you implement all the changes, have a realistic deadline to review the success of it.
You may still think of it as sci-fi, but Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a part of mainstream technology for quite some time now. Not only is AI making our homes smarter but it is also making our jobs easier and the environment more adapting to our needs.
At this moment, AI is more present in the professional environment than we ever thought before. Besides the obvious technological ground they have conquered, robots can also do “soft science” jobs, like sales or customer service. With the act of consuming being almost entirely focused on the client, a smart automated system can interpret a customer’s input and react with the ideal solution.
With this progress right under our nose, it is an important goal to introduce AI in every education program, especially colleges, since they are preparing the ground for entering the workforce.
How Can Colleges Introduce AI in Their Curriculum?
Being able to understand how a computer can be operated and what it can do is one of the most common soft skills required on today’s job market.
Another way in which colleges can better prepare their alumni for the advancements of the professional world is to put them in touch with future employers and have the latter explain how a present job is done with the help of technology. Being able to understand the industry’s latest processes will allow you to compete for the best jobs in their niche.
Hiring Students through the AI-driven Cynaptx Career System
The Cynaptx Career Service Management system was created from the desire to respond to the need to connect students and employers faster than at the current rate. Cynaptx is a tool that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help students find a job more efficiently.
The students give a system of reference to the machine when submitting their curriculum vitae information. The AI will then process this information and run it through a series of complex algorithms, returning jobs that are a match. It sounds pretty straightforward, right? But the magic just started.
As the student uses the platform, it learns the searching patterns and returns better and better results. It also suggests similar jobs and points out areas where the student can better prepare to have a higher chance of getting their dream job.
Cynaptx also uses this AI-driven technology for employers, connecting them to the students that best fit their job postings. Such a system significantly improves the success rate of college career centers because it fills in the gaps in the student-employer relationship, gaps which often cause lack of visibility and prevent young people from having a good professional start.
The numbers paint a depressing picture. The rate of youth unemployment in the US is at 8.9%. Moreover, reports show that 80% of jobs are not advertised and more than 70% of them are usually found through networking. So, it’s not an exaggeration to say that the typical process of finding a job isn’t as effective anymore.
What are your options, then? How can you get the most out of your hard-earned degree and start building your career?
You may find the answer by connecting with your Alumni network.
Why You Should Start Paying Attention to Your Alumni Network?
If your college has a large alumni network, then you should take advantage. Reach out to your alumni association or career service advisor and ask for their help. These associations tend to use a sophisticated career service platform that might help you find potential opportunities in the job market that is of interest to you.
In addition to the tools they have, alumni students already had their first contact with the job market. They know what employers are expecting, what skills are relevant, and how you need to present yourself to maximize your chances of success. You can benefit from their advice and experience and build a successful career.
How to Connect with Your Alumni Network and Find Mentor
Most alumni students are happy to help graduates find their path. However, you have to understand that you are reaching out to a stranger and ask them to mentor you. Sending a two-sentence email and expecting them to jump and help you might not be the best approach. For your alumni connect strategy to work, you need to build a relationship with them first.
Here’s how to do it:
- Start Networking in Your Freshman Years
Building relationships take time. You can’t expect to connect with someone on a deep level and benefit from their full support over a cup of coffee. Begin reaching out to your alumni organization from the first or second year of college. Sure, you may not know what career path you want to follow, but talking with alumni from different industries could help you find your passion.
- Find Your Mentor
Reach out to your alumni associations and ask them if they have a mentorship program. That way, you will benefit not only from the tools they have, such as a career service platform but also the full attention of a mentor.
- Be Strategic
Think long and hard about the questions you will ask alumni students. Try to leverage their experience as much as possible and get any insights you can into how the industry works and how you can access it. Don’t be afraid to ask personal questions, such as why did they choose that career.
Don’t assume that your school won’t be able to help you find your career the moment you graduate. Alumni programs are put in place for this very reason. So make sure to take full advantage of them.
University hiring is a great platform to nurture the employer branding of an organization. A study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reveals that employers consider branding the most important part of their university recruiting programs.Employer Branding is a vast area to cover. In recent times, organizations have put lots of effort to achieve higher employee engagement through employer branding. However, there is a big scope for improvement. In order to achieve effective employer branding, organizations can adhere to the following steps:
Host information sessions
Hosting on-campus information sessions helps to raise awareness about a particular organization among a targeted group of students. Information sessions coordinated with the university career centers are a viable option to share details on open positions, organizational culture and unique information about the industry. These information sessions can be physical ones or can be in webinar form as well. These information sharing sessions can also be a two-way communication platform with students. Recruiters and hiring managers would get a fair idea on students’ interest, aspiration, and ambition. Organizations can use this information to create their future communication with students and institutes.
Build on-campus relationships
On-campus relationship is a key factor to enhance employer banding among students. Visiting the institution during campus hiring would only give a surface level of information. Having year-long activity is going to benefit both the parties. Organizations can invite the students and staff to attend their annual event, lab visit and trade shows (if any). This way staff and students are going to get to know more about the organization’s culture and the people. That would make them more comfortable to join the organization.
Update career sites and job descriptions
It’s important to keep the career site updated. Nowadays, students are on computers and mobile phones all the time, and the career site is often the first place they visit to research about the organization. Using career services software like Cynaptx (www.cynaptx.com) helps organizations to have better career management with universities. It helps the organizations and recruiters to stay on top of the hiring game by having updated information on new openings, status on openings, interview management, offer release and management and much more. Cynaptx and other career services software are defiantly going to boost the brand performance of organizations and engage future employees better.
Make personal connections
Personal connections can be a differentiator for any brand or organization. Getting to know the students, enabling them to develop their personalities and mentoring them to take up every challenge are a few great ways to develop personal connections. In the long run, they can be a great way to endorse employer branding.
Referral is a great way to touch base with bigger pool new graduates. College students interact each day with peers in similar majors and organizations. It would be a great way to touch base with peers of these student group to talk about the respective organization and how it would be a lucrative career for them.These are a few guidelines. But organizations and recruiters can be creative to build their brand on campus.
The work of career service advisors has evolved significantly in the
past few years. The workforce is changing at a rapid pace and the skills the
employees of today need are transforming just as quickly. Not only that the
nature of their job has become more complex, but their activities are more
diverse than before too. In addition to counseling, career service
practitioners also have to engage in activities such as developing
institutional strategies, professional learning and so on.
If things weren’t already increasingly difficult, technology is another factor that could disrupt career service management.
How Technology Will Change Career Service Management
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are finding their ways in all aspects of the workforce. Career service management isn’t an exception.
An increasing number of companies are selling their software to universities’ career departments.
For instance, a company may sell a career service platform that uses machine learning to help students create effective resumes by analyzing the successful CVs in its database. Or another platform may offer a virtual reality interview service that allows students to practice their interviewing skills and see how they would perform in a real-life scenario.
Career service advisors need to keep up with the changes and proactively respond to the disruption instead of combating it.
Career Service Is Not Dying, It’s Evolving
No, machines aren’t here to replace career service practitioners. While these sophisticated platforms can provide data-driven insights, not even the best algorithm can’t replace the support a professional advisor can offer.
Finding your career path, navigating the workforce, and not lose sight of your purpose when underemployment, unemployment, and massive student debt are crippling you is by no means easy. In addition to providing data-rich answers, technology can’t replace the soft but essential skills of career advice practitioners, such as coaching or network support.
But, that doesn’t mean that career services should remain reluctant to the benefits that technology has to offer. A well-built career service platform can help advisors streamline repetitive tasks and focus on supporting students.
Career service management needs to review their work, identify the main challenges they are facing, analyze how technology is influencing and disrupting their work and plan for a world where machine learning and AI will become the norm. Both practitioners and students will benefit from a strategic and technological driven approach that integrates sophisticated software.
Amongst the incertitudes of today’s work environment, one thing is clear: change is upon us and resisting it is futile. Career services must adapt to the emerging technologies and transform themselves in response to them.
How are your career service managers responding to the changes and what are their views regarding the paradigm shift that technology will bring? Join us in the conversation and share your ideas with us. We are eager to hear them.
Whether you are pursuing medicine and engineering or art and literature, one question that might be giving you sleepless night is, “How do I face the interviewer?”
Well, you are not alone. Students from all different generations have gone through this. After all, this is the first step into the grown-up world. But as a student from the millennial generation, you are better equipped to handle it –
Technology at your disposal: You are in an era where technology is changing the phase of the world. To get into the depth of the interview, you have a lot of resources in terms of searching, preparing and selecting your first job. Career Service Platform like Cynaptx can help you to be self-sufficient while searching for relevant jobs. Features like AI (artificial intelligence) driven job search provides a platform to connect recruiters and ‘hiring managers’ to relevant students. These capabilities are definitely going to give an extra edge to prepare for your interview.
It is always a good practice to research the organization that you are getting the interview call and the interviewer as well. The search results are going to give you a fair idea about the management, employees and above all organization culture.
The information you collect is going to give you much-needed confidence to face the interviewer. Knowing the personality of the interviewer, you can prepare the answers for the interviews.
Readiness for the job: Preparation is the most important aspect while beating the interview blues. Your job readiness depends on being attentive from the very beginning of the hiring process –
- Preparing your Resume: A good resume is like an extension of your personality. Your resume is your first impression on the recruiter and hiring manager. So, spend some time to build your resume. Do a quick recap of your achievements as a student in the last few years. Don’t forget to mention your extracurricular activities. It is going to give a lot of depth. Cynaptx has feature that allows students to get their resume verified by a staff member of their institution or college. This way you are sure that your resume is error free.
- Read the Job
Description carefully : Before applying for any job, read carefully the job
description. An organization or a recruiter publishes a JD (Job Description) to
screen through those candidates whose skillset match the most. If you go
through the JD in details, you can articulate it better whether the job suits
your skills or not. Only if the skillsets match, then apply. It is
going to save your time as well as the recruiter.
If 50 percent of your skills do not match to the job description, you can get in touch with the recruiter to learn more about the job posting. You can also communicate with the staff from your placement center. Cynaptx has a feature where you can raise ‘ticket’ to seek help from the staff.
- Master your craft: Nobody gets brownie points to remind students during their job search to review relevant topics that might come up before interviewing. Surveys show that students who know their subjects well, face the interview with much confident and poise.
Mock Interview: A mock round of interview is a great way to boost confidence. Students can schedule Mock Interviews using Cynaptx with career service staff to conduct a mock session to know how fluent you are to answer the questions.
Practice a positive attitude: You have boosted your confidence by accepting help through technology, mastering your craft. You have also gone an extra mile by keeping in mind the small details to give your best. What do you need next?
A positive attitude is the answer. The most impossible task gets accomplished with a positive attitude. And employers are keen on hiring candidates who have this trait. This attribute is also going to help you throughout, whether dealing with the interviewer or your personal stuff. It’s a great life skill to develop while combating different life scenario.
According to a report from the Undercover Recruiter, we can already expect Artificial Intelligence (AI) to replace 16% of all jobs within the next ten years. It may sound like bad news, but it’s not. One of the things that most people get wrong about this issue is that they imagine we will suddenly lose our jobs. While most of us will have to make some changes and reconsider our choices, the truth of the matter is that AI will give us the gift of time and enable us to improve and become more efficient at what we do.
Now, that you are probably more confident in your prospect in an AI dominated world, here’s an application you might have overlooked: companies are starting to implement machine-learning solutions to streamline the hiring process.
Too Much Data to Handle
The job seeking and hiring process have suffered a huge transformation over time. Just think about the fact that a few dozen years ago, getting a job depended almost completely on either personally knowing the employer or having a recommendation from someone trustworthy. Then, along with the internet, applications slowly moved online and applying for your dream job become as easy as filling a form online.
However, the process became so easy that suddenly, companies were receiving hundreds or thousands of applications, with no means of effectively figuring out the best possible candidate.
That is where AI can come in and make a difference – finding out just how much a candidate is worth and eliminating all the time recruiters and hiring managers waste on scanning resumes and portfolios. And when we’re dealing with an academic environment, choosing the right people is even more important.
How Universities Can Benefit from AI during the Recruiting Process
University employees essentially help shape the minds of young people. So, it is crucial that the recruiting process be very strict. A serious recruitment process can take a long time, from carefully reading the applicant’s resume and references, to contacting the reference sources, conducting preliminary interviews and even organizing testing sessions.
Artificial intelligence helps recruiters and hiring managers to target candidates that are qualified enough for the job and sort them out from all of the other ones that could be applying despite being aware of their lack of qualifications. Machines could now sort by age, education, location, or even spending habits and hobbies. And everything could be done without even exchanging one word with the candidate. Convenient? We believe so.
Moreover, artificial intelligence could also solve the problem of bias many companies are struggling with, as they would be completely objective and examine only the candidates’ stats. Everybody knows that a good recommendation will open a lot of doors, and that is true even in the academic world. And it’s only natural – as humans, we cannot survive without communicating with each other, and without creating bonds between us. Pushing candidates in front of others while disregarding the actual qualifications is something very common in any part of the world, but artificial intelligence could be the end of the bias.
For many of us, the rise of AI can seem intimidating, as unlike us, robots don’t need to sleep, eat, take breaks, or even get a salary. However, using AI can turn out to have a tremendous beneficial impact, as tedious, time-consuming tasks can slowly be eliminated, making space for more actual interaction between people.