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AI is changing how we hire and build our careers. Is that a good thing? [Podcast]

by Stephen Danos

In the future, what will your career path, corporate hiring techniques, and work performance have in common? Complex computer algorithms. Data and technology are changing the way we network, including the way companies hire, and in the future, will likely affect how you approach your own career.

When it comes to the potential for software programs to help you navigate your career, Robin Sherwood, senior director of product management at Smartsheet, sees a possible future where big tech companies can rate your job performance, just as they know your buying preferences and search history. And as social media sites like LinkedIn have given millions of people access to new professional networks, specialized software might help predict what we want out of our careers.

A person types at a laptop computer

Smartsheet partnered with OZY to produce the five-part podcast series “The Future of X: the Workplace.” In the episode The Future of Networking: Google Maps, But For Your Career, experts weigh in on how current and future technologies can guide you as you navigate your career path. 

According to professor and futurist Amy Zalman, technological advances in hiring have so far been a bit of a let-down. “The automation of resume processing doesn’t seem to be serving anybody that well,” she says. Zalman still sees hope in automated workflows, and that we will develop “more human ways of working with technology,” allowing more creativity and critical thinking into the process.

“Very often what we do is we recruit to a job spec rather than to a culture or set of values,” says Simon Sinek, author of “The Infinite Game.” Sinek warns against using metrics as the only way to measure how well someone fits at your organization. “It’s about balance, not to mention the fact that there should never be a single person who looks a certain way and has one point of view doing all the hiring.”

One potential advantage of people and technology working together is a better job candidate screening process, free of unconscious bias. If the first screenings of applicants were handled by AI, it could neutralize signals that tend to bias hiring managers, according to  Kara Hamilton, chief people and culture officer at Smartsheet. 

“We want to shield ourselves from data that clouds our judgment. A name can signal gender. It can potentially signal race or ethnicity. So it’s this wonderful case of technology helping humans do better.”

Kara Hamilton

Chief people and culture officer, Smartsheet

From corporate hiring practices to asking your manager for a raise, soon you will use AI, automation, and other technologies to make better decisions. For companies, it’s about eliminating biases and making better hires. And for working professionals, who knows? You might just find yourself using a software platform to navigate your career.

To find out more about the future of work — and how best to prepare for it —  listen and subscribe to the OZY podcast series The Future of X: The Workplace