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Can a career path be predicted using tech?


I clearly remember the school careers advisor sitting a class of rather non responsive students down with a page of multiple choice questions designed to plot our career paths by simply answering questions on interests and likes. This would be digested by a computer the size of a mini and out would churn our futures on reams from a dot-matrix printer. It was alarming the number of us who were labelled the future of the probation service? Call me sceptical, but even as a 15 year old I had to wonder if the justice system was predicting a decline in its resources in the coming years and starting a campaign of succession planning nice and early!

Who could have possibly predicted the future of algorithms, big data and predictive analytics which could accurately predict not just a career but indeed its path?

News site Mashable recently reported how data held on professional networking site LinkedIn could help forecast where a particular individual would be professionally in five years. While this isn’t a service currently offered to members it highlights a potentially valuable application of big data.

In many organisations, the traditional career ladder of progressive upward moves is disappearing, so defining clear career paths is no longer as simple as it once was. “In an era when people are swapping careers and seeking to do different things, the ability for them to see what other people like them have done is great in terms of choice and education around Careers.”

Matt Alder, Digital Strategist, Metashift.

It has been predicted that on average, people will make at least 3 complete career changes in their lifetime. The world of work is shifting so rapidly with new positions being created as technology progresses that it is important for people to be able to think flexibly about what they want to do.

LinkedIn says that it would be interested in offering its members any application which would provide insights to help them manage their careers and connecting the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.

While the exercise conducted for LinkedIn, was at this stage an exercise only, there are in existence applications within Universities which are already providing insights for plotting career paths. The tool allows prospective students to see what types of careers and specific jobs people from certain universities go on to.

LinkedIn with its 313m members worldwide has a huge advantage over others trying to provide this insight because of its vast amounts of data. “What linkedIn has is genuinely big data, and it has invested a lot of money and time into making sense of it.” Says Alder of Metashift. “Big data is something that people love to talk about in our industry. But in reality, they are often just looking at data that exists but perhaps looking at it in a different way. There is still a long way to go before recruiters feel comfortable working this way but I think it is inevitable that they will.”

Technology is already playing a major part in modern recruitment and will continue to do so increasingly. royall is working with its own developers to ensure that we are at the cutting edge of “new recruitment” and advancing with its clients. Jennifer royall is leading a revolution in an industry reluctant to look ahead. The nuances of Human skills and abilities, coupled with specificity and rapidly changing nature of employer needs, mean that no technology will ever “solve” recruiting. Finding the right candidate is about personality, skill and culture. No system can cut the mustard on that front. royall combines years of knowledge of an ever changing recruitment horizon with a sophisticated coaching platform and technology advancements to ensure the very best in recruitment.


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