Why Superheroes Don’t Have Great Jobs And How AI Can Fix That

Happy And Sad

Superman, Wolverine, and Spider-man are three of my favorite superheroes, I simply adore what they do and what they stand for. Whenever someone is in any kind of trouble, they appear and save the day. But there is one very worrying thing that they have in common. None of the above have great jobs that they can write home about. Wolverine for that matter never seems to have a job. Why is this? A deeper look will reveal that this may be true for all of us and AI can help solve that for us.

Happy And Sad

First up, who is a superhero? An individual who has extraordinary skills that are not normally seen in the general population. These skills may be mental abilities like telepathy or telekinesis and sometimes physical like super-strength and invulnerability to harm. But then, they can also be skills like being an amazing designer who can churn out extremely creative and fresh content day in and day out or being an ace coder who can hack anything with her/his coding acumen. Now that we have that out of the way, let us come back to the problem on hand or the topic that we are discussing today. Namely superheroes and their jobs.

Anyone who knows anything about spider-man knows that Peter Parker is a brilliant scientist, someone who could give the top ones a run for their money, and yet, he is a consulting photographer at the Daily Bugle who has to haggle with JJJ for every payment that he needs to get from them. More often than not, he is seen selling himself short. Sometimes even subject to ridicule and consistent belittling at work. Thankfully, Peter has an alter-ego – Spider-man, who can be an outlet to all this pent up frustration. And it does help that he is bashing up baddies daily as the alter-ego, all the pent up frustration gets an outlet and he gets back to work the next day. But then, you and me cannot go around bashing people daily to expend dissatisfaction at work. In our case, we would actually be carrying this and taking it with us home. That is something extremely unhealthy and even at the workplace, it leads to decreased interest and efficiency, it even affects the morale of people around you. So what is the problem and what is the solution to this? Surely we can’t all be going searching for radioactive spiders to bite us and make us exceptional.

The problem and the solution are closer to home than you think. The problem is the fact that simple resume fitting and keyword based skill matching are the current norms for candidate fitting that even the top rung enterprises employ whenever they source a person for a need they have. This is a very short sighted and extremely inadequate way of finding someone. And if we do find and employ someone using these methods, job satisfaction and employee productivity are very soon the casualties at the workplace. There are many enterprises that recruit super-talented people for specific roles and later find themselves in a quandary over either the resource leaving all too soon or the productivity going so low that the hiring decision looks like a joke.

One great example of this that all Indians will readily identify with is the time when the great Sachin Tendulkar was made the  captain of the Indian Cricket Team. He was the most qualified, popular and skilled player at that time, a legend in his own right. But then the role was not in line with his personality and state of mind at that time and he quickly had to relinquish the post after a disastrous run at it. Surely no one is better than Sachin, there is no doubting that. So what went wrong? While the skill set was a perfect match, there were other traits that a captain needed that he was short of. As soon as he was relieved of that burden, he went back to being a cricket God again. The replacement was Sourav Ganguly and we all know what he went on to become – someone who defined leadership for the next generations of players. Sourav was not as prolifically skilled as Sachin at that time (many will argue but I believe so), but his dispensation as a strategist and an aggressive leader more than compensated for that. So the detail is as much in the meta-data (read context) as in the data itself. And that is where the problem and the solution lie.

So what an enterprise needs to do is build context around a profile and gather enough meta-data to aid in making a thoroughly informed hiring decision. That way, you are factoring for what the candidate is capable of, what the enterprise needs and what the longevity of the resulting engagement is going to be. Also, when you understand a person as an entity and not just as a bunch of skills and jobs, you are able to visualize productivity and provision for a growth path right at the outset. This then leads to a mutually beneficial and satisfying engagement with the candidate that is also in the best interests of the enterprise.

So how does context get built around a person? In the online lifestyle that we all lead today, that is very easily done. Over a third of employers responding to a 2015 poll stated that candidates with no verifiable online information were less likely to be interviewed, let alone hired. Supporting this trend is the fact that over half of the respondents used a social networking site – up from 39 percent in 2013 – to research potential candidates.

Recruiters also searched social media and networking sites to learn what others thought about the candidates, including co-workers and past as well as present employers. Other information included confirmation of past and present employment, educational and other professional credentials as well as uncover relevant information that may have been omitted in a previous resume.

While we say this, we should not underestimate two things, the sheer size of data that is available online and the efficient capacity that is needed to properly crunch this data and extrapolate relevant information from it. This is where AI steps in and makes things very easy and extremely efficient for the enterprise. Things like human bias, fatigue and errors are eliminated and there is absolute guarantee that anything that is worth considering would be considered.

Contextual CRM such as Spire TalentSHIP® utilizes a cloud-based Contextual Intelligence (CI) platform which employs Machine Learning to understand, interpret and analyse any form of textual content which HR is primarily characterized with. It has been shown to boost revenue while saving time and recruiter effort involved in the mundane processes of Talent Acquisition. Recruiters can increase interview-to-select ratio to 73% from the existing level of less than 30%. This is a significant enabler of their performance.

So if you are enterprise that is looking for superheroes or you are a superhero looking for a great job that does justice to your super powers, AI is here to help you and all you have to do is reach out and use it! It will indeed be a great world where Peter Parker is a scientist and Clark Kent is the US representative to the UN. Or one where you and me are having jobs that satisfy us and give us the ability to perform at optimal levels and grow at the same time. Here’s looking forward to workplace.ai coming soon to enhance your career!

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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