Lead story - AI kills résumés - what's the plan now?
Does AI kill résumés? Of course not - and if so, I'd argue LinkedIn already did most of that damage, not AI. So I read Brian's latest diginomica missive with interest. Turns out Brian doesn't think AI kills résumés either:
Bottom line: Résumé volumes will increase, quality of résumés may decline, and, it becomes harder than ever to identify great talent.
Hyperbolic headlines aside, Brian's point still holds up: AI gives job seekers a powerful tool to blast a wider range of employers than ever before. How does that contribute to a better hiring process? Brian isn't sure, and neither am I:
Recruiters will need new ways to divine which jobseekers are truthfully representing themselves versus some manufactured ideal.
Then Brian turns his critique to the generative AI functionality every HR talent vendor is pushing: job descriptions:
The tool is recommending you lard up your job description with a bunch of ‘requirements’ that are not prioritized for your firm. For example, while it may be great to have a JSON programmer with leadership skills, a PMI certification and more, which of these are in the top three of CRITICAL needed skills? I don’t know. The AI tool doesn’t know and neither does the applicant.
Yep - now you're adding applicant filters that rule out qualified individuals - never good. But wait, Brian says, it gets worse:
The tool has just created a job description that any of your competitors could have written. There’s nothing here that isn’t being said/asked for by other employers. How do you win the war for talent with generic, average, undifferentiated, similar position descriptions? You don’t.
That's the tricky part: once you view job descriptions as a talent marketing tool and competitive differentiator, then generative AI - at least on its own - will fall short. I've been highly critical of generative AI for this type of differentiated content creation.
It's all in the AI process design. I don't see a problem with generative AI job descriptions. But if you want those job descriptions to excel versus your competitors, a talented human will need to review and tweak them. Same with the applicant AI problem: if applicants are blasting your system with AI propaganda, you'll need to figure out how to AI-proof your applicant evaluations. That won't be easy, but just as the best job descriptions are probably hand-crafted, the best talent recruitment is hand-crafted also - but scaling that isn't easy. You still need savvy tools.
Brian seems to be thinking along the same lines:
What we need to do is to dramatically re-imagine what recruiting and talent management could look like. One of the more radical approaches I’ve seen has been developed by Plum.
Brian goes into detail on Plum's candidate assessment software, which is far more creative than a résumé, and much harder for an AI bot to game - yet. Just like cybersecurity professionals will have to work their tails off to stay on top of AI's adversarial possibilities, so will HR teams need to do that in their domain.
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- Whatever happened to ASOS - and how can it be fixed in the retail market of the Vaccine Economy? - ASOS had a COVID e-commerce triumph, but no longer. Stuart assesses the free fall - and whether a better omni-channel mix can save the day.
- Tripadvisor already seeing “compelling results” from generative AI investments - We don't have too many generative AI use cases to report on yet in the enterprise domain, but Derek tracked down one of them: "To create an itinerary using the tool, travelers are prompted to enter their destination and travel dates, who they’re traveling with, and the types of activities they’re interested in. In just a few seconds, they’re presented with a 'personalized, day-by-day itinerary, which they can save, edit, and share with travel companions.'"
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:
- Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo - welcome to phase 2 of the Subscription Economy, here's what you're going to need! - What exactly is phase 2? Madeline explains: "From Zuora’s perspective, the two key strategies in this next phase of the Subscription Economy are going to be around consumption-based models and continual unbundling/rebundling of services. The New York Times is a good example of this. Customers get to pick from a broad range of options rather than just a flat per-month fee, including a free tier, subscriptions to recipes or games or sports or news, or an all-access pass."
- Unit4 rolls out packaged services to help its on-premise customers go cloud in the next 2-3 years - Phil assesses Unit4's X40 virtual event: "The problem has been that wielding the big stick of an end-of-life support deadline for the on-premise product isn't something that's going to endear you to customers. You also need to come up with a big carrot to make the prospect more appealing. Unit4 is banking on its innovative customer success catalog becoming a tasty enough carrot to seal the deal."
- Twilio’s share price jumps as Q3 2023 earnings beat guidance - CEO focused on data platform growth - Derek on Twilio's solid quarter: "A strong quarter for Twilio - one that pleased the market. However, it’s clear that there is work to be done to ensure Twilio achieves its long-term AI ambitions."
VMWare Explore coverage - Mark Samuels picked up the VMWare story via its Barcelona tech event Explore: VMware Explore - VMware focuses on cloud journeys and AI implementations. Pull quote:
[VMWare CEO] Raghuram said when he talked with customers about their move on-demand three or four years, he noticed cloud journeys were becoming multi-cloud. During the past few years, multi-cloud has become the accepted way of running and managing workloads. [Also see: Mark's VMware Explore - how Audi is using hyperconvergence to steer innovation]
A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:
- Can partners help HPE GreenLake challenge the hyperscalers? - Katy
- HubSpot CEO Yamini Rangan - how AI and Clearbit data can accelerate customer success vision - Stuart
- Umbraco sets its partners a sustainability challenge - Mark Chillingworth
- Salesforce minds the AI Trust Gap - Katy. Also see Stuart's Checking out the Mercedes-Benz transformation journey as Salesforce updates Automotive Cloud.
Jon's grab bag - Phil looks at the implications of Slack's digital teamwork research in How to build the best teams? Slack research highlights the top five work personas. George looked at a vendor that is trying to change AI transparency in Watchful bridges generative AI transparency gap. Chris weighed in on the effort to regulate Big AI vendors in Peer review - can the UK Parliament's House of Lords save copyright from AI giants?
George added another angle on responsible AI in NIST - responsible AI standards need your help. It's time to step up to the mark. I agree with George's assessment: a NIST-like organization for responsible AI metrics won't be easy, but ultimately it will work better than political handshakes and photo ops:
Well-articulated letters and political platitudes are one thing. Sending your best people into the fray to ensure this goes well for business competition, people, and the planet will be a long, tenuous process, but hopefully, it will be a more rewarding outcome than a few Twitter likes.
Best of the enterprise web
My top seven
Should This Meeting Have Been an Email? - One of the best productivity writers, Cal Newport, is back in his wheelhouse, with excessive Zoom meetings in his target: "While it might be technically possible for us to solve a problem or clearly explain an issue in five minutes of talking, in the modern workplace this interaction will likely be scheduled as a Zoom meeting or conference room gathering that will be allocated, due to the constraints of digital calendars, a minimum of thirty minutes. Few professional experiences are more frustrating than to see your day eaten up by endless appointments rich in mindless small talk and stalling. 'This meeting could have been an email,' has become the exasperated mantra of knowledge workers lamenting their impossibly overloaded calendars."
The only catch? Newport assumes that corporate email inboxes are as well-honed as his. Within even a day or two of travel, an email inbox can become an overstuffed logjam where productivity goes to die. Newport, who is fond of asynchronous communication because it protects immersive work, is also down on messaging, whereas I see well-managed messaging as a vital way of reducing email inbox chaos, and prioritizing actions at times when email can be an unmanageable morass. What say you?
- Forrester predicts A.I. code flaws will enable new attacks next year - Louis Columbus is back on the AI-meets-cybersecurity beat: "FraudGPT was just the start of how attackers will weaponize generative A.I. and go on the offensive. 2024 will see social engineering attacks soar from 74% of all breach attempts to 90% next year. Forrester warns they’re seeing the human element be more attacked than ever."
- Definitions Matter - Lora Cecere keeps crushing it with a stellar 2023 of supply chain blogs: "Be careful about the gaps. Please note that in the traditional definition of supply chain planning, demand planning does not synchronize with revenue management (they operate as separate entities), and transportation planning has nothing in common with distribution requirements planning. And, there is no translation of planned orders for manufacturing into aggregate procurement."
- Every car is a smart car, and it's a privacy nightmare - doesn't it seem like we've been down this road before?
- How Baker Hughes used AI, LLMs for ESG materiality assessments - Larry Dignan on a standout use case from Constellation Connected Enterprise.
- Microsoft 365 Copilot: What Enterprise Customers Need to Know - UpperEdge doing what they do best - this time with advisory from Adam Mansfield.
- SAP tech leaders on the ground - AI or S/4HANA? Live from ASUG Tech Connect with Josh Greenbaum - a few potent issues surfaced in my ASUG Tech Connect podcast review with Greenbaum, including process debt, Greenbaum pushing back on AI, and why the clean core trumped other conference topics. My full conference review post should be out shortly.
Sounds like this went well:
'Couldn't See Anymore:' Bored Ape Conference Attendees Wake Up With Searing Eye Pain, Vision Loss https://t.co/QOMESzlvrI
Attendees at a conference for Bored Ape NFT owners endured another NFT plot twist.
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) November 12, 2023
Whenever you feel a need to blast people into the next century with a light show on acid, you have to wonder about your core product...
I know I've been down this road before, but this court ruling did just happen:
Perfectly legal for cars to harvest your texts, call logs https://t.co/tG5BfQVQV5
-> "smart cars" are awesome
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) November 12, 2023
The onslaught of PR "predictions" emails for 2024 has begun: "The last few years have focused solely on a potential recession, impending budget cuts and a continued focus on AI — priorities may look much different than they were in the past." Bold futurism at its finest - coming to an email inbox near you. See you next time...
If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed.