Name a technology and I’ll tell you how it’s been used for job-hunting. Maybe not all technologies. But there are so many different mediums in which you can search for a job. Each created for the sake of simplicity and accessibility. The newspaper classified section, college job boards, apps, recruiters, etc. This means it’s only a matter of time until smart speakers join the ranks.
To what extent will Alexa provide help in job-hunting?
Alexa the Staffer
McDonald’s announced a new initiative the fast food chain is calling the “Apply Thru,” in which owners of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant devices can begin job applications using standard “Alexa” and “Ok Google” voice commands.Nick Statt, The Verge
You can’t actually complete the application process using Alexa or Google Assistant. After beginning the experience via Alexa or the Google Assistant, all they’ll need to do is answer a few basic questions out loud. They’ll receive a text, following their responses to these questions, with a link to complete the application process online.
Gimmicky at first, this has the potential to remove a lot of friction from the application process considering Amazon holds a lot of consumer information which they could auto-fill.
McDonald’s won’t be the last company to do this. And slowly more parts of the hiring process will be brought onto the device.
Does the person searching for minimum wage work necessarily own an Echo product? Although I can’t say for sure, my guess is no.
Realistically, this feature is geared toward teens.
24% of households own a smart speaker. I can literally hear moms and dads around the world telling their lazy kids to get off their butts and get a summer job. With Alexa, they don’t even need to go apply for a job. They just ask Alexa to fill out the application for them.
What other low-entry jobs could Alexa facilitate?
Alexa, Find Me A Gig
My mind initially jumps to the two places that accept nearly everyone’s job applications: gig work and Craigslist.
The gig economy is on a tirade – creating opportunities to make money out of anything. Seriously, they have people selling space on the shelves in their garage for $5/month.
I don’t see any reason that the gig economy won’t end up on Alexa in some capacity.
Uber already has good rider integration with Alexa – allowing people to order an Uber and get notified when it’s arrived via Alexa. Could they also integrate to the driver-side in some way – notifying drivers when they should go out and drive?
TaskRabbit, to me, makes a lot of sense in the context of an Alexa jobs board. Which is also why Craigslist makes a lot of sense too.
The Craigslist jobs section seems aptly fit for an Alexa integration. Raking leaves, moving furniture, working an event, etc… most cities have a huge stream of these quick jobs that promise $15 here, $50 there.
Even though an Alexa integration goes against the simplified ethos of Craigslist, Alexa could easily facilitate local Craigslist odd-jobs. And probably make it even easier to find a quick buck because Alexa could just list them off for you.
What about serious, full-time work?
So far, there are a few small job boards that exist on Alexa. CareerOneStop, Government Jobs, and Job Seeker are Alexa Skills that help people find full-time work. Although, the response has been almost silent.
A reputable name – the caliber of Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder – would need to create an Alexa skill in order to push this idea further into the public eye. At the very least, one of these companies could stand out by bringing a feature of their service onto Alexa:
- Job updates: “Any leads, Alexa?”
- Replace the generic email replies from companies
- Automated vetting process – giving more people a chance to interview
- Voice record the interviews
Ultimately, Amazon still needs to answer the question:
How can Alexa be a profitable platform for Amazon and for third-parties?
They may figure it out as Apple did and create the next $46 Billion App Store. Or Alexa-as-a-Recruiter may help them on the road to profitability.
We likely won’t see executives or managers apply for jobs this way. But it’s an idea that will become more familiar over time. The generation that grows up with Alexa will be more apt to job seeking with Alexa.