Utilization of Artificial Intelligence by Online Jobsites

Don’t you just love sifting through all of the available jobs at the many online jobsites…says no one, ever. No, job searching online is a very challenging task due to several things – the sheer volume of potential jobs, the different tasks required for each online job submission, and the fact that you could be wasting your time because a listing is outdated, filled or not that great a fit. Fortunately, AI is available to step in and save the day.

AI – as in Artificial Intelligence – is now an actual tool at work in helping millions of online job seekers find the right jobs for their needs. As one article notes, “Too often, we think we’ve scored our dream job with the company we’ve long admired from afar, only to end up realizing it just wasn’t the right fit. There are so many factors to consider: the work culture, the hours, how much you need to travel—maybe even whether dogs are allowed in the office.”

This is why several different software designers have now used their skills to create better tools for online job seekers and jobsites. One is Beansprock that relies on natural language processing along with AI to match information input to ideal jobs. It is, as that same article explained part of an enormous shift towards AI in the job hunt. “Big tech companies, including Google, Facebook and Baidu, already use AI …startups are getting into the game as well, looking to remake the length and breadth of the business world—including job hunting.”

Naturally, AI needs a lot of authentic data, and the best systems don’t allow their users to control everything entered into the system. Instead, the systems in use ask an individual to take a few moments to answer specific questions about important issues. The size of a company, phrases or words describing the culture, the skills you have, and more. Then, you are asked to link online profiles, such as LinkedIn profile to give the software even more data.

The AI takes this information and runs it against the updated job listings it pulls from all available online sources each day. Running it against everything from salary requirements and locations to those cultural terms you input, and the algorithm then delivers the most appropriate matches. Some even ask if you are willing to enhance job skills, relocate or other options in order to deliver the most comprehensive lists.

Another well-known platform that rolls AI into the job search is EdGE Networks. This is a unique spin on the concept, and it involves the creation of “sharp job descriptions armed with pertinent markers” that can be readily matched to pre-existing resumes and digitally input profiles. It then scores and ranks both sides of the equation and brings up the jobs that seem the most likely matches to the individual resumes. Like the Beansprock example, “helps determine the career path of talent, assess skills gaps and bridges these gaps by recommending relevant learning paths”, supporting both job seekers and employers.

AI is transforming business in many ways, including HR and job seeking. With its intense pattern recognition and cognitive powers, it is a natural tool for organizations as well as individuals and is sure to grow as a tool in job seeking.


By Jamie Groom

How to Effectively Manage Teams

No matter what industry your business is in, you are going to need to learn to manage teams effectively. The fact is your employees make up one large team that should work together in harmony to improve your business. And, within that large team, you should have smaller teams of individuals who work closely together to achieve specific goals. To work efficiently, those teams need good management. They need individual and group attention, and they need guidance to push them in the right direction.

Get to Know Your Team

First of all, it is absolutely essential that you get to know each member of your team. You do not have to become best friends with them by any means, but you do need to get to know their work habits and style. You need to understand what kind of supervision they need and what styles of management they react best to.

Getting to know the members of your team will help you delegate tasks properly, resolve conflicts when they arise, and find the best solutions for interpersonal challenges. If you know that one team member prefers to check in after every task is complete while another prefers to be given the freedom to work through an entire project without regular check-ins and updates, you’ll know how to craft compromises that will work for both of them when they work together.

Be a Part of the Team

If you approach managing your team as if you are not a part of the team, you are going to have trouble. If, however, you roll your sleeves up and dive into challenges and projects with your team, then you will gain their trust and loyalty. That doesn’t mean that you’ll have to take on every task that your team is assigned – you should still delegate and supervise – but it does mean that you shouldn’t be afraid to work closely with your team instead of simply telling them what to do and walking away.

Be a Diplomat

No matter how much effort you put into pairing the perfect members for your team, you are going to run into personal conflicts among them. This is inevitable, but it does not have to be a major problem. If two or more of your team members are having a conflict, invite them to meet with you. Listen to each side objectively and work with them to find a compromise that everyone can live with.

The more diplomatic you are in your approach to your team, the more effective your management will be. Remember, you want to do your best to ensure that no one walks away from a conflict feeling defeated. That kind of feeling will affect your team’s dynamic and productivity. Whenever possible, try to show everyone involved that the decisions you’ve made are for the good of the team and the business and that they will result in a better work environment for everyone. The more approachable and communicative you are with your team, the easier this will be and the more effective you’ll be as a manager.




By Barry Prost

10 Ways to Attract Best Talents to Your Organization

Business owners and managers often complain that “good help is just so hard to find,” and that may be true. However, it is not always that “talent” is thin on the ground. In fact, it is often simply that the owners and managers don’t know how to actually find or seek the talent they want and need.

That is why we need to review the ten top ways to attract the best talent for your organization – no matter what sort of company or group it might be. Yes, there are universal ways of finding the best people, and these ten tips are sure to help you reach your staffing goals.

1. Talent wants appeal – When you want to attract the best people for your organization, don’t just look at this through a one way lens. Take a few steps back and look at yourself. Sure, you can scrutinize the people you will hire, and make sure they are a good fit for your needs, but what about them? Are you offering a good working environment? What about benefits and pay? Even more importantly, are you showing them that this is the ideal place for their interests and skills? If you fail here, you won’t get the attention you want from the people who have the talent.

2. Be branded – If you are not a recognizable brand or entity, you may not appeal to talented workers. Make sure that your branding positions you as a magnet that your desired workers won’t be able to resist.

3. Consider the leaders – Many professionals understand that it is not the “company” that a person turns down or leaves. It is the management or the lack of leadership that they leave behind. If you are not giving attention to the quality and overall appeal of your leadership, you can forget attracting the best talent.

4. Share profits – One way to encourage the interest of the truly talented is to incentive performance through profit sharing. Let them get a return from their input, and they will line up outside your door!

5. Positive environment – Corporate culture is one thing, but it is the day to day experiences in the workplace that tend to serve as the “make or break” issue. If you can create a strong support system for employees and show that they are more than just drones or worker bees, you will attract the best people.

6. What do you offer? – There is a tendency for leadership to focus on the bottom line. This can often leave compensation on the leaner side. A startup company can get away with this for a while, but any established firm that hopes to retain good employees has to offer attractive incomes.

7. Show growth – If you cannot show that others have progressed in their careers and really grown professionally, a talented person will not have an interest in your firm. Show the opportunities.

8. Please your interns – There is also a tendency for companies that use internships to provide only the most tedious tasks and opportunities. That means you are looking at interns as low cost or free laborers. This is not a healthy perspective and will allow you to lose out on amazing opportunities. Utilize interns and build their skills!

9. Challenge the talent – Most talented people know that they are talented. They love to be challenged, and that means that any firm that can provide opportunities for the staff to work outside of the routine or the comfort zone is likely to be attractive to truly talented people.

10. Stay at home, travel, and learn – If you want to be appealing to talented folks, offer them the “brain food” and the flexibility that they desire. Pay for some courses every year, encourage work related travel, allow them to telecommute…these can be irresistible options.
Use these tactics and find the labor force of your dreams!

Works Cited
Ash, Eve. 10 key ways to attract and retain your most talented staff. SmartCompany. 2013. http://www.smartcompany.com.au/people/34133-10-ways-to-attract-and-keep-the-best-talent.html#

By Zainab Sayed

How to Create a Positive Work Environment

It does not matter if you are a manager, company owner, or the lead staff member in a specific department, if you are someone that everyone else turns to, or considers an authority figure; it is up to you to ensure that there is a good working environment.

This includes a lot of different issues. For example, some people say that a positive work environment has more to do with the comfort of the working areas, the general atmosphere, and even the color scheme than it does with anything else. Others might laugh at this notion and say that a positive work environment is one in which all members of the staff are clear on their responsibilities and confident in their role. Even more might say that it has to do with trust, expectations, and more.

So, how do you create a positive work environment when there are so many ways to view this issue? It really is not all that complex. There is not a lot of difference between the three definitions above. Though it might seem that there is, the reality is that they all reflect a few simple things.

What are they? Essentially, a positive work environment has to do with the comfort of the people who are working in all levels of that environment. It has to do with the level of success that the work has achieved. And it has to do with a sense of respect throughout all levels of the workplace.

How do you create that? It takes the following:

Trust – For people to feel comfortable, they have to trust one another. That means that each person who works in a specific work environment must demonstrate that they are dependable. Say you are going to do something, and you must follow through on it. If you are a manager, this is key, but you must not be the only one who has to follow through. It must be a clear expectation that everyone has to be dependable to this same level.

Communication – Open and positive communication across the entire work environment is a major key to a positive workplace. Why? When everyone who works in a business or firm feels that they are valued in the same way as anyone else, it is going to create a very successful atmosphere or setting. This begins with strong communication that allows each person to know that they have been heard. Good communication is also going to be fostered through group communication. Regular meetings and times when each employee can discuss projects, concerns, or other issues is going to nurture an open and balanced workplace.

Teambuilding – You cannot force a sense of team spirit to develop between co-workers, but any manager or business owner can most certainly use teambuilding activities and behaviors that ensure all employees feel valued and important. When they do, it creates a very strong workplace. How is it done? You must find ways of showing every single member of the staff that they are providing an important role in the firm. When people feel individually valued by those around them, it allows everyone to strive for a common goal. Rather than fighting for respect or recognition, they already have it and will happily work with co-workers to achieve office or business goals.

It is never easy to achieve all of these things, but when leadership strives for this sort of community spirit and sense of value among all of their staff, it ensures that everyone is working together to meet specific goals. This creates a positive workplace in which people really look forward to coming to work each day.

Works Cited
Inside Jobs. Ten Ways to Create a Positive Work Environment. InsideJobsCoach. 2013. http://www.insidejobscoach.com/print_files/ten_ways.htm

By Ahmed Albarni

The Power of Asking the Right Interview Question

Did you know that the first cell phone was made because of this question?
“Why is it that when we want to call and talk to a person, we have to call a place?”
This was asked by an engineer working at Motorola, and it is a good illustration of asking the right question at the right time. This also serves as a good model of the importance of asking the right questions when interviewing possible employees.

Ask the Question to the Right Candidate
A lot of employment experts say that many companies, businesses, and firms have a high turnover rate because they are not looking for employees in the appropriate way. They don’t mean that people are doing a search in the wrong way, but that they are not looking for the employees that they really want or need.
Here’s what we mean: A firm is looking for a go-getter and starts scouring the usual channels to find the ideal “match”. They let someone else identify themselves as a good fit based on things like their resume or CV and by their stated interests or professional goals. That is a logical method for matching up the potential candidates, but isn’t there a bit more that could be done?
For example, have you taken a step back to look at your firm or business to ensure that it is the ideal match to that person? Are you offering the candidates the kinds of challenges and opportunities that they want or can fulfill? This is something easily overlooked, and yet there are ways of finding out if you have the ideal person seated across from you during an interview.

Ask and Receive
If you use the traditional routes for identifying likely candidates for your company, you may have a lot of good options. It is narrowing them down to the “just right” candidates. That is the trick.
The simplest way of doing this is by asking them the right questions. While there are the stock questions such as:
Why do you think you are a good fit for this firm?
What do you think are your best and worst professional features?
Where do you see yourself in five/ten/fifteen years?
There are other, and more befitting, questions to be asked.

Understand the Big Picture
What are you hiring this person to do? We cannot give you that answer, but you must have a very clear understanding of it before you can choose the right candidate. For instance, let’s say you want a project manager. That’s a pretty clear answer. However, will this person also work with additional staff? Will they have interns? Will they do fieldwork? How difficult is it to market the product or service related to their work? How long will they be doing this task? What sort of growth opportunities does this job present?

The list goes on and on. You have to have a truly in-depth understanding of this work before you can identify the strongest questions to ask them in their interview. As a good example of this, we’ll stick with that project manager position. Let’s say that it is a long term position that requires working with a small group of experienced employees. Let’s say that one part of this job involves a bit of liaison work between several offices. That tells you that this person has to be very organized and capable of tremendous flexibility and communication.
You might ask them something like the following:
What resources and methods would you use when communicating with an array of different project participants?
This is just one example, but it shows that asking only general questions gets general answers. When you want the “right” person for a job, ask the right questions.


Works Cited
Sturt, David. Are You Asking the Right Question? Forbes. 2013. http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidsturt/2013/10/18/are-you-asking-the-right-question/

By Zahra Madan

The Cost of Hiring the Wrong Candidate

If you are new to job recruitment in the Middle East, you may hear a bit of conflicting information. You may discover that some experts view recruitment as one of the most challenging propositions because of all that it involves. In addition to finding people willing to relocate from other parts of the world, you also have a host of cultural and even corporate differences that may make it hard to locate a good pool of candidates.

Of course, you may find the opposite to be true and a flood of interested candidates may apply to you for a position you have available because of the quality of life in the Middle East, the strength of business in this region, and because you may be able to offer a higher salary.
Which scenario is best? Too few or too many? In all honesty, it is irrelevant. You can have hundreds of candidates or ten candidates, and it will not matter at all if you choose the wrong candidate.

The Cost of Hiring
For one thing, you may find that you are going to have to hire expats, which is a tremendously costly endeavor. Not only is there the time spent in meetings and interviews, but there is the actual cost of bringing them onboard. Most expect the costs of relocation to be paid by the firm that has hired them, many may negotiate specific terms relating to early termination or severing of the contract, and so on.
You also have to commit the manpower to onboarding a new hire, which means that time spent for Human Resources, management, and within any departments or teams can end up being wasted if the hire doesn’t work out.
All of this is bad enough, but hiring the wrong candidate also means lost momentum. For example, you may have decided to outsource project management, spent time recruiting for the project, meeting with candidates and hiring one to do the work. They will be introduced to the firm, the team, and the project, and if they then are wrong for that post, you have just watched many weeks during which the work could have been done disappear.

The Smart Solution
There are a few things you can do to ensure that you are never going to hire the wrong candidates, regardless of the size of the pool available. While you need to be sure you have created an accurate employer brand as well as a corporate one, and that you are very clear on the “why” of the job as well as the “what” of it, you may also find greater success when working with specialist recruitment sites.
For example, a recruiter familiar with and well established in the Middle East job market. They will also be able to review your job descriptions, ads, and goals to ensure you can identify the best candidates for any position.
The goal of a recruitment firm is to save time and money, but also ensure that only the most appropriate candidates are considered, and this means a great deal more than just a financial savings. It means projects are completed successfully, the company culture thrives, and the entire workforce remains much happier.

ERE.net. Top Tips for Recruiting Candidates for Jobs in the Middle East. 2014. http://www.ere.net/2014/08/27/top-tips-for-recruiting-candidates-for-jobs-in-the-middle-east/

By Ligia Gateau

How to Keep Your Employees Motivated

It is interesting to consider the differences between the terms motivation, incentive, and commitment. We so often hear these things discussed when employees and staff are the topics, however, they are never interchangeable terms. When you want to keep your employees motivated, it is going to require some ideas well outside of the realms of commitment and incentives.

There are a few key methods for helping employees to feel truly charged up and excited about their work, and that is really the key to motivation. Consider the following theories:

• Exiting the comfort zone – We all think that asking our employees to specialize is a sure way of ensuring quality control. Give an employee a focal area and they are likely to become experts. This, however, locks most people into a “comfort zone” and it really deadens motivation. If you want to help them to feel really motivated about their work, give them the trust required for them to exit their established comfort zone.As an example, don’t think that they will remain happy doing the same sort of work, projects, or tasks repeatedly. Instead, give them a chance to experience growth and motivation by allowing them a wider range of responsibilities. Yes, there are risks involved in this where productivity and output are concerned, but those risks are easily offset by the fact that your staff is unlikely to burn out or experience boredom.

• Ownership issues – Does your staff behave as if they only “work” at your firm? This is a very common dilemma, and it is also a serious motivational killer. If you encourage your staff to “own” the workplace, it will definitely inspire a lot of motivation towards all facets of their work.
How do you do that? Ask each member of your workforce to slowly learn what the other members of their team are doing. This allows everyone to begin to think outside of the box and feel committed to every step of the process – whatever your process might be!

• Spread the intel – Do you keep everyone informed? It is a common pattern of behavior in management or company leadership for information to be kept only to the higher ranking offices. However, this doesn’t provide any opportunities for motivation. In other words, when you know what is going on and what challenges are ahead, your staff should know as well. Sharing this with employees ensures that they feel on the same level as others, it strengthens the camaraderie between workers, and it guarantees that everyone is headed in the same direction and with the same level of enthusiasm.

• Reward accordingly – We all know that compensation matters a great deal, but a lot of employees are less motivated by pay increase incentives than by other rewards. For instance, a lot of people are far more motivated by something like profit sharing than by an annual raise. The profit sharing is a direct reward for their efforts and input, and that is a huge motivational factor.

You can motivate your employees without a lot of difficulty. It is often a matter of understanding that the old “carrot and stick” approach is not really going to work. Instead, it is a matter of respect and recognition, or teamwork and team building.
You can do these things without tremendous financial commitments, and they will yield remarkable results. The real key is to understand that your staff is far more likely to respond to opportunities for growth rather than purely financial motives, and to then use this to help them reach their goals.

Works Cited

Strauss, Karsten. 7 Ways To Keep Your Employees Happy (And Working Really Hard). Forbes. 2013. http://www.forbes.com/sites/karstenstrauss/2013/09/08/7-ways-to-keep-your-employees-happy-and-working-really-hard/

By Aysha Ebrahim

Tips for Better Time Management at Work

“There are not enough hours in the day.” That seems to be the mantra of the modern working professional, parent, or everyday person. In fact, it could be said that this sense of too much to do with too little time is a modern affliction.

That is why it is best to create a system for time management that really works. Nowhere is this more important, however, than in your day to day work life. Doing well in your career is a major way of reducing stress and worries – particularly in an era of high competition for fewer and fewer jobs.

So, how do you manage your time more effectively? The experts of Entrepreneur have this to say:

Forget the gadgets, apps, and gizmos – There is an endless list of computer tools and devices that are designed to help you save time. The long and short of all of them is that they actually cut into your time. How? Most need to be managed, have data fed into them, or information uploaded to another program. In other words, they try to tell you they can help you to manage time by actually cutting into what time you are already using.

A good example of this is the project tracking software so readily available. This might appear as a small stopwatch application you can use on your laptop or mobile device. You have to open it, start it when you begin working, and stop it when you are done. You then have to transfer the information to the appropriate program or software, and then…well, you get the point. These are not saving time at all.

Go “old school” – Invest in a good calendar or planner and use classic “pen and paper” to track ideas, dates, appointments, thoughts, activities, and even conversations. Once you have gotten into the habit of writing everything down, take the time to assess the stuff that is actually a waste of time. For instance, you jot down the daily conversation you have with someone about a project or other work-related issue. If this conversation is not generating any results or actions, cut it from the calendar or limit to once per week, etc.
Time everything – Rather than holding up a stopwatch and actually timing what you do, just assign a fixed amount of time to be allotted to any activity. For example, you want to work on a project that is not a priority but which needs regular attention. Assign yourself a 30 minute block of time for it, and stick to the schedule.
Expect interruptions – It would be naïve and just plain silly to think that your day can be an uninterrupted stream of uber productivity. Instead, choose a realistic percentage of time that you know will be lost to distractions, interruptions, and general nuisances. Give this a bit of attention and gauge if you are really losing just 10 percent of the time or is it more? Figure this into your daily plans.
Make daily plans – Yes, it may seem impossible for you to get to stick to specific timelines for a full day or even just the workday, but the world’s most productive people all agree that a daily “to do” list and calendar is a sure way to success.

There are other time management techniques, but these are the most important and effective. Giving attention to smaller details is the way to thin out the interruptions and miscalculations that cost you hours of time each week and cut into job performance. Give yourself a few weeks to make these steps your newest work habits, and you will see results!

Works Cited

Mathews, Joe. 10 Time Management Tips That Work. Entrepreneur. 2013. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219553

By Noufal Thoppil

How Social Media Can Help You to Find a Job

How can something like Facebook help you to find a job? After all, isn’t the point of social media to be more of a social and less of a professional resource? The answer is both yes and no. That is because it is not just the individuals of the world who are using social media outlets these days. Instead, many larger corporate entities have their own social media accounts, and there they put out the details of their company mission or motto, show off their appealing corporate culture, and make it much easier for the public to get to know their brand or their firm in a way that is more direct and appealing.

This is all great news to the individual doing a job search because it will help them to know right away if a company is a good fit for their needs, and even if they are hiring. For instance, Mohnish Sani, a career expert, says: “Now more than ever, job seekers have full access to what a prospective employer’s company is really like… what they’re working on, what kind of values they have, and what kind of talent they’re seeking.”

They get this access through things like Facebook pages and Pinterest pages. In fact, a lot of firms post job opportunities directly to their social media profiles and pages. Though it is much more likely that you will find such information on a LinkedIn page rather than a Twitter feed, it doesn’t mean that these resources should be ignored.
Why not? It is tremendously helpful to read the different comments and updates provided by employees or clients of any firm. These statements are often a great indicator of whether a company is a good match to individual goals. However, these statements are also often a good way of learning what it means to be a good match for that firm as well.

The Apple and the Tree
We’ve all heard the phrase that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, and though this is usually used when describing members of a family, it is also a good way to view the relationship between happy employees and the things they write on their company’s social media pages.

Reading updates from employees will give the clearest indicator of the overall job satisfaction to be enjoyed at a firm. This could be a good cue for you to pursue a career within a specific company.
Because you want to be a good fit to the career, the details on social media pages can also steer you in the appropriate directions in terms of your own profile and reputation. For example, a site such as LinkedIn is often known for being ideally suited to establishing yourself as an expert or authority in your field.
You can use this sort of site to interact with others already working in the firm of your choice. You can create a reputation as a valid expert or a knowledgeable professional long before you even submit a resume or application.
You should also know that many firms are now turning to social media during the selection process. They want to see if someone is all that they claim to be or if they have an established foothold in the industry. Your activities on any sort of social media can prove that you are an active and interested party.

So, social media is a strong tool for conducting an effective job hunt because it opens a few doors that were once impossible to even consider!
Works Cited

Olenski, Steve. How Social Media Can Help You Find a Promising Job Opportunity. SocialMediaToday. 2013. http://socialmediatoday.com/steve-olenski/1989576/how-social-media-can-help-you-find-promising-job-opportunity


By Malbert Rodrigues

5 Biggest Mistakes Employers Make When Attracting High Calibre Candidates and How to Avoid Them

A very enlightening article in the Arabian Gazette described some huge mistakes that recruiters make when seeking candidates for Middle Eastern firms. Though some of these blunders are universal and not strictly limited to recruiters in that particular area of the world, some of them touch directly on the biggest mistakes employers can make when trying to attract high calibre candidates (usually described as executives but not limited to that role).
Interestingly enough, the filling of management, executive, and other key roles seems to be a struggle in the region’s firms. This is due to more than just employer mistakes during recruitment efforts, and includes:

1. Telling and selling – A lot of effort goes into making firms appealing to job seekers. Known as an employer branding, this doesn’t always touch on the things that higher caliber employees will find important. A different strategy may be essential to attracting the appropriate candidate.
2. Positioning the work as an immediate need – Few experienced professionals are going to feel comfortable pursuing a position that is not a good fit to their overall career goals. If you are describing the work as filling a more immediate need rather than as one that can shape and steer the department or firm, you may not get attention from higher caliber recruits.
3. Not actually seeking the “best candidate” available – Hiring experts advocate always having face to face meetings when hiring upper level employees. However, there is a distinct trend in firms not talking to and meeting with enough of these high caliber candidates to allow quality to be accurately gauged. Noting that a “bell curve” must be created through the selection of candidates, one expert indicated that meeting with too few high level candidates does not give an accurate portrait of the very best.
4. Hiring the best interview – High level candidates are bound to be persuasive and effective people. Unfortunately, this can make it too easy to hire the person who performs well in an interview, but who may not perform well on the job. In other words, be careful about evaluating only the personality.
5. Avoiding specialized recruitment services – If you have access to a specialist recruiter familiar with your industry, niche, or Middle East location, you may find your recruitment efforts far more successful. They can help you refine job descriptions and even clarify goals that will allow you to identify and attract the most suitable candidates available.

Hiring higher level recruits is difficult, and particularly if you are going to hire non-domestic professionals to handle significant projects or jobs. Being aware of the mistakes listed above can help you and your recruitment team to avoid the biggest (and often the most costly) errors. Though some recent statistics pointed out that corporate career websites are a popular recruitment tool in many Middle East firms, there is still a lot to be said for working with recruitment companies with well established relationships throughout the region.

Arabian Gazette. 10 Recruiting Horrors Still Practices in the Middle East. 2014. http://www.arabiangazette.com/10-recruiting-horrors-still-practiced-in-the-middle-east/


By Fatema Shehab