Job Seekers Scared Of Technology Takeover

As virtual reality and artificial intelligence enter the interview process,
job seekers say technology can’t replace the human element in hiring

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – March 7, 2017Beyond, The Career Network, announced results from a national survey of more than 6,000 job seekers, which revealed that job seekers are concerned that technology could take over the interview process. The majority of respondents (56%) said technology has already made the interview process too impersonal, with more than half reporting that commonly used video technologies like Skype interfere with a hiring manager’s ability to accurately evaluate a candidate’s soft skills. As video becomes common place and new technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) make their way into the interview process, job seekers are even more anxious about advanced technologies’ role in determining if they get hired.  

According to the survey, 76% of job seekers believe VR job simulations will become common in the interview process, but 67% also said requiring these simulations would deter candidates from applying. Respondents who would not participate in a VR simulation believe that it wouldn’t accurately reflect their ability to perform their job (53%). When it comes to a more intellectual evaluation, job seekers don’t think AI can get it right either. Of the skeptics, nearly 70% of respondents said that AI is dangerous and will likely result in formulaic hires that may leave great candidates without job offers.

Despite not wanting computers to judge their qualifications or make hiring decisions, many job seekers see the benefits of incorporating such technologies into the hiring process, with 73% reporting that technology has actually improved the recruiting process. Of those who see the benefits, 70% believe answering questions from a lifelike robot could help them prepare for an interview, and 58% said the greatest benefit of VR simulations is that they can offer a firsthand glimpse into the job to make sure it aligns with the candidate’s desired role. Still, most job seekers believe human evaluation is critical in hiring, with 73% saying in-person interviews will not become obsolete.

“Job seekers are scared by the specter of a computer interviewing them or making the hiring decision. And probably with good reason, as technology often contributes to a less personal experience. At the same time, people have come to embrace technology in many areas of job search, with most people searching for jobs almost entirely online, relying on computers to match them with appropriate jobs,” said Joe Weinlick, senior vice president at Beyond. “While it’s likely that one day most job seekers will embrace a greater role for technology in the interview process, today companies that are eager to employ interviewing technology would be wise to include an option for some old-fashioned personal interaction if they want to attract all candidates.”

Additional findings from the survey show:

  • VR simulators will deter Baby Boomers most – Of those who think VR simulations could deter applicants from applying to a job, 75% said Baby Boomers are most likely to be deterred.
  • VR has legs in other areas of hiring and recruitment – More than 80% said VR simulations should be used in educational/training sessions, 71% said they should be used in virtual office tours and 69% said they should be used in virtual job descriptions.
  • Technology is the best field for VR simulations – When it comes to including VR simulations in the hiring process, 66% said technology is the best field to utilize this tool followed by manufacturing (54%).
  • Candidates with higher salaries are more likely to have interviewed for a job via video technologies like
    Skype – Respondents who earn $80,000 to $100,000 a year (43%) and those who earn more than $100,000 (48%) have interviewed for jobs via video.

About Beyond
Beyond, The Career Network, helps millions of professionals find jobs and advance their careers, while also serving as the premier destination for companies in need of top talent. Founded in 1998, Beyond gives its members a central location to search for millions of jobs and engage with original and curated career content from over 1,400 sources. Beyond’s network of 500+ talent communities use integrated social features to help members discover relevant career news, advice and resources. Beyond was included in Inc. Magazine’s ‘Inc. 500’ list. For more information, please visit:


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