GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - While technology has made it easier to apply for job postings online, computer programs have allowed companies to almost automatically narrow in on the most-qualified candidates.
In less than five seconds, computer programs can code resumes, cross-reference job skills listed with the job posting, and sort personal information into the company's database.
The software from companies like DAXTRA is now being used to search keywords in resumes internationally. It's the same mathematical formula the company wrote to read military missile data at the turn of the century.
"It's some incredible benefit," Joel Westmaas of Ottawa County Michigan Works! told 24 Hour News 8. "You can do a keyword search rather than going through those pieces of paper," he said.
He said most large companies use some type of software.
Experts advise those who want to stand out use the job posting as a guide, add more details to resumes, and use industry keywords.
For instance, if you're looking for an account manager job, tailor your resume with words like "manage", "sales", "accounts", "upsell" and "retention."
At Spectrum Health System, the company uses a computer program to rank how qualified applicants are for that job. Company officials point out the program does not weed out resumes, but instead takes job seekers' online answers as the basics.
"There are core qualifications that the candidate has to meet," said Anne DeWys, director of system talent acquisition at Spectrum Health.
The company received about 200,000 online applications last year.
"There's a lot of great competition out there," DeWys continued. "I would not want to be modest in this environment."
"We do hear, 'Gosh, I've applied 12 times for Spectrum Health, and I've never been called for an interview,'" DeWys added.
Just one job posting, online for only three days, normally gets between 100 and 200 applications, DeWys said. The average candidate applies for four or five positions, DeWys said.
As West Michigan's largest employer, Spectrum Health hires more than just doctors and nurses. It employs 19,000 workers at nine hospitals and 140 service sites, according to the system's website.
Westmaas of Michigan Works! warns that companies should not overuse the technology.
"If people aren't using human intelligence, they are just using machine intelligence, you miss a lot," he said.
DeWys told 24 Hour News 8 that is why her staff at Spectrum Health focuses on the candidate's personal qualities next. Those include the candidate's personality, life experience and how they'd fit in the company's culture.
Spectrum Health maintains it is rare that qualified applicants would slip through the cracks.
"That's why we have to be really cautious about what are those basic qualifications," DeWys explained.
Spectrum Health continues to tweak the system, which was implemented last fall.
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