Employers and prospective employees have long wrestled with how to most effectively make a successful match – finding the right person for the job or the right job for an individual. Just like in 21st century dating, technology in labor market matching has tried to offer answers, and recent innovations and an increase in data have resulted in modern tools that aim to better make this match and address thorny issues, such as improved sorting of skilled candidates or implicit bias in hiring.
While new labor market matching technologies offer opportunities, they also present challenges and have the potential to exasperate old problems regarding career mobility and equitable hiring practices. The rapidly shifting ways technology is used in the matching process without a trusted basis of validation also leads to questions about which tools are most useful, which are inefficient or potentially detrimental, and how to use these tools generally.
The limitations of technology are particularly concerning for low- and middle-skilled workers, who have struggled to find their footing in the current post-recession economy, and more often lack the technological access, knowledge, and networks to leverage the new matching technologies.