As technology and modern ideals seep into every industry and workplace, it may seem like blue-collar industries have largely been overlooked. It can be easy to imagine that blue-collar jobs stay relatively rooted in tradition and “old ways.” However, tech integration, a move toward specialization, the influence of remote work, a growing interest in the trades from Generation Z, and DEI (diversity, equality, and inclusion) initiatives have profoundly impacted the blue-collar sector in recent years.
Jason Lamonica, COO of Spec on the Job — a staffing service specializing in blue-collar industries — has seen the shift first-hand and is optimistic about the near future. “A generic, ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to the workforce will result in unhappy employees,” Lamonica says. He sees the trends emerging within blue-collar staffing and the industry as a whole pivoting away from the “one-size-fits-all” approach and moving toward a personalized industry evolution.
While modern technology has been a part of blue-collar jobs for decades, there is a sense that blue-collar work is still rooted in traditional, hands-on work that eschews too much tech intervention. Yet automation, digital advancements, and changes in how blue-collar workers are recruited and trained are reshaping the traditional work landscape.
Since the advent of the internet, how we interact with one another, find work, educate ourselves, and apply technology to our jobs has radically changed. Lamonica has not only seen it within the blue-collar industries for which he recruits but also within his role with Spec on the Job.
“The smartphone has truly changed the work we do in recruiting,” explains Lamonica. “Both employers and employees have come to rely on it for making connections. It truly has been amazing to watch it develop.”
The rise of smartphones has not been the only game changer for blue-collar work. E-commerce and AI technology have changed how we sell goods, ship items, and reshape logistics — which has had a massive impact on the trucking industry and supply chain. Automation has also been a significant factor in many blue-collar positions, especially within manufacturing. Robotics and machine learning have allowed companies to be more efficient in not only their processes but also their training.
While technology is certainly disrupting the blue-collar work landscape, fears of technology replacing humans altogether have been unfounded. Automation may have taken over some of the more repetitive tasks within blue-collar jobs, but we have entered a new era of the skilled blue-collar worker by integrating technology knowledge and traditional know-how into this new world of work.
A recent survey showed that 1 in 6 Gen Z respondents intended to enter a blue-collar industry. Lamonica understands the interest — it was one he had as well. “I started in marketing, but I eventually realized that wasn’t going to be a long-term career choice for me,” he explains. “I had always been interested in the skilled trades, so that’s where I went.”
A past stigma surrounding blue-collar work seems to be lifting as trades workers prove these positions can not only require a significant amount of skill but can also be lucrative. People who choose to enter a specialized trade, such as masonry or electric work, often undergo extensive training and a required apprenticeship. Many also gather industry certifications to bolster their resumes in an increasingly competitive market.
Many of today’s blue-collar workers are demanding a change in how they are trained, shifting to e-learning and quickly adapting to the influx of tech advancements in their respective fields. The new generation of blue-collar workers understands the value of specialization, multifaceted education, and mentorships with other skilled workers.
One of the most notable changes in technology and the workplace has been the uptick in remote work, especially since the pandemic. “These days, employees are looking for flexibility in their workplace,” Lamonica notes. “Most understand that blue-collar jobs tend to be less flexible than white-collar jobs, but employees still expect some level of flexibility and autonomy within their careers.”
This flexibility that has come with the remote work revolution has its place in the blue-collar sector. While most blue-collar jobs (particularly those in construction or manufacturing) would not seem to work with the rise of remote work, evidence suggests that remote work does exist for some blue-collar positions — especially within the service industry.
The most significant impact remote work seems to have had on blue-collar workers, however, is giving them insight into how they can gain work with more flexibility, autonomy, and overall job satisfaction. The influx of remote workers has paved the way for these critical conversations in all industries.
The impact of a greater focus on DEI in the workplace has been felt within most jobs, whether one’s job is initiating DEI initiatives or not. Working diligently toward the creation of a diverse and inclusive workplace benefits everyone, from leadership down to the workers doing the day-to-day tasks. DEI initiatives create a collaborative environment that fosters innovation and better productivity.
Many blue-collar jobs, especially those in construction and manufacturing, have a way to go before they reach true equity. Currently, women are underrepresented by 80% in blue-collar positions. While blue-collar jobs have historically been the domain of white middle-class men, there is a push to bring more people of color and women into the skilled crafts. When employers recognize disparity and work toward a more diverse and equitable workforce, it elevates the industries as a whole.
Staffing within blue-collar jobs is trending towards better training, a more technology-informed outreach for recruitment and onboarding, and more autonomy and flexibility for skilled and certified workers. It is a new era in work, and leaders and recruiters in the blue-collar sector are recognizing the benefits of change and blazing a pathway toward a more informed and skilled workforce.
Revolutionizing PM Recruitment: How ProsperCircle Leverages AI for Job Matching
Job hunting can prove daunting in the field of product management (PM), which ranks as the fourth most popular US career, attracting thousands of highly qualified candidates. In this competitive field, many candidates increase their odds by harnessing the power of data.
ProsperCircle empowers PM job seekers with career opportunities that align with their individual skills, experience, and interests through a niche job search platform that provides personalized AI career coaching and interview practice specific to product management. Their development of a properietary reasoning engine tailored for automated PM interviews empowers candidates with a simulated interview experience, actionable feedback, and the confidence to excel in real-world scenarios by practicing real-world case questions.
How ProsperCircle’s AI coach matches candidates with the best available PM jobs
ProsperCircle leverages AI to provide improved job recommendations. The platform’s machine learning algorithms analyze vast amounts of job data, ensuring that candidates are matched with the most relevant jobs to give those seeking PM jobs a better experience with little to no search fatigue.
With ProsperCircle, AI algorithms take note of a job seeker’s work experience, education, skills, and preferred location. The system then analyzes the information against the platform’s job database to deliver personalized job listings tailored to the job seeker’s preferences.
Virtual interview methods today struggle to accurately assess candidates’ abilities, particularly for roles like PM that require nuanced decision-making. ProsperCircle’s reasoning engine fills this gap by offering a unique simulated interview experience tailored for PM roles. Unlike existing solutions, their platform provides candidates with real-world scenarios, allowing recruiters to evaluate their problem-solving and decision-making skills in a virtual environment.
“The old-fashioned way of finding a job was to scroll through hundreds of ads and pick out the ones that were a good fit for your interests and abilities,” says Salil Sethi, founder of ProsperCircle.com. “AI job matching changes the game by streamlining the process and giving you the time to concentrate on the most suitable PM job listings.”
ProsperCircle processes the information on job advertisements and candidates’ profiles to generate vector embeddings. These three-dimensional representations of data points record subtle details of thousands of job postings and the candidates’ complicated backgrounds, experiences, and preferences through a highly sophisticated approach beyond mere keyword matching.
“Our AI career coach starts by looking at your work experience, education, desired work environment, and goals,” explains Sethi. “The system then checks the vector embeddings of your profile against all available product management job listings to find highly relevant matches by analyzing each position’s necessary skills, duties, business culture, and opportunities for advancement. You get personalized employment suggestions based on in-depth analysis of your needs and the needs of each potential employer.”
With every interaction, ProsperCircle’s AI job coach gains knowledge by taking note of each candidate’s preferences as they apply for jobs, and then gives candidates feedback on suggestions to improve their search results. This ensures that future recommendations are better targeted and more successful.
How ProsperCircle’s AI coach helps PM job seekers improve their odds as they apply for job matches
ProsperCircle’s AI coach not only examines a PM candidate’s relevant information to suggest job listings but also utilizes AI to provide career advice.
First, ProsperCircle provides candidates with comprehensive insights into the current product management market with data analysis and metrics such as average salary, average time to hire, and the skills employers desire most. With this data, PM job candidates can better gauge their value in the market, pinpoint where to improve their skills, and plan to meet the changing demands of their field.
For example, a candidate interested in a digital product management role can access specific insights about the demand for these roles in different industries, the typical career trajectory, and the average time companies take to fill such positions. This level of detail empowers them to target applications and negotiate salaries more effectively.
ProsperCircle assigns each available job a competitiveness score. This score evaluates how competitive the selection process for each listing will be based on factors like the company’s reputation, required skills, or salary.
Next, the platform offers tips to improve candidates’ resumes and cover letters by prompting them to highlight relevant experience. It also recommends skills that candidates can acquire to improve their odds during the selection process.
Finally, ProsperCircle’s revolutionary AI interview coach is a game-changer. With the help of advanced reasoning engines, it mimics real-life interview situations, creates an immersive environment, and offers specific feedback to prepare candidates for success in actual interviews.
“A data-driven approach is becoming an absolute necessity in today’s cutthroat employment environment,” remarks Sethi. “It helps you find the right job and enables you to confidently chart a course for your professional future. By keeping PM professionals updated with market trends, salary benchmarks, and in-demand skills, we enable them to adapt their learning and career plans to meet the industry’s ever-evolving demands.”
The use of AI reimagines job search platforms and transforms the job search experience for candidates. Highly relevant job listings, personalized career advice, and immersive interview coaching have quickly made ProsperCircle the go-to platform for job seekers looking to advance their PM careers.
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