Looking for a job? In addition to encountering those annoying never-ending job interviews you may find yourself face-to-face with an artificial intelligence bot.
Companies worldwide increasingly use artificial intelligence tools and analytics in employment decision-making – from parsing through resumes and screening candidates to automated assessments and digital interviews. But recent studies claim that AI does more harm than good.
While AI screening tools were developed to save companies time and money, they’ve been criticized for placing women and people of color at a disadvantage. The problem is that many companies lack appreciable diversity in their data set, making it impossible for an algorithm to know how people from underrepresented groups have performed in the past. As a result, the algorithm will be biased toward the data available and compare future candidates to that archetype.
The City’s Automated Employment Decision Tools (AEDT) law is designed to offset the potential misuse of AI and protect job candidates against discrimination. It was enforced on July 5th, 2023 in New York City - with other cities and states expected to gradually follow suit. Employers must now inform applicants when and how they encounter AI. Furthermore, companies have to commission a third-party audit of the AI software used, and publish a summary of the results to prove that their systems aren’t racist or sexist. Job applicants are able to request information regarding what data is collected and analyzed by the AI. Violations of the law can result in fines of up to $1,500.
Replacing Human Hiring Decisions
However, should a job applicant want to opt-out of such impersonal judgement by a bot, the new law's scope is quite limited.
While the law specifies that instructions for requesting an alternative selection process must be included in the AI screening disclosure, companies aren't actually required to use other screening methods. Not to mention that the law only applies to AI in hiring and not any other employment decisions. It also wouldn't apply if the AI, for example, flags candidates with relevant experience, but a human then reviews all applications, making the ultimate hiring decision.
Some civil rights advocates and public interest groups argue that the law isn’t extensive enough and that it’s even unenforceable. On the other hand, businesses say that it’s impractical, costly, and burdensome, and that independent audits aren’t feasible.
Responsible use of AI in hiring
Although this law may be a good first attempt to assign more regulatory guardrails around AI, it remains to be seen if it ensures the responsible use of AI in hiring processes. At the end of the day, perhaps recruiting talent should remain a human-made decision.
The good news is that AI can help companies without harming potential job candidates in many ways – such as connecting new employees with internal organizational information and company benefits during onboarding. Or helping employees to do their jobs more effectively rather than replacing them.
Every time I leave the house, I manage to spend more money than I expected.
I’ve tried leaving my credit cards at home, only to succumb to using Apple Pay to give myself a sweet little treat. I take a different route on my Hot Girl Walks to avoid Starbucks, then stumble upon a new neighborhood shop filled with snacks or trinkets. And even when I have to do horrid things like going to the dentist, I somehow just have to peek into Target (and leave with bags and bags of clothing), or I reward myself for that grueling session in the dreaded dental chair with lunch (mouth still numb …).
Summer is the most treacherous season of all because I’m constantly out-and-about. And while my spending habits in general have gotten better due to intense tracking — no more late-night Instagram-inspired, impromptu shopping sprees is a gigantic win — it’s the little purchases that all seem to add up.
To balance out those teeny treats, I plan on spending less when I intend to go out. Since I’m not willing to relinquish all my happy little spending moments, I compromise by skipping those huge splurges that don’t yield huge rewards. I’m talking nights out where I barely remember anything but those $20 cocktails.
This is my golden rule for smart savings: cut out the things you can live without and keep the things that matter.
My priorities are as follows: planning for future travel, keeping up my summer skincare, and not losing out on my daily dopamine spend. All else must fit into my budget. But that doesn’t necessarily those items have to be boring.
Summer is chock-full of thrilling adventures that suit any budget. There are activities for everyone with every interest every day of the week — you just have to be creative and know where to find them.
Here are the summer activities I’ve added to my calendar that save money without sacrificing on fun:
Picnics and Potlucks
I’ve already had a fair share of picnics this summer, and I anticipate plenty more. Picnics are the ideal summertime entertainment. The potluck aspect inspires me to cook for my friends (or repurpose my leftovers). It’s a completely low-stress opportunity to see my friends in one fell swoop without springing for a costly dinner. Simply text your chums, lay out a blanket, and drop a pin — magic!
A city isn’t a legit city without free summer concerts. Usually held in public parks, they’re a fantastic nighttime outdoor activity. Find out where these hidden gems are, plan ahead, and be sure to nab fabulous seats for a free show!
Art! Get some culture!
Warning: Museums can be pricey. But luckily, most museums host a few free nights a month. Check the summer calendar and enjoy the art. There are also wonderful events when you can meet others who are intrigued with arts and culture.
Another way to get in some free art is to do a gallery-opening crawl. There’s generally wine and snacks gratis, plus bustling crowds of lovely people.
Get your steps in
My solo Hot Girl Walks are some of my favorite activities, but taking a stroll or a hike with my friends has become a treasured hobby. Whether we’re just strolling aimlessly around the city, or hiking a local trail, it’s a marvelous way to chat with your friends without shouting over a club’s super loud sound system.
Looking for a new job? More and more companies are asking candidates to endure unending interview rounds. But what is the limit? Can too many rounds drive candidates away?
Back in the Before Times – ie: pre-pandemic – job seekers went through one to three interviews until a hiring decision was made, which is totally reasonable. But in recent years, an outrageous number of interview rounds has become the norm. Sometimes recruiters reach such an absurd number that they even drive candidates away.
Our editors have heard stories that leave us speechless:
A woman went through 29 – YES, 29 – 30-minute interviews for a senior director position. She met multiple employees, including the CEO, President, and COO. Two of her references were called, and both gave her stellar reviews. In the end, the company went with a different candidate.
This scenario describes a familiar story:
A person was interviewing for their job and had to go through six separate 30-minute Zoom sessions with each person on the company’s main team. For some reason, the sessions couldn’t be scheduled on the same day. Instead, they expected the candidate to be available every day over the course of a week. On top of that, they required five references who each had to fill out a 15-question questionnaire.
Most job seekers are simultaneously interviewing with multiple companies, meaning they have to juggle overlapping interview processes. With each of them demanding a ridiculous number of steps, this eats up valuable personal time. Let’s face it, not many of us can run an effective job search while doing our actual job.
And it isn’t merely the interviews. The amount of effort required simply to be considered for the interview stage is just as ridiculous:
A basic mid-level role position asked for an initial hour-long video interview, then an assignment that takes approximately 5 hours to complete with a deadline of a week later. This was followed by yet another interview and another assignment due a week after that. But wait, there’s more! A panel interview and an hour-long executive director meeting were held. And after that came another interview with the hiring manager.
There’s a fine line between what’s appropriate and what’s inappropriate. While it might make sense to ask for a presentation regarding a candidate’s vision for an executive-level position, it’s totally over-the-top for a company to expect a full-blown marketing campaign.
This feels like companies are using the interview process to get free work, or even strategies for new initiatives from their job candidates.
Is it the remote work that paved the way for an application process that’s exhausting and, frankly, exploitative. Or, are companies competing against each other to be considered the most elite workplaces?
Perhaps the most straightforward answer as to why companies make the hiring process so difficult is simply because they can.
Hire or risk losing top candidates
Exceptional candidates only transition to the job market for a brief time. Therefore, companies must nail down their recruitment process and be completely transparent about the process from day one. This way, companies can avoid negatively impacting a candidate’s interest in a role, and possibly driving them away due to a lengthy, grueling, confusing process.
62% of US professionals say they’ll walk away if they don’t hear back from the company within 10 business days of an initial interview – this from global staffing firm Robert Half. Also, most job seekers aren’t willing to go beyond 4interview rounds.
Fact is, overly complicated hiring processes forces quality candidates to go elsewhere… and righteously so. It’s tough to make up for an enormous amount of personal time lost. Not to mention how painful it is to give away ideas and your work for free.
I’m soooo good at saving money in the winter … because I don’t do anything or go anywhere. When it’s cold — and heaven forbid raining or snowing! — I am a master of staying home, cooking cozy soups at home, and watching the number in my savings accounts grow.
But when the sun comes out, the days get longer, and my seasonal depression fades, I emerge from my cocoon of comfort and conscientious spending and throw money at everything. Suddenly, my coffees at home are replaced by Hot Girl Walks to get fancy (read: expensive) iced lattes. My weekends are filled with activities and adventures that all cost money. And it seems like just stepping outside to enjoy the sun turns into a money-draining venture.
A month into summer I always get a shock when I finally look at my bank account. How could I have hemorrhaged so much money?
Talking to my friends, it turns out we all experience the same phenomenon. On the one hand, this helped melt away some of the guilt and shame at my spending habits. Instead of feeling anxious and paralyzed about my spending, talking it out made me realize my summer spending is normal. Then, relieved of the burden of that self-flagellation, I was able to actually address it.
The key part of taking control of your finances: not feeling bad about your spending. You’re an adult. You can make decisions. The trick is making sure your decisions are aligned with your overall goals, not just forgettable whims that come at the expense of your goals.
In conversations with my friends, we realized we all like spending money in the summer. Summer activities don’t feel right without a beverage, and getting together with friends outdoors is important to us.
But there has to be a way to enjoy some money without draining your bank accounts.
After a combination of reflection and research, I’ve come to the conclusion that saving money in the summer doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, by being more intentional about your money, you can actually end up being more intentional about your time — and having a better summer than ever.
How to save money in the summerPhoto by Eric Nopanen on Unsplash
Sounds too good to be true? It’s not. The secret is getting clear on your values and spending your money only on your very top-tier experiences, then saving the rest of your money instead of throwing it away mindlessly. Here’s how:
Get super clear on what you actually want to spend your money on
A good summer looks different for everyone. You could dream of festivals every weekend, an Italian vacation, or days in the backyard with your friends.
Get really specific on how you want to spend your summer. What do you want to do? Who do you want to see? Make a vision board to really get clear on your dream summer — and feel free to dream big. Then, ask yourself how much the big things cost. That festival ticket or round-trip flight to Europe has a sticker price. Once you know what it is, you can start saving for it.
Pay yourself first
Take the pain out of saving by automating your savings. If you know how much money you need for your big expenses, split that into weekly or bi-weekly “payments” you make to yourself and automate them into a savings account. This way, you don’t have to manually take the money out of your checking account. Save yourself the pain by setting and forgetting your savings.
Triage your priorities to see what you can save money on
As you work towards your big goals, you don’t have to give up on everything to fund your big-ticket items. Triage your common money-spending habits into three categories: your must-haves, your like-to haves, and then the things you don’t need.
While you automate your big savings goals, enjoy your “like-to haves” and give up on the mindless spending that doesn’t matter to you.
For example, let’s say you really love your summer beverages — from your coffee walks to your rooftop cocktails. Conventional finance wisdom might tell you to skip out on that little luxury. However, if they really make a difference in your mood, keep them and triage something else.
For me, summer means spending way more on eating out — so I try to make my home grocery budget stretch as much as possible. I also shop less in the summer — my uniform of a tank and jeans hasn’t served me wrong so far. While in the colder months, dressing up helps motivate me to go out, in the summer, I don’t need extra motivation. I throw on my simplest fits and go out into the world. Instead of buying a new hoodie, I put that money towards my summer fund.
Take advantage of sales
Whatever you do buy, try to buy on sale. Summer is full of holidays and sales where you can get great deals on things you were going to buy anyway. Don’t get suckered into buying things you don’t need. Take advantage of everything from Memorial Day to Independence Day to get great deals on necessities.
Get creative about summer activities
Okay, what if you’re in the midst of summer and looking for a way to drastically cut down your spending? Start brainstorming new and creative. I often find myself looking for things to do with friends and spending absurd amounts on cover charges at bars or bottomless brunch.
While a night out and a morning of mimosas are fun every once in a while, they can easily become the default activities — which is a sure way to watch your savings plummet. Get creative with group gatherings. Have a picnic. Host a dinner party. Go to a gallery opening (they always have free wine — score!). Find free events in your city. With a little research, you can step out of your comfort zone and end up having a blast.
Track your spending
Stay with me here. It may sound boring, but one of the best ways to prevent that feeling of dread when you check your bank account … is to know what you’re in for. By regularly checking on your spending, you can make small adjustments to your habits before they derail and drain your bank account.
And it doesn’t have to be complicated! We live in the digital age! Many new apps do all the work for you — just connect your accounts, and it will tell you exactly what you’re spending. By facing your money head-on, you can actually do something about it. And set yourself up for a fun — and financially secure — summer.
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