When you go to LinkedIn and apply for that job, little do you know that the hiring and recruitment process is based almost entirely on artificial intelligence (A.I.) and algorithms designed to search through your application, cover letter, and resume for key words that match up to the job requirements.
Last year was the year of reckoning for recruiters, as staffing agencies have begun to explore the power and potential A.I. brings to the job-recruitment sector.
The Shortcomings of Traditional Hiring
Companies across the globe are looking to revamp their hiring efforts to fill both temporary and full-time positions. According to a 2018 survey, 44% of businesses were looking to hire full-time employees and 51% were planning to hire temporary employees.
But, the catch-22 here, according to HR managers, is that 45 percent of managers are not able to fill those positions because “they can’t find qualified talent.”
So, why are recruiters facing such challenges? Understanding the weaknesses, the employment sector faces is crucial:
#2—Candidate-Driven Recruitment Market
#3—Negative Employer Branding
What Can Be Done?
In today’s digital age, moving away from the traditional hiring process which keeps the doors open for human bias and discrimination, is the next step in what we call “smart” hiring. This requires employers to practice “diversity” while recruiting their candidates
Traditional interviews are not the most effective ways to assess candidates. Where traditional interviews fail is primarily in the assessment of a candidate’s skills. Subsequently, identifying and understanding a candidate’s weakness based off the type of questions asked follows immediately after.
Of course, the bias of the interviewers as well as the length of the hiring process add to its shortcomings.
So, how can using A.I. technology help clean up the recruitment process, without replacing the human talent?
GritDaily spoke with Arik Akverdian, the founder and CEO of VCV.AI, a San Francisco-based start-up that solely recruits using A.I. Akverdian, who has over 15 years of experience in the recruitment industry, previously spent his time working at Adecco, a Fortune Global 500 company, the largest temp staffing firm in the world, and SGS, the world leader in inspection, verification, testing, and certification services.
Introducing VCV, the Future of A.I. Recruitment
VCV aims to remove human bias from its hiring process, making it fairer and more efficient for all parties involved. Its cutting-edge A.I. technology has already been used by blue-chip companies, including, but not limited to PWC, L’Oréal, Danone, Mars, Schlumberger, and Citibank for the purposes of preliminary screening candidates, automating screen calls, and conducting video interviews with voice recognition and video recording.
VCV recently announced that it has raised approximately $1.7 million from Japanese venture capitalist, Will Group, Talent Equity Ventures, 500 startups and angel investors, including Masahiro Takeshima, the product manager of Indeed.com.
GritDaily: How can A.I. help transform the employment sector?
Arik Akverdian: Technology has transformed so many industries and workflows, yet far too often, hiring remains behind the curve. In my decade working in human resources, I’ve seen firsthand, not just the challenges of hiring, but how outdated and inefficient the process often is.
But, A.I. can improve and streamline the hiring process, while also helping to remove corrosive biases that all us humans have. There’s no reason technological innovation shouldn’t transform this area of business—especially considering human talent is an organization’s most important asset.
GD: Why is recruiting through A.I. so important for employers today?
AA: It’s hard for people to avoid biases in the hiring process. Sometimes it can be a far too subjective exercise. AI can address many different factors and help organizations overcome unconscious biases in hiring, thus increasing diversity. The world is becoming a more diverse place. And companies that don’t hire employees accordingly will lose out on crucial talent for generations to come.
GD: What factor do you think contributes the most to the difficulties associated with traditional recruitment?
AA: It takes a lot of time and effort to select the right person through one-on-one interviews. A machine is faster and more efficient: what a person can do in 21 hours, a robot can do in 45 minutes. A human dimension is always there: based on HR’s experience he/she might miss several factors that might play an important role in selecting the right person for the company.
GD: You recently announced the $1.7 million you received from investors, most notably, Masahiro Takeshima, of Indeed.com. How will this investment help VCV continue to demonstrate the power of A.I. recruitment?
AA: Masahiro has considerable experience in business development: he has created a successful business from scratch, and expanded to become a significant player in Japan. We’re very interested in his expertise in the area of online HR services in Japan. Our mission is to make the hiring process faster and more convenient for everyone: both for the recruiters and candidates. So we decided to develop an AI-powered technology to achieve that.
GD: How does VCV utilize its technology with respect to interviewing candidates?
AA: Through VCV, potential candidates are able to record a video using a computer, smartphone, or tablet on either iOS or Android. This functions similar to a real-time interview, as candidates don’t have the ability to prepare questions in advance. Here, the process is much faster and more streamlined.
Our face and voice recognition technology helps to identify candidates’ nervousness, mood, and behavior patterns which help recruiters assess whether a person makes a good cultural fit for the company. While this doesn’t replace the job of an actual recruiter, this technology helps enhance their toolset so they are able to find and screen a greater number of candidates, more efficiently.
GD: What statistics or information from ACTUAL CASE USAGE can you provide to us? The more examples, the better.
AA: We have helped Unilever cut the time needed to select interns in half. With L’Oreal we reduced the time needed to select potential interns by 7 times. With Danone we implemented a chatbot that collects feedback from potential candidates. The average response rate was about 15-20%. We are very pleased with the results given most people are still afraid of chatbots.
“We couldn’t be more excited to back VCV in the next phase of their growth,” Ryo Sakamoto, Investment Executive Officer of Will Group, said.
“Research shows around a quarter of Americans change jobs each year—which helps explain why the global recruitment market was valued at $215.68 billion in 2017 and is predicted to continue growing rapidly. VCV is particularly well-positioned to improve and transform this booming market with its bots, algorithms, machine learning, and other cutting-edge solutions—all offered at a flexible price and through a collaborative platform.”