AI instead of HR: hype or new recruiting opportunities?


    Increasingly, there is news on the Internet that artificial intelligence has found employees for a bank or store. However, the technical details of such projects are hardly covered.

    Robohunter decided to fix it and talked with the developers of robot recruiters, as well as client companies. And, it seems, as a result, we still found the answer to the question: is this really a new effective recruiting tool or just a hype topic?

    Perhaps the most famous service on the Russian market for the automation of recruiting is provided by Stafory.Her robot, Vera, selects suitable candidates on five recruiting sites, including HeadHunter and Superjob, and then calls people. Among the company's customers are M.Video, X5 Retail Group (which includes the Pyaterochka chain of stores, among others), Alfa-Bank, and Econika.

    Faith is primarily used for the initial selection of interested candidates: the robot calls people whose resume is in the sample, tells them about the vacancy and finds out whether the candidate is interested in continuing communication. It is enough for a person to give an answer “yes” or “no”, although Vera recognizes not only these words, but also more complex reactions, for example, “ready”, “agree”, “interesting”, “aha” and “yeah”. A robot can make a thousand calls at once.

    As Alexander Uraksin, co-founder and commercial director of Stafory, explained to us, the program can work in several scenarios. In one of them, the conversation of the robot with the candidate ends with communication with the recruiter, that is, in the same call you can be switched to an HR specialist. In another, where the base is being developed, the candidate is promised a call back. The employer's response, as a rule, arrives on the same day: the customer receives the relevant information instantly, the further depends on the smooth functioning of the company's recruiting department.

    The service is based on machine learning technology, speech recognition and synthesis.“We use a number of already trained networks,” says Alexander Uraksin, “Google Cloud Speech, Yandex SpeechKit, Amazon and Microsoft technologies. We combine them in a specific order for maximum performance. ”

    The program has two male voices and three female voices. In addition, the customer can adjust the emotional coloring and speed of speech.

    In addition to regular calls, Vera can conduct a video interview with the candidate. Alexander explains: “The candidate sees a three-dimensional image of the robot - she asks the candidate questions predetermined by the customer. At the exit, the customer receives a video with the candidate’s answers. But not in all cases a video interview is really necessary: ​​it is justified when you need to evaluate the communicative skills of the candidate - for example, when selecting sales representatives or consultants of bank branches. ”

    Now the company is improving the technology of recognition of natural speech. The purpose of this is to make Vera smarter so that she can maintain dialogue and answer questions from candidates. As noted by Alexander, this small evolutionary step is technically difficult, but now the work is already nearing completion.

    Unlike Stafory, Skillaz's service relies on a video interview with a candidate. Among her clients are Otkritie Bank, a chain of stores Azbuka Vkusa and VimpelCom.

    The company refused to answer our questions - but here's what you can learn from open sources. Search for a resume can take place in the usual way, with the participation of a person, or you can entrust this to artificial intelligence. The system looks through resumes on Avito, HeadHunter and Superjob, profiles on social networks, and then sends candidates a unique link to a video interview. His system runs automatically, with the inclusion of questions selected by the employer. Skillaz sends the received record to the HR specialist, after giving her a high or low rating. It is not clear by what criteria the assessment is conducted.

    In an interview with Inc. Skillaz CEO Andrei Krylov said: “First of all, our service closes mass vacancies - for example, sellers. But there are also projects for point selection. We had a case when a recruiter said that the vacancy is piece-by-piece (we cannot open a position under an agreement with a client) and there are only seven candidates for the whole country. But our system in a week in Moscow alone found 50 interested people who were simply out of sight of recruitment agencies. ”

    In addition to evaluation, the system can independently conduct the initial selection: “Our platform evaluates the candidate herself. She automatically offers him to pass the test task, evaluates it according to a number of criteria, and then invites (or does not invite) for an interview with a recruiter. "

    Chatbots also offer effective candidate search solutions. In the simplest case, they send candidates a series of questions to find out their interest in the vacancy, and then they ask them to leave their contacts so that they can be called by an HR specialist of the company.

    One of the first Telegram bots for staff recruitment was created by the Superjob portal specifically for the Svyaznoy company. During an hour of work, he was able to conduct 2000 interviews, and 600 applicants left their contacts. Another similar Telegram bot is Skillange.

    More features are offered by XORBOT. In Russia and the CIS, an exclusive partner of XOR Inc. became HeadHunter, and the X5 Retail Group uses the chatbot services on an ongoing basis.

    Based on this technology, HeadHunter launched the HH Robot family of employer chatbots. For example, the chat-bot “Lead Generation” allows you to attract new candidates from different sources and conduct their initial selection thanks to the scoring system. A branded chat bot “Hiring Button” talks about working in a particular company, conditions and prospects, and also selects vacancies.

    As the HeadHunter press service explained, chatbots of the HH Robot family work with candidates in Viber, Telegram, Facebook, Slack or the browser window. You can add other channels at the request of the client.

    “One of the schemes of work is as follows: a potential candidate sees information about work somewhere on the Internet, social networks or a work site. Clicks and gets to the chat bot. Advertising is placed on job search sites, in social networks, as well as in mailing lists and Viber.

    Another scenario: when a job seeker targeted to a potential employer receives a job offer and, in order to speed up the selection process, he is invited to pre-screen a chatbot. ”

    To search for a candidate, the chat bot allows you to apply filters indicating citizenship, city of residence, work experience, length of service, team management experience, etc.: “When a candidate communicates with a bot, his answers are checked against the filters set by the employer. With full compliance on all issues, the candidate is assigned a “speed” of 100 points. The client can only work with those candidates who are 100% suitable for him - this significantly saves time for mass hiring projects. ”

    As noted in HeadHunter, “the chatbot is able to correspond, ask audio and video questions, and also receive answers both in writing and in audio or video format. You can configure a mixed scenario. Our customers are already using chatbots for video interviews. ”

    And now it's time to look at the situation from the other side: ask the company how satisfied they are with the services of these services and chat bots, whether they managed to achieve the planned results, and also learn about further plans for the automation of recruiting.

    Press office of M.Video:

    M.Video is constantly testing new technologies and startup development to increase operational efficiency. It is advisable to test new solutions on complex and voluminous tasks, such as mass recruitment. It was under such a project that we attracted the Vera robot recruiter. In early 2017, M.Video launched a completely new format of consumer lending for the market - instead of bank employees who work only with their products, our loan experts work with the offers of all partner banks. This project required the closure of more than 1000 vacancies of loan officers in a short time and with a wide geography.

    For several months, Vera robot selected a resume based on keywords, geography, age, experience and the desired position of the applicant. Then she phoned suitable candidates, talked about the position and received feedback. HR specialists connected at the stage of an invitation to an interview and, most importantly, they worked already with “warm” contacts. Vera showed a high speed of processing resumes and ringing candidates, as well as a high level of conversion compared to similar services, which significantly saved time and resources.

    We were satisfied with the results of the pilot project and plan to involve the Vera robot in the framework of standard selection procedures.

    Press Service of the Alphabet of Taste:

    We collaborated with Skillaz for a specific task in attracting rare specialists. A funnel of candidates with reasonably relevant experience was provided. Of interest is if there is a need to see what the candidate looks like and how he communicates.

    X5 Retail Group press service:

    Pyaterochka is developing very quickly and immediately in many regions, so every month it is necessary to hire up to 15 thousand new employees who will work in new stores. Most of them are cashier sellers. Robotic search of candidates and initial “cold” calls to future cashier sellers - the work of Pyaterochka robots. 

    In partnership with IBS, the company launched a HR digitalization project, one of the parts of which is the automation of the HR department's routine work. So, in April 2017, Pyaterochka decided to test technologies for robotic search for workers. The testing of the Vera robot, which knows how to call people and recognize speech, as well as the XOR chatbot, which contacts the candidates after hours, has begun. For example, if a person calls the HR department after hours, and the employee cannot answer him, after the call he is contacted via a messenger or SMS chatbot and offers a job. A text bot can also schedule an appointment with an HR employee. 

    In August, the pilot [with Faith - approx. Ed.] completed successfully. Vera phoned about 30 thousand people, of which nearly 2 thousand candidates (6.7%) agreed to the selection of vacancies. As a result, Vera employed 55 people (≈0.2%). For 4 months, the chatbot talked with more than 31.5 thousand candidates, of which more than 3.1 thousand people (10%) selected vacancies.

    As for future prospects, the Vera robot will be used in particularly difficult regions: for example, in coastal cities in the summer, when there are not enough applicants. XOR chatbot is implemented and continues to work as a service function for job seekers. 
    What is the result? HR specialists can breathe out: in the coming years, robots will definitely not take their work. Nevertheless, new services with elements of artificial intelligence can now save recruiters from routine work and in a short time to find many suitable candidates for the vacancy. Which is also quite good.

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