AI-driven software helps do initial candidate sorting, but there are reservations.

February 28, 2019

7 Min Read

By Joe Dysart

While the wonders of artificial intelligence are often hyped beyond recognition, AI-powered recruitment software is actually offering real advantages to telecom businesses.

“We have successfully optimized our recruitment advertising for both source effectiveness and cost control through deployment of AI tools, and will continue to expand AI further into our recruitment processes as the technology matures,” says Kathy Flynn, VP of talent acquisition at CenturyLink.


CenturyLink’s Kathy Flynn

“There is an extraordinary opportunity for AI-driven software to completely transform recruitment processes,” Flynn adds. “Particularly in accelerating the candidate funnel, enhancing the candidate experience, identifying qualified candidates with diverse backgrounds and experiences and reducing recruiters’ administrative tasks.”

VMware is another early adopter.

“We have proactively engaged in this space for roughly four years, thanks to the formation of our recruiting automation and delivery team,” says Brendan Rogers, program manager for recruiting automation and delivery at VMware. “We have developed our own machine learning algorithms to increase efficiencies of internal processes within Talent Acquisition.”

In terms of specific applications, recruiters are using AI to automatically crawl the Web for the kind of job candidates they want, auto-interview them via text chat or video on-the-spot and then auto-schedule the most promising candidates for follow-up interviews by the person who does the hiring.

Other apps automatically riffle through resumes submitted at a company Web site for candidates with the exact qualifications the company wants.

And still others design neuroscience games that job candidates can play, which glean the people who best exhibit the traits, skills and characteristics you’re looking for.


Genesys’ Daniel Phelps

Even so, despite a real optimism among some telecom firms for the kind of future AI recruiting solutions will bring to the industry, other telecom firms are lukewarm about the tech. “There is no silver bullet to evaluating and selecting candidates.” says Daniel Phelps, VP of global talent acquisition at Genesys. “I fear too many managers are looking for an easy way out by adopting AI. Perhaps one day we will get there — though I do not think it is wise to take the hands-on human element away any time soon.”

Adds Tom Phelps, president of HPA Consulting Group: “It started out as companies scanning resumes for certain key words. Now the algorithms are getting more sophisticated. We are OK with using some of these tools when the number of resumes is significant to get them down to a manageable amount.”

But Phelps adds he’s concerned that some candidates familiar with the way AI systems work may figure out how to game the solutions. “The risk is always there that someone is designing a system that (unfairly) gets your resume to the top of the list.”

For those who’ve decided to embrace AI recruiting, the technology has arrived at an opportune time. Unemployment is at an historic low — 4 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (PDF), generally making employment a job seeker’s market.

No wonder, then, that on balance, the tech has become wildly popular. According to a 2018 survey by business consulting firm Korn Ferry, 63 percent of HR pros say AI has already changed the way they recruit. And 69 percent say that AI has helped them …

… source better candidates.

AI Software Recruiting Options

Given AI’s potential, you’ll want to check out a representative sampling of what you can do with AI recruiting software:

  • Robot Vera: A chatbot recruiter, Robot Vera can be embedded on your Web site to instantly interview people who submit resumes or apply for a job with your company in similar ways. Core to the application is a self-learning neural network, which was initially trained to chat with people by reading Wikipedia, ‘watching’ TV shows and studying countless help wanted ads and job interview questions. Moreover, each time Robot Vera interacts with a person, it’s programmed to learn from that experience and be smarter chatting with the next person. The software can also automatically scan resumes on job sites, phone candidates with the right qualifications and propose an interview on-the-spot. Also, Robot Vera is relentless: It can make up to 10,000 phone calls simultaneously.

  • VCV AI: Similar to Robot Vera, VCV can screen hundreds of thousands of resumes to find the kind of staff you’re looking for, and then reach out to prospective clients, offering either an online chat or phone call as an interview format. Like Robot Vera, it can make hundreds of calls per minute. And it uses voice recognition technology to ‘talk’ with job candidates and fill them in on details about your job opening. The system can also be programmed to use facial recognition — combined with predictive analytics — to screen for the personal characteristics you’re looking for in an employee. Videos of select interviews can then be sent to whoever’s doing the hiring at your company for final review and action.

  • Mya: Similar to VCV AI and Robot Vera, Mya chats-up people applying for jobs at your company, as well as passive hires who look like good prospects. After screening and qualifying, Mya sends its picks to your company’s Applicant Tracking System, along with a transcript of its interviews with the promising candidates it has found.

  • Entolo: The key component of Entolo’s software is an AI-driven Web crawler, which looks into every nook and cranny of the Web — including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter — to find candidates that match the kind of people you’re looking for. It also automatically sorts, analyzes and ranks a person’s eligibility for an open position across several attributes, including job title, work history, skills, likeliness to leave, their current role and more. Promising candidates are also directly contacted by Entolo — either automatically or on a schedule designed by the person doing your hiring. And its follow-up messaging helps ensure you stay in contact with your most promising prospects.

  • Google Hire: Already a popular recruiting program, Google Hire recently got an AI upgrade that helps eliminate many of the repetitive tasks associated with the hiring process. Google Hire’s AI, for example, can be programmed to highlight the skills you’re looking for in resumes submitted to your company. It can also help automatically schedule interviews with promising candidates.

  • ZipRecruiter: One of the largest online employment marketplaces in the U.S., ZipRecruiter offers an AI component that can be used to surface the most promising candidates on its board. The feature works by studying how employers rate the people applying for work on ZipRecruiter. Generally, people who apply for any and all jobs on the jobs board are very likely to get a ‘thumbs down’ rating from the employers who use the service, given that it’s unlikely candidates can be qualified for every position. Next, candidates who get a ‘thumbs up’ from employers using the board are analyzed for the traits, skills and characteristics they exhibit — insights that ZipRecruiter uses to recommend candidates with a similar profile.

  • Pymetrics: Pymetrics is a specialized AI HR tool that enables you to assess the character and skills of prospective employees via games it furnishes candidates to play. Pymetrics designs those games by inviting your existing, most successful employees to play its neuroscience games, and then gleaning data on their traits and strengths, based on the way those employees play those games. Subsequently, Pymetrics uses that data to judge potential hires who play the same games, looking for people who have the same traits and characteristics of the successful people already working at your company.

  • Arya: Arya takes a similar approach to AI hiring by studying the traits, skills and characteristics of employees you consider to be the most successful and then crawls the Web for job candidates with similar profiles. The program also gets smarter over time about the people you’re looking for by studying the performance of your existing employees based on their performance reviews, the speed at which they’re promoted and the length of time they stay at your company.

Joe Dysart is an Internet speaker and business consultant based in Manhattan. Email: [email protected].

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