Is Video Screening the Next Big Thing in HR Tech?

Is Video Screening the Next Big Thing in HR Tech?

The guest blog post by Optimize.
Video Screening
An image from Dean Drobot’s portfolio on Shutterstock

As many companies know, it’s costly to bring candidates to interview, costly in time, and for the candidates themselves to travel to your location; as a result, all efforts should be made to reduce those costs for all involved. If your recruiters or HR managers have to spend hours on the phone conducting phone screening interviews, or worse, have to chase phone calls and emails, that costs money too. There has to be a better way right?

Video Screening is a relatively new process and has been used to successful effect by several companies. 50% of companies who have implemented it have said it has improved their cost to hire significantly.

Screening process through the ages

Gone are the days of walking in an office door, chatting with the manager, and landing the job. In the past, there wasn’t a great deal of need to “screen” candidates as there weren’t such a high volume of applicants per role. There wasn’t as much social mobility so jobs were much more predetermined, and competitiveness – to a small degree – was decreased. Besides, roles themselves were different, so if someone had an accounting degree and you were hiring an accountant, and their references checked out, you were good to go. It was very likely if you had a degree in a certain subject you’d get a job in that area. Now it’s not so simple.

Presently, the job market is much more open and changes of career are commonplace. With a higher volume of (on paper) qualified applicants with secondary and tertiary skills, it means most graduates can quickly train in a wide range of surface level roles rather than an immediate specialism – and their initial skills are less important than how they can learn, think, and grow with a company.

This now dynamic workforce has increased applications to city centre roles and larger corporations. The modern candidate has a wider range of skills on offer and the ability to apply online at many different companies with ease. To deal with higher volumes, and simply to narrow down the candidate pool, an effective screening process becomes necessary. Companies may have dozens, even hundreds of qualified applicants to a role, so how does each candidate distinguish him- or herself from another?

To keep up with demand, companies implemented processes such as phone screening interviews, email exchanges, and informal face to face chats. But these techniques are limited in their effectiveness to see the ‘real’ person – and they are very time consuming. These past processes – chats, phone calls, and so forth – certainly have the benefit of being personable, but when your company hires in large volumes, it no longer has the time. It’s also impossible for larger businesses (high street retailers, for example) or someone like the Post Office to hire for busy, seasonal work – like at Christmas – where they can typically expect to receive thousands of applications, and need to turn the process around in weeks (if they even have that long). Centralisation of the recruitment process – having a set process, quality control, and set standards predetermined for each role – allows a head office to have visibility in the managing of high-volume applications.

In the past, a warehouse manager might have been the one to hire with vastly differing results, which can cause efficiency and staff turnover problems down the line, whilst also limiting head office’s ability to control the quality of their workforce.

The growing need to screen candidates

Hiring has changed drastically over the years because – in the past – people stayed put. It wasn’t uncommon for people to mark their 20th, 30th, or even 40th anniversary with a company, but as the job market has changed with the need for say more tech jobs than ever, hiring processes have needed to evolve to keep up with demand and time constraints. Today’s worker currently stays in a role for between one and two years. This shorter timeline means your company – through no fault of its own – will inevitably see staff turnover as a part of everyday life, and it will subsequently need to hire more people, more often. Processes, thus, need to keep up.

Video Interview
An image by Optimize

The current landscape of video screening

Video screening is still in its infancy – not in the sense that the technology is primitive, but in that it’s relatively new to the scene and many people might not know about it as an option. Many HR managers and recruitment companies do realise that the way they hire now isn’t efficient enough, but they may not know how to remedy that lack of efficiency.

A Monster study revealed that most recruiters spend over 70,000 minutes on the phone each year. With faster turnovers, does your company really have that time? Think of what you pay your HR manager or recruiter per hour and multiply that number by the number of candidates you usually have to screen for each position. That’s the figure it will cost you only to reach the interview stage, which costs more time and money.

Companies who implement video screening find that it reduces time to discover who they want to bring to interview. They can collaborate as a team on which candidates are most suitable to interview. Candidates are no longer simply reduced to the black and white of their CV paper; they can come alive on screen. Their personalities can shine through, and they can take the time to impress you and your hiring team. It’s like those old days of people walking in your offices for a job, but better – because you can decide in front of them without actually being in front of them (you know, because it’s a video)!

The advantages to screening

Once you’ve combed through CVs and shortlisted you candidates – or narrowed them down through them using software, whichever – then you’ll send them the pre-screening questions. You set the questions, set time limits for the answers, and set a deadline, and send them to your shortlist. Candidates will feel like they’re moving forward in the process from the moment they submit their application, but this step is virtually hands free for your company. Questions can be sent out immediately – or after you’ve verified their CV. Video screening is perfect for high volume, decentralised industries such as seasonal warehouse jobs – but also works especially well for customer facing roles as you’ll quickly determine how a candidate’s personality matches your company’s core values or personal preferences.

If hiring for customer service roles, you’ll want to see how well candidates can handle potentially tricky questions on the spot, and video screening is a perfect opportunity for candidates to showcase their ability to think on their feet. You can ask the applicant a troublesome question like how they’d deal with a customer that would like to return an item without a receipt or how they’d handle logging a complaint about a fellow colleague (who is currently off shift)? Keeping the problems agnostic of your company vertical will test the quick thinking and experience of the application. It’s often more about how the candidate delivers an answer than the answer itself.

The big sell with Video Screening is that you will see candidates before they come in – in animation – not in the social stalk kinda way where you have to check out their LinkedIn or Facebook profile pictures before you phone them! Seeing someone in person and viewing how they hold themselves and interact with the questions you set – even if it’s not physically – can help you gauge their suitability. Some could argue that human bias could sway results based on attractiveness alone, but, again, if you need a front-facing position, and you need someone confident and bubbly you can see that on a video interview, looks aside. Besides, companies will do themselves a disservice only hiring those deemed “attractive,” because – at the end of the day – you want people who are good at what they do and are the most qualified for the job outside of attractiveness level.

That sounds great – but is Video Screening really the future?

As mentioned before, processes are clearly not good enough. Just ask anyone who hires large volumes of staff – it’s tough. Many companies turn to some sort of tech whether it’s computer tests or computerised CV combing, but those processes are imperfect and still fail to show you the ‘real’ person behind the CV. You may have someone who can pass computer tests, or put in keywords in white font on their CV, but they aren’t very good in person; they don’t fit with your office culture, or they aren’t confident enough for a front-of-house role. That’s where video screening helps the process along in an innovative way. Sure, for some roles, you may just need that shy guy or girl who can code really well, and maybe for those applications video screening seems less appropriate, but, either way, if your candidate will be in the office, you need to make sure he or she fits in and works well with others (and has a modicum of confidence).

And, let’s face it, videos are everywhere these days! Video is the fastest way to get people’s attention – that’s why YouTube and those Facebook videos are so popular!

Okay, but what about those people who feel uncomfortable with video screening? Will it put applicants off? Is it too edgy and too new to try out? The truth is it may put some applicants off, sure. It may not appeal to older generations, but most candidates are willing to go through the hiring process no matter what it is. Most people have been to group interviews where you spend time building something out of paper with bits of blue tac and string (or some such exercise that is measuring a metric that has nothing to do with what you can build out of paper with ten strangers). Those people may not love that group activity, but if it’s part of your interview process – and they want the job with your company – they’ll endure the task – not that we’re trying to liken video screening to group interviews. Candidates who apply to large retailers often have to undergo computer testing, and they do that too. The point is that the most motivated candidates will be willing to go through the process of video screening even if it’s a little unusual or different for them. Therefore Video Screening works well as a deterrent to those not wholly invested in the role, again improving the efficiency of your process.

Furthermore, younger candidates will especially love this method because they are far more comfortable using a smartphone, taking a selfie, seeing themselves on screen. Enabling the next generation of skilled workers to apply in a way that suits them is going to put your company one step ahead of the competition in 2017 and beyond. Video screening is here to stay. It’s making processes better, faster, and cost-effective, so it’s best to jump on the video bandwagon before you get left behind.


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Keeping your finger to the pulse: HR’s digital solutions for 2017

Keeping your finger to the pulse: HR’s digital solutions for 2017

Keeping your finger to the pulse: HR’s digital solutions for 2017

It’s quite surprising how many company’s HR departments haven’t yet joined the digital revolution. These companies seem to think that how it was done is fine and has worked perfectly well in the past, so why bother updating anything?

The thing is that often the people in HR feel differently, with 70 to 80% of their time spent on low-value administrative tasks. I feel that’s shameful, particularly as a huge amount of that work can be automatized and digitized. This would allow HR to be massively more productive and play a more strategic role in the company by creating new opportunities, learning methods and more for their companies.

If you agree with me, consider embracing these digital solutions.

Peer to peer recognition

Often a big part of the modern HR department is validating the newer employees, who are in many ways far more demanding than previous generations. That can be taxing for both managers and the HR department to do.

A good solution that has recently come out is Tapmyback. The idea here is to allow people to recognize each other’s work, so that people are no longer looking to management alone to validate what they’re doing.

This will make it far more likely that your employees will receive the recognition they need, while freeing up the HR department to concentrate on offering opportunities for staff to grow and excel.

Non-traditional reviews

Many people do not like to be reviews. And that’s not really that strange, is it? For that reason, OrangeHRM is a good go-to product, as it makes reviewing a far more effective and less stressful affair, where people don’t have to sit in front of their manager but can instead read the process online.

It can, in fact, do far more than that including track time off, help with recruitment and offer training suggestions – which are all very useful services to automate. The good news is that there is a 30 day free trail so that your company can see if it’s suitable.

Resume analyzers

One of the biggest tasks you’ve got to do in the HR department is to manage resumes. Fortunately, that’s gotten a lot easier today with the resume parsers. These will go through piles or resumes, looking for keywords and key skills that you need and discarding the huge pile of useless crap that often comes with it.

In fact, they’ve become such a common occurrence that resume writing services are completely ready for them. And so, you won’t actually miss out on any of the good resumes while cutting down on the time that hiring new personal consumes substantially.

Social media recruiting

Here’s a surprising statistic 73% of 18 to 34 year olds have found their job through social media. That means that if you’re not yet trying to recruit though these platforms, you really are missing out on a huge slice of the younger market out there (and though there is something to be said for experience, diversity is useful too).

For that reason, make certain that you start using services like linkedin to get the word out there that you’re looking. Only in that way can you be sure that you’ll find the right person for the position that you’re looking for.

Online educational resources

Another great new technological wave that every HR department should introduce is the one taking place in online education. For example, there are now dozens of online courses that are available for free or only a little money at such places as EdX.

These offer you a great opportunity to both offer your employees a chance to boost their skill set, while cutting down on costs as well as travel time for them to get those skills.

In fact, some companies have taken to offering employees a certain time during their day or week where they can study these courses, all while never leaving the office. In this way, they can get on with learning without forcing their companies to find ways to work around their absence as they’re still there in case of emergencies.

Last words

In truth, it surprises me that companies would ever think HR isn’t ready for the digital age. There are huge gains to be made in the HR department by coming in to the 21st century. And the great thing is that the more effective your HR department functions, the easier it is for them to help the rest of your company get a head and upgrade their skillset.

And that matters. After all, the modern world is changing ever more rapidly and it’s vital for any company that their workers are changing and improving along with it. Otherwise you might just find that your company’s skillset ends up obsolete.

There really is no recovering from that.

Sylvia Giltner, Blogger, Artist, Student

Technology and art are a big part of my life, and I enjoy integrating them into everything I do. — Sylvia Giltner


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4 Ways Technology Is Changing Recruiting

4 Ways Technology Is Changing Recruiting

VR

Interest in HR tech has never been higher. According to CB Insights, there were over 350 deals and approximately $1.96B invested in HR tech startups in 2016 alone.

Today’s workplaces are being transformed by technology. HR tech specifically is automating and streamlining manual HR practices to become more efficient, cost-effective, and high-performing.

Here are four promising applications of technology that are helping to solve the biggest challenges in recruiting and hiring.

AI for recruiting

Industry statistics estimate 75 percent of resumes received for a role are screened out. This adds up to the hundreds of hours a recruiter wastes reading unqualified resumes per year.

As one of recruiting’s biggest bottlenecks, resume screening is in dire need of better tools to help recruiters manage their time more effectively.

This is why AI for recruiting is the biggest topic in HR tech right now. AI and recruiting are a natural fit because AI requires a lot of data to learn and large companies often have millions of resumes in their ATS.

Recruiting software that uses artificial intelligence can automate the screening process by learning the experience, skills, and qualifications required for the job and then shortlisting, ranking, and grading new candidates who match the requirements (e.g., from A to D).

This type of AI recruiting software can also be used to source candidates from external databases such as Indeed and CareerBuilder or find previous candidates in your existing ATS database by applying the same learning ability to match candidates to an open req.

By automating the manual processes of resume screening and candidate matching, companies who use AI recruiting software have reduced their screening costs by 75%.

Automation for candidate scheduling and outreach

According to SHRM, the average time to fill is 41 days. With LinkedIn reporting hiring volume is up 11% this year but only 26% of recruiting teams growing in headcount, interest in recruitment automation is only getting get stronger.

Today more than ever, finding top talent will depend on a recruiter’s ability to intelligently automate their workflow.

Recruitment automation can enhance a human recruiter’s capabilities in multiple ways. Low hanging fruit include automating your candidate outreach with tools that allow you to auto-email and auto-text interview requests to candidates your screening tool identifies as good matches (e.g., all candidates graded as an A).

These outreach automation tools help recruiters reduce their time to fill by integrating with major email and calendar providers and automatically finding time slots when the candidate and the interviewer are all free to meet.

VR for job testing and training

Another technology getting a lot of attention is Virtual reality (VR). VR is a realistic simulation of a three-dimensional environment that you control with your body movements.

A survey by Universum found that while 3% of people use VR currently, about 30% think that it will transform their workplace in the next ten years.

The most promising applications for VR in HR are candidate testing and training. Employers can use VR technology to create more realistic job tests to assess a candidate’s skills and personality. For example, a realistic simulation that tests a candidate’s social skills and problem solving abilities when dealing with an unhappy customer.

A survey by Korn Ferry found that 39% of employers state new hires leave within their first year because the role was not what they expected. VR could be an intriguing tool to help reduce employee turnover by provide candidates with a more realistic preview of what a day on the job would look like and get a better sense of the company culture.

The same technology can be used during new hires’ onboarding and training process. High-stakes environments such as hospital trauma bays are already employing VR technology to train residents.  

Wearable tech for engagement and productivity

According to Deloitte, one of 2017’s biggest HR trends is employee engagement. To help improve engagement and productivity, employers are starting to use wearable tech that tracks employees’ behaviors to learn more about how they communicate and interact at work.

Wearable tech such as digital employee badges are being used by companies such as as Microsoft and the Boston Consulting Group to track employees’ physical office movements, who they talk to, and the amount of time they spend talking to others.

These types of wearable tech collects data to provide employers insights to help optimize their physical office spaces, understand their employees’ communication styles, and manage team dynamics. The hope is these insights can help managers identify their employees’ needs and re-organize teams for better collaboration.

In the future, wearable tech may be used in the recruiting process to provide insights into a candidate’s personality and emotions during a pre-screen or interview.

About the Author:

Ji-A Min, Head Data Scientist at Ideal

Ji-A Min is the Head Data Scientist at Ideal, software that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automate time-consuming, repetitive tasks and quickly move top candidates through the recruiting funnel.

Ideal’s AI can instantly screen and shortlist new candidates, uncover strong past candidates that are a great fit for a new role, and initiate candidate contact – all within your existing ATS. Learn more at Ideal.com.

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HR's Aversion To AI Will Affect Its Ability To Hire

HR’s Aversion To AI Will Affect Its Ability To Hire

Artificial Intelligence

Successful hiring should be based on evidence based decisions supported by technology and automation but HR remains slow to respond. PwC’s 20th Global CEO Survey found that nearly half (47%) of UK CEOs are failing to address the impact AI and automation will have on their businesses (compared to 31% globally and just 19% in Germany). As 83% of UK CEOs rank access to skills as their number one barrier to business success in the next 12 months, this needs to change.

Why the reluctance to engage?

HR has often demonstrated a wariness of data and more recently automation and AI, exacerbated by recent headlines including:

  • Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance in Japan announced its intention to automate the jobs of over 30 employees, replacing them with IBM’s Watson Explorer. According to the Nomura Research Institute, half of all jobs in Japan could be performed by robots by 2035.
  • A similar scenario was projected in the UK, with the prospect of 15 million jobs being eradicated by AI, shortly after an announcement that outsourcing specialist Capita was replacing 2,000 of its employees with automation.
  • The world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates intends to automate three-quarters of its hiring decisions over the next five years. The company is building a robotic recruitment platform to remove ‘emotional volatility’ from business decision.

How AI and automation empower HR

AI and automation offer a number of benefits for HR:

Talent pipeline : In its simplest form automation identifies issues in your talent pipeline, such as, qualified candidates abandoning a prolonged application process. Algorithms are also used to reveal factors which improve employee engagement and identify leadership potential. This is relevant in a week when a Robert Half survey found that that half of all candidates for management level roles don’t possess leadership skills.

More effective candidate selection : HR has historically relied on standard but limited candidate selection criteria, such as interview performance or an emphasis on technical skills or qualifications but that isn’t sufficient to predict a quality hire. Broader, evidence based HR is needed to support effective candidate selection, which algorithms in your recruitment software offer.

Potential flight risks : Combined with predictive analytics, algorithms can also predict potential flight risks in your organisation. With an expected talent exodus in 2017 understanding why your high achievers leave is critical. Typical ‘prompts’ include birthdays (especially milestones) and work anniversaries but your own recruitment metrics will provide more insight.

Reduction in bias : Automation and AI help to eradicate unconscious bias. This is exemplified by the tendency to hire so-called ‘brogrammers’ across the US’s Silicon Valley, fuelling the image of a male dominated tech culture. Closer scrutiny revealed that the majority attended elite schools and secured their jobs through friends or the tech fraternity. AI start-up Tara.ai aims to change that bias. Tara removes information relating to age, gender, previous employment, education and race to assess candidates based on the quality of their work – analysing and ranking programmers’ code – rather than their personal connections or background. Selecting specific criteria within your applicant tracking software helps to achieve the same results.

Technology needs the human touch

Should HR be wary? Algorithms in the hiring process have been proven to make better hiring decisions than humans but the role of HR, while shifting, is integral to the future of AI.

The following strategies can help to make the vital transition to evaluating the benefits of AI and automation in hiring:

  • Technology is only as effective as the information gathered. Inputting bad data will produce poor quality results. The quality of your data is vital.
  • When posting open jobs, understand the precise skills you need from your new hire. A candidate persona improves recruitment success for either high volume or stand-alone critical positions.
  • Algorithm or AI averse hiring teams can begin with automated recruitment software that streamlines the hiring process and analyses the common patterns revealed in your recruitment metrics. Start by focusing on just one specific area. With qualified candidates in short supply, time to hire is one of the most important metrics your business can measure and allows HR to evaluate the effectiveness of automated recruitment systems.
  • Create a structured interview process supported by online tests during screening to assess cognitive ability, conscientious and leadership.
  • Final decisions on candidate selection should be collaborative and supported by relevant data gathered during the hiring process. The CIPD found that, in organisations that use HR analytics, a quarter of senior leaders are not being given access to HR data to make effective business decisions. Without data, your ability to attract and hire high achievers is restricted.

HR technology should be simple to use, easy to engage with and produce data which informs and drives talent acquisition strategies.

Introducing a ‘kill switch’?

While AI and automation are now unavoidable, justifiable concerns exist over its growing impact on the workplace. In response to these concerns, the European Commission’s Legal Affairs Committee is seeking the creation of a European agency to provide technical, ethnical and regulatory advice on robotics and AI within the EU. Its proposal recommends:

  • A voluntary code of conduct related to AI.
  • A ‘kill switch’ in all AI systems to ensure they can be automatically deactivated in the event of a malfunction.
  • Consideration of a minimum income to compensate people who have been replaced by robots in the workplace.
  • A new status of ‘electronic persons’ for autonomous robots.
  • Reassurance that the use of robots does not engender ‘fear of physical or psychological harm’, while maintaining privacy, human dignity and safety.

HR is a long way from dealing with those issues on a daily basis but employers must begin now to address the impact of AI and automation in the working environment to remain competitive and meet future business goals.


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Don’t Trust Your Gut: 3 Guidelines for Evidence-Based Recruiting

Chess Algorithms

Experience is generally good. Employers love job candidates with impressive track records. But when we on the hiring decision-making side start gaining experience in recruiting, there is a dark side that we need to be aware of if we still want to be effective.

The problem with growing experience in recruiting positions is that you start to gain confidence in your judgement. And that gut feeling about job candidates clouds the decision-making of even the best of us.

The essence of evidence-based recruiting is that you build your recruiting practice on the best available scientific evidence. What is scientific evidence? It is not expert opinions, TED Talks or blog posts. Why not? Because they are opinions without rigorous methodology backing them up. Sure, there is often wisdom in the words of HR influencers, but in order to be effective, basic evidence-based guidelines should be in place.

In the core of evidence-based recruiting should be a hiring algorithm. Algorithm is simply a formula that calculates the score of each of your job candidates. Algorithmic decision-making is simple – you hire the candidate with the highest score. But an algorithm won’t work without variables. It is the recruiter’s responsibility to build the formula – decide what kind of data to gather from the candidates and which factors matter the most. But where to start?

Screening methods – the fairest of them all

I/O psychologists have been studying selection methods with meta-analytic methods for around a 100 years, and there is a clear consensus that General Cognitive Ability (GCA) – also known as General Mental Ability (GMA) or Intelligence Quotient (IQ) – is the most versatile and powerful of the methods commonly in use. Considering how simple-to-use and cheap methods there are available, it is a mystery why these tests are not more widely adopted in practice.

Especially as a screening method, GCA measure is powerful for a couple of reasons. First, for most jobs, the job requirements aren’t set in stone. Especially in startups or companies working in dynamic markets, the contents of employees’ jobs tends to change a lot. GCA is a measure that indicates how well the candidate would be able to learn new things. Second, and related, when the job requirements are complex or new, higher information processing capacity, which is what GCA essentially measures, helps candidates perform better.

Research suggests, that the best predictive validity is achieved when GCA is coupled with other methods that preferably are “MECE” – mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. This means that the other methods used should be strong as well, but they should measure different constructs that GCA tests measure. Famous companies such as Google measure GCA together with other variables – namely, “Googleyness” – that they have internally found predictive for future performance. Some evidence-based factors found in I/O psychology are conscientiousness and integrity, and most companies would actually get better results with these methods than with using classic unstructured job interviews as a go-to method. But I bet that…

You are going to interview anyway, so here is how to do it right

One common mistake that many recruiters make is not structuring their job interviews.

How do you expect to compare the candidates if you ask each of them different questions? And how do you expect to hire actual talent if you let human error come in between? If you use the so called “free talk” method (the losing method) to interview candidates, you are bound to simply get along better with some candidates than with others. If the recruiter was changed, the result would most likely be different too, and this is not a good indicator of the reliableness of the interview.

Structuring interviews takes some work, but it’s principles are fairly simple. Essentially, structured interview is an employment interview where

  1. the same questions are asked of each candidate in the same order
  2. free talk is minimised
  3. the evaluation criteria for each question are determined beforehand

The two best types of questions are behavioral and situational. Behavioral questions ask about candidates’ past performance in order to predict how the candidate is likely to perform in the future. Situational questions present hypothetical situations and ask how the candidate would proceed in a given situation.

The outcome of designing the structured interview should be an “interview booklet”. This guide provides a set of predetermined questions (based on variables you have deemed to be necessary for success in the job), room for note-taking and a guide for evaluation. It should be written in a way that anyone even without recruiting experience would be able to run the interview.

If you want to be really professional, have interviewers write down the answers of each candidate, and let someone else evaluate the answers. This obviously takes time, and you need to make the call whether the added value is worth it.

Decision time? Enter Excel

So. You have built your hiring algorithm (hopefully based on GCA and other reliable variables) and collected data to measure those variables using tests and structured interviews. Now it is time to be humble, and let your new best friend Excel make the decision for you.

When you let an algorithm decide for you, you are going to get an improvement of about 50% in predicting work performance. And the interesting fact is that even the most experienced recruiters with years of experience fail more often than algorithms.

Let’s go one step further than that. Even when there is a group of experts, and when they have more data available than your excel table (the algorithmic decision-maker), their decisions are worse. Why is this and what can you do to improve?

A likely reason, as mentioned, is that these bad choices arise from various psychological biases. We as humans are overly influenced by first impressions, personalities and our own values, among other things. Because hiring decisions are essentially prediction problems – ”which candidate would perform the best in the job?” – we should use statistical algorithms which are tools originally built for prediction problems.

This does not mean that experts are unimportant. They are a great source of insight in building the algorithm in the first place. But it does mean that HR professionals need to be humble and understand their limitations. Hiring managers need to be aware and continuously measure the success factors for each job in their company, but they need to restrain themselves when the decision-time comes.

Evidence-based decision-making is the first step towards next-generation recruiting. Most of the algorithmic methods discussed here are going to be adopted to various HR tech applications in the future, but by knowing the basics, you can already start making better decisions while waiting for Big Data and AI to become mainstream in the industry.

Further reading:

Danieli, O., Hillis, A., & Luca, M. (2016). How to Hire with Algorithms. Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2016/10/how-to-hire-with-algorithms

Kuncel, N. R., Klieger, D. M., Connelly, B. S., & Ones, D. S. (2013). Mechanical versus clinical data combination in selection and admissions decisions: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98(6), 1060.

Levashina, J., Hartwell, C. J., Morgeson, F. P., & Campion, M. A. (2014). The structured employment interview: Narrative and quantitative review of the research literature. Personnel Psychology, 67(1), 241-293.

Schmidt, F. L., & Hunter, J. E. (1998). The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findings. Psychological bulletin, 124(2), 262.

Schmidt, F. L. (2002). The role of general cognitive ability and job performance: Why there cannot be a debate. Human performance, 15(1-2), 187-210.

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The Future of Recruiting and Hiring with AI

Future of HR Tech

Talent acquisition can be one of the most time consuming and frustrating aspects of business. Harsh deadlines and specific requirements, not to mention the piles of applications and resumes, is tough for any recruiter. Tack on retention accountability, candidate experience and employer branding and the job becomes even harder. The emerging HR technology throughout the last decade has strived to take away these many frustrations while improving candidate experience and quality of hire.

The buzz around artificial intelligence this year is being shrugged off by many as just a new word HR got ahold of, but what would happen if AI was actually embraced by the recruiting and hiring world? What could it do to further practices and solve problems? This is exactly what Karen.ai are trying to do. How is AI enabled software aiming to better recruitment and the candidate experience?

  1. Candidate Matching

Matching the right candidates to the right positions, that’s the name of the game, but it’s not as easy as it may sound. 52% of recruiters say the hardest part of their job is identifying the right candidates from a large applicant pool. Resume parsing and keyword search advances within an ATS has made the sifting and shifting of this task a bit easier as it picks up on keywords in resumes and cover letters to pull ones that match the most. But as we’ve traversed from keyword matching, to semantic search and contextual search, it’s clear we have not perfected Artificial Intelligence in candidate matching just yet. Today’s products are using Natural Language Processing for even more efficient and learning tools.

75% of job seekers’ chances of landing an interview are killed by errors in the ATS or by restrictive keyword search parameters. Limiting the search to a set amount of keywords does not always guarantee the most qualified candidate or best fit for the job requirements. However, Karen, an Artificial Intelligence software we built specifically for recruiting and hiring, builds off the basic keyword search, broadening the results with a more advanced version that includes semantic search, contextual search and integrates candidate chat conversations, eliminating fuzzy matches.

The ability to find concepts hidden in text, in addition to traditional keyword search will give recruiters a more complete look at the candidate’s qualifications and help improve the candidate matching process. In addition, this new software will take the information learned from the resume and cover letters to potentially help match candidates to jobs they may be better fit for within the company during and after the application process.

  1. Candidate Rank and Score

In addition to pulling out the most qualified candidates for the position based on keywords and concepts, recruiters and hiring managers are expected to then select the best ones to move on in the process. Many use the rank and score method based on what was found within the resume and cover letter. Artificial intelligence is now helping recruiters do this faster by leveraging big data and predictive analytics. Some companies that already do this include Hiredscore and Ideal.com.

While this helps professionals get to the next step in the hiring process quicker, what seems to be missing is the interaction with the candidates and those who did not make it to the next step in the process.

A study conducted by CareerBuilder found an astonishing 75% of people said they didn’t hear back from the company to which they applied. This is where the ATS black hole comes into play and how Artificial Intelligence can help fight it. Karen steps into the process from the beginning, conversing with candidates, learning from their interactions and assimilating the data into a decision: continue down the pipeline or exit in a brand-minded way. In either scenario, Karen ensures the candidate knows where they stand.

  1. Conversation Service for Candidate Engagement and Brand Experience

The ATS black hole is something of which many recruiters and candidates are all too familiar. 74% of job seekers say a clear timeline of the hiring process is what could improve their candidate experience the most, according to a report by applicant tracking systems consulting website Software Advice. Candidates want to be kept in the loop but for many recruiters, staying in contact with all of the applicants and notifying them of each step in the hiring process is next to impossible.

Automated emails have helped this frustration as it’s easy to send an email to a couple dozen candidates letting them know they weren’t the right fit for the position or they are moving on in the process. The problem with this automation, though, is a lack of brand experience and personality. Automated emails are also not as good keeping the candidates fully engaged in the process.

Enter Karen. Chatbots have been affecting our world by advancing customer support to helping users book a flight and now they’re here to advance the world of recruiting. By using an active chatbot to communicate and engage with candidates, AI could solve the problems of the ATS black hole.

A chatbot guides candidates through the application process, take insights learned from resumes and ask candidates questions to assess their level of engagement and keep them informed about where they are in the process. Although platforms like Wade & Wendy and Mya have these abilities as well, Karen is the first to take the information learned from the chat and combine it with the scoring and ranking capabilities to present the recruiter with the best possible candidate for the position. This chat capability will also increase the brand experience for the candidate as 78% of candidates will tell their friends and family about their bad experience and 34% will post about it on social media.

Tie all these functions together and you have a winning combination of matching, scoring and ranking, and chat capabilities that will help ease the recruiter frustrations and build a bridge between the disconnect of employers and job seekers. Prior to the cognitive computing era, enterprise companies would manually review resumes or at best use keyword matching to prioritize internal and external candidate submissions. Using AI, like Karen, to improve these tactics can lower time-to-hire for recruiters and engage candidates.

Want to learn more about Karen? Visit karen.ai or read more about the creation in this press release.

Find Karen on Social Media: Twitter | LinkedIn

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50% Hiring Cost Reduction through increased Quality and Speed: The Nord Stream 2 Project

The Landfall of the Nord Stream Pipeline in Germany

Nord Stream 2 AG is a project company established for the planning, construction and operation of the Nord Stream 2 twin pipeline to transport natural gas from Northern Russia to Europe. New hires were needed for multiple business and technical functions. Nord Stream 2 wanted a data-driven, comprehensive, time saving process that would result in candidates who could immediately fit into their high-speed, international culture and who would produce results on Day One.

Interview/Hiring Ratio of 4:1

With softfactors, Nord Stream 2 soon learned that softfactors’ methodology reflected current research conducted by the Stanford Research Institute International and the Carnegie Melon Foundation showing that job success depends on a combination of technical knowledge and soft skills. They realized that soft skills were valuable factors to consider.

Smart algorithm do the workload

softfactors’ selection tools use an algorithm to compare the job requirements to each candidate’s profile. Candidates interested in a job complete an interactive online application. All candidates are screened on overall fit, traditional variables, and soft factor elements drawn from interactive exercises. The result is a scientifically rigorous list of pre-selected candidates – both suitable and unsuitable – based on a combination of competencies and foundational and technical skillsets.

Saving 20 hours interview time per position

With the front-end sourcing and candidate screening steps handled by softfactors, Nord Stream 2’s HR team was able to concentrate on in-person interviews and collaborative assessment discussions with the hiring managers. It brought down the interview/hiring ratio to 1:4. The number of interviews for hiring managers was reduced by over 50% because of the pre-match of suitable candidates to jobs.

Download the full study here
Nord Stream 2 AG – Facts and Figures
Time Frame for Recruiting 9 months
Online Applications through Softfactors ATS (very specialized jobs) 2’500 applications automatically screened
Algorithm assessed as suitable 450
Hired (filled) positions 45
Hiring/Interview Ratio 1:4,3 (normally 1:10)
Time saving for hiring managers and HR (2 people in interview) 810 hours

About Softfactors AG

Softfactors AG is an HR Tech Startup based in Zurich Switzerland. The recruiting solution measures and compares both resumes and soft skills. It looks at qualifications, work experience, social skills and personality of applicants and compares these with the requirements of the job opening, using a set of competencies and pre-defined job profiles.

www.softfactors.com


If you want to share this article the reference to Reto Rüegger and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

10 Tips for Putting Soft Skills at the Heart of Hiring

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It’s all very well to say ‘Put soft skills at the heart of your hiring process’ but sometimes people need a little help knowing what to do and where to start. Here are my 10 top tips to help you really make a success of using soft skills analytics in your hiring process:

1. Take the time to really think about what kind of personality you need

What kind of personality, skills and person do you need? This helps you know what to look for and the candidates to know if they should apply or not. Some organisations have hundreds of people applying for just one job, but the job descriptions can be so bad that lots of those people aren’t right. Then hours are wasted sifting through CVs and running tests, all because someone didn’t set the right profile at the beginning of the process.

2. Highlight those soft skills when designing the job description and advert

Make it clear what you are looking for. Ensure candidates can see what kind of personality is needed and what competencies are needed. Try to oming empty phrases such as “great team worker” If you copy the job description from the competition on a job board – rethink point 1.

3. Don’t just look at the here and now, in terms of skills

Look at a person’s potential – do they have the right soft skills (good motivation, initiative and communication skills, for example) so that they can grow into a role? Are you hiring for potential and attitude?

4. Think about how the candidate will fit, personality wise, with the rest of the team

Do they fit well to their future manager? Will they make a good cultural fit in the organisation? These are important questions and if you have three great candidates, how they will fit in with their colleagues and boss could be the deciding factor. A good screening software helps you here.

5. Really look at the candidates

Don’t just look at what you want and need. Always keep in mind that there’s a person on the other side. Employer branding is so critical these days and making sure candidates have a good experience, whether they get the job or not, is an important part of that.

6. Be more human than resources

Technology should allow you to have more time to devote to what is most precious and important, so have systems in place that help you to focus on the human stuff, rather than just processes. HR has become far too process driven – onboarding people, processing CVs, etc. Let systems do this because they actually do it better than humans can. Then HR can focus on the human side of HR instead. We still need quality interviews, for example.

7. Make interviewing people who are not a good fit something of the past

With softfactors, you should only be interviewing people who are a good fit. And good fit means not only skills, education and experience but also the right personality, competencies, motivational drives, etc. At softfactors, we have found that a soft skills pre-screening and assessings reduces the amount of time spent interviewing by 50% or more.

8. Give candidates feedback about their fit early

It is part of ensuring there is a good candidate experience. With softfactors testing, candidates receive near instantaneous online feedback about how the test went. Especially younger applicants (not only generation Y – but also) are expecting a direct, immediate and personized feedback.

9. Combine data with gut feeling at interview

Don’t rely on just one, but both together – data and gut feeling. At the end of the day, it’s a person to person thing. And an interview is often a shining performance for one or two hours (on both sides) so using data for your interview helps you detect and read a person – along with your great interview skills.

10. Use the information you have gathered for onboarding and development

Don’t let it just go to waste once the hiring decision is made. People development can start with hiring. The software highlights a person’s gaps, their strengths and weaknesses. This enables organisations to formulate development plans for new hires at the very beginning of the employer-employee journey. Onboarding starts with pre-screening and people development too: that is why we developed softfactors.


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Welcome 2016: The New Era In Recruitment Technology! – skeeled.com

Written by skeeledhr | Originally published at skeeled.com Blog.

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Here it comes! 2016 has arrived and run full of new resolutions for improvement within the HR industry. Technology is on its rise within the sector and pre-screening software is taking the lead towards enhancement in quality hire and recruitment process acceleration.

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 13.58.27Candidate screening technology is shaping the way HR departments acquire new talent. It clearly offers new alternatives to traditional methods of recruitment and helps reducing the cost incurred in the hiring process.

Nevertheless, good technology should be combined with right actions, otherwise it will simply not work and produce mismatch in hiring. Here are a few tips to take into account in order to implement technology in the most effective way.

  • Manage your applications through online recruitment. The concept lies fundamentally in dealing with job vacancies and potential candidates through different web-based platforms such as job boards, corporate sites and social media. Adopting such innovative procedure in recruiting enables companies to adapt to where the vast majority of job seekers nowadays are, reach a greater number of talented candidates, spread geographical scope, and facilitate closer interaction with candidates.
  • Define the appropriate job requirements for your open position. Screening software will not be effective if the right specifications to perform a job are not correctly determined. Before posting a job vacancy, a recruiter should always define clearly what are the knowledge, skills and attitude required to carry out the tasks and duties needed for that job. A realistic description of the job leads to a more effective filter capable of screening out truly qualified applicants and improve the quality of your hiring decision.
  • Use video interviews and personality assessments to accelerate and improve the recruitment process. Implementing both tools from the moment the candidate applies online ensures that no individual is left behind in the process of selection, and therefore it increases the chances of hiring the right person while decreasing inefficient time screening and interviewing candidates.

Are you ready to take the big leap? Hire skeeled and we will get you set into the future of recruitment! Our interactive software based on standardized CVs, personality assessments and pre-recorded video interviews will help your company shortlisting the best candidates in the very early stage of selection, enhancing employee performance.

On February skeeled.com Team is launching Beta, do not miss the chance and subscribe for further information. Follow skeeled.com on LinkedIn for more.

Source: Welcome 2016: The new era in recruitment technology! – skeeled.com