AI is ready to help you hire

This article was first published in Digital Edge, The Edge Malaysia Weekly from 6 September 2021 to 12 September 2021.

Headhunting for talent has typically been a manual process. A recruitment consultant examines a potential candidate’s resume (CV) in a database and then makes a phone call to inquire about interest in joining a new company, said his CEO at hybrid recruitment platform Hiredly. Derek Toh, co-founder, observes.

Toh set out to automate that process using artificial intelligence (AI) through Hiredly. Instead of having consultants make multiple calls to understand potential candidates’ interests, he uses his AI to assess the interests of his Hiredly job portal and headhunting users of his platform. doing.

For example, let’s say Employer A is interested in hiring a software developer. Hiredly’s AI reviews users in your database and finds people with relevant skills based on their resumes. Next, examine user activity on the Hiredly job search platform.

Has the user ever applied for a software developer job? What kind of companies is he or she interested in?

“If you are applying to many banks or oil and gas companies, we can know which industry you are interested in. Also, every time you decline a job offer on the portal “The AI ​​will be notified. For example, if you say no to a lot of oil and gas companies or tobacco companies, it will understand.”

The AI ​​then presents a list of skilled and potentially interested candidates to Employer A to a Hiredly headhunting consultant, who then contacts these people to further assess their interest. . This effectively reduces the time it takes for headhunters to find relevant and interested talent.

“We are trying to shorten the sourcing and pre-qualification process. Employers spend a lot of time scanning resumes and interviewing over the phone. AI increases the speed of hiring and We will be able to offer headhunting rates at very competitive prices,” says Toh.

Of course, this only works if the user has registered with Hiredly’s headhunting service and is actively using Hiredly’s job hunting portal. Otherwise, the elements of interest will not be captured by the AI. This recruitment automation solution was introduced in July when Hiredly underwent a rebrand.

Can AI overcome human shortcomings?

What Toh is doing in the headhunting and recruiting space is disruptive. Recruitment is generally a people-centered process. Not only a candidate’s skills on paper, but also their personality and values ​​need to match the company’s. These are often difficult to observe and can only be understood through dialogue.

Several other companies in Malaysia are also trying to disrupt the industry with technology. Founded by former politician Rafizi Ramli, his Adnexio is an AI-powered job matching platform. Pulsifi uses technology to analyze data from candidate resumes and videos. It then provides companies with insight into the candidate’s experience, personality, and more.

Hiredly uses AI to match employers and job seekers based on interests, skills, and relevance.

The business model is slightly different. Hiredly partners with more than 16,000 employers, primarily focuses on junior to mid-level talent, and hosts both headhunting and job search platforms. Adnexio seems to only have a job platform. Pulsifi focuses on providing HR solutions to enterprises.

Given that recruitment is a people-based business, will using technology to perform the pre-screening process result in a cookie-cutter approach where only certain types of candidates are selected?

Toh doesn’t think so. First, the human element still prevails on Hiredly, as headhunting consultants and employers make the final decisions. He also believes AI will increase the diversity of candidates.

“Most matching AI simply looks at a candidate’s resume and matches it to a job description. However, resumes are based on historical data. It helps us flag potential candidates,” says Toh.

“For example, let’s say you have a person who has been in the job for a very long time, has been promoted many times, and works for a well-regarded company. He has a high-quality resume. But his background is in general marketing. , he applied for a digital marketing role.”

The AI ​​identifies this person as a high-quality candidate, but not highly relevant. This is where the third criterion of interest comes into play. When the AI ​​detects that this candidate has applied for many digital marketing roles on Hiredly, it assigns them a high score and flags them as a potential fit.

This avoids the problem of hiring based solely on a candidate’s paper performance. Some jobs on Hiredly include chatbots, where candidates have to answer a few questions from the employer.

“Employers can not only see resumes, but also see responses from chatbots. This allows candidates to stand out if the answers are good, even if the employer is not sure about the resume. “You can do that,” says To.

Another issue often associated with the hiring process is implicit bias on the part of the employer, which influences the types of candidates who are deemed suitable. Can AI overcome it?

To explains that AI only looks at data and facts. You will be trained by the employer’s shortlisting activities on the job portal, so you will learn what employers like and what they don’t like.

“Essentially, if there is bias, it will come from the human side and will be picked up through the shortlisting process. Our role is to ensure that the AI ​​is as objective as possible. Always check to see if the

“The whole point of an algorithm is that it’s a continuous process. From time to time, you need to review it to make sure you haven’t picked up any ‘bad’ habits.” ”

Of course, Hiredly has no control over who employers hire. The best that can be done is to provide employers with candidates in a fair manner. Toh emphasizes that one of his pillars of Hiredly’s mission is to improve the job seeker experience.

“We can’t win the long game if we don’t value the candidate’s experience. They have to be willing to use us,” he says.

Hiredly will continue to explore ways to use AI to enhance our services. Currently, the AI ​​cannot understand the answers given to the chatbot. However, using existing technology, it may be possible to detect whether a candidate is positive or negative based on their answers and check their language ability.

Toh said it is still undecided whether the company will implement these applications. He believes his company is already ahead of the pack with its use of AI in the current headhunting and job portal market.

Hiredly rebranded from WOBB in early July to better capture its target market of professional junior to mid-level talent. Hiredly currently consists of his Hiredly X, a job portal and headhunting platform. “This field is largely ignored commercially because there’s not a lot of money to be made by helping juniors find jobs,” To said.

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