Should AI Be in Charge of Hiring?

Ikea, L’Oréal, and PepsiCo are recruiting with Robot Vera

10 May 2018

Robot Vera, an artificial-intelligence program designed by Russian startup Stafory, is helping hundreds of companies fill open positions. In just minutes, it sorts through résumés from five job websites to find candidates that meet the employer’s requirements, and then calls them about details of the position.

Vera, an avatar that appears relatively lifelike on the screen, conducts video and phone interviews to further narrow prospective workers down to the 10 percent it believes are suitable for the job. From there, the employers make the final hiring decision.

Robot Vera speeds up the hiring process by as much as a third, its founders tell Bloomberg Businessweek. Such efficiency is especially useful for positions with high turnover, such as waitstaff.

The cofounders, Vladamir Sveshnikov and Alexander Uraksin, came up with the idea after working in human resources departments themselves, calling job candidates. “We felt like robots ourselves, so we figured it was better to automate the task,” Uraksin told Businessweek.

The software relies on a host of speech-recognition technologies. It was fed 13 billion examples of syntax and speech from television, job listings, and other sources to expand Vera’s vocabulary to help it speak naturally and to understand responses, according to the Businessweek article.

Developers are working to teach the bot to recognize anger, surprise, and other emotions. That could help the system analyze an applicant’s mental state and how he or she feels about the company’s brand, according to an East-West Digital News article.

One company, Global Venture Alliance of Moscow, used Vera to hire a secretary—which took one day, according to a testimonial on Robot Vera’s website.

More than 300 clients, primarily those with offices in Russia and the Middle East, are already using Robot Vera. Pilot programs are running in China, Europe, and the United States.

What do you think about using a robot to recruit employees?

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