Is Vera going to your next job interviewer? - 42patents

IKEA follows conglomerates such as L’Oreal, Raiffeisen Bank, and PepsiCo, becoming the newest implementer of a revolutionary AI recruitment solution. This human look alike technology has been available for only 2 years, yet it appealed to such remarkable corporations. Is Robot Vera on her track to become a more popular face than Kim Kardashian?

Meet Vera

“We wanted to create something that functioned like Uber for job recruitment, but instead of calling a car, a company would be able to call a pool of people looking for a job,” said Alexey Kostarev, co-founder of Stafory and Robot Vera.

Russian startup Stafory has developed artificially intelligent software technology known as Robot Vera. To create it, the company used 1.4 million interviews, as well as Wikipedia and 160 000 books. It is designed to not only interview potential employees, it can even send customized follow-up emails and answer job seekers’ questions. Moreover, within a split second its algorithm goes through millions of job hunters and chooses best matches for the job. Vera is connected to five different job sites, including CareerBuilder, Superjob and Avito. The intended employer gets the list of top candidates what saves their time and money.

Only 2 years old Vera is able to interview 1500 people in just 9 hours, in Russian and English at different speeds with a voice of female or male. Vera is self-learning and polishes her communicational skills with every interview. She works full time for free and never gets tired or demotivated. Her secret? Not being human.

And there is even more to it. Alexey Kostarev said: When (candidates) give feedback on a job offer, for example, they (say) more honest things they would not tell … a human“.

Technology is developing all the time as employers look for candidates with soft skills such as learning capacity, adaptability, and the ability to work well in a team. At the moment there are approximately 200 companies that use this software what means the robot conducts around 50000 interviews per day.

Which vacancies is software actually interviewing for? What will happen to HR people?

According to Bloomberg, companies are mostly using Vera to recruit employees for “high-turnover service and blue-collar positions” like clerks, waiters and construction workers. For example, PepsiCo uses it for recruitment purposes in Russia in sectors like factory, drivers and sales workers.

“What Vera can do in one working day, a traditional talent source would need to spend two weeks,” said Alexander Uraskin, co-founder of Robot Vera and Stafory. Nevertheless, he stresses that the software won’t take away jobs from HR people. Alternately, Vera performs the rote legwork that human recruiters don’t enjoy doing. He explains that when reaching out to applicants on job boards, about half of them say they are no longer seeking for a job. As a result, it takes human recruiters almost 100 phone calls just to get nearly 20 solid candidates.

Vera and ZipRecruiter

Vera and ZipRecruiter team up and together innovate the recruitment segment. ZipRecruiter is a real-time selection service, with each job offer posted immediately on as many as 100 websites. Ian Siegel, head of ZipRecruiter, says that the system works well because “employers aren’t great at describing what they want but they know what they want when they see it”. The system uses machine-learning algorithm to take a haystack of job hunters and mine for the needle employers are targeting. Job seekers can also search hundreds of job boards simultaneously and distribute their resume to thousands of hiring managers through the resume database.

The future of HR

Is this couple going to take over from current systems? Laurent da Silva, head of Adecco recruitment units, Badenoch & Clark and Spring, appeases those who feel alarmed: “(…) if machines can make the initial selection, it should always be up to human beings to make the final choice. It’s like in our private lives. AI can help facilitate meetings, but at the end of the day, it takes two real people to tango.”

Thus, regardless of the evident benefits of automation, it can be concluded that humans will still play the most crucial role in the recruitment processes.


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This article is written by Lena Anna Janiszewska


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