A Cousin of Siri Is Coming to the Recruiting Field

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Sep 8, 2016
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

HiringSolved will soon unveil what it considers “Siri for recruiting,” an artificial intelligence assistant for recruiters. His name will be RAI, pronounced like the name Ray, and standing for “Recruiting Artificial Intelligence.”

The company has been working on it for five years, and is still perfecting it. The gist of it is you’d ask recruiting questions to a Chatbot-like system. So, instead of checking off a bunch of boxes, you’d type something like, “I need to find 10 female developers with experience using WordPress, within 10 miles of Milwaukee.” Or, perhaps, “What was the most common previous title of a systems engineer at Raytheon?”

Perhaps later, like with Siri, you’d use voice, not typed, commands.

HiringSolved’s RAI tool could also ask you follow-up questions, not unlike a conversation between a recruiter and a manager. If you, say, want a mechanical engineer, it might ask you to narrow your searches. Nuclear? Petroleum? Aerospace?

The idea is that the artificial intelligence will make you a better recruiter/sourcer, guiding you through questions that very experienced sourcers ask themselves in order to chop through a database and hone in on who they want.

It can also be used in a way that transcends sourcing, to see more big-picture insights like supply and demand. Perhaps you want to see the male-female ratio at a company, or the skills available in a metro area. That kind of thing, HiringSolved says, can be done in a second.

My former co-worker, HiringSolved’s Jeremy Roberts, says that outside of recruiting, the Siri-like, conversational communication tools are all the rage. “Every industry is starting to apply them,” he says. Within the talent field, Chatbots have been used to improve the candidate experience, and on Facebook to help people find jobs. But, Roberts says about sourcing, this is the first quite like this.

One other tool being developed in this genre to keep your eye on is Wade and Wendy. I left a message with the company’s incubator (Varick Street), and have yet to hear back; stay tuned. In the meantime, Roberts says of competitors to this HiringSolved tool, “others aren’t tested on live data, billions of pieces of information.” In other words, HiringSolved says it has the people, not just the technology. Wade and Wendy says it has integrated with Greenhouse, and that other integrations are coming.

HiringSolved will have about 100 people “play around” with the technology, Roberts says — early adopter types. It also plans on giving a demonstration at this fall’s SourceCon event. Like with Siri, the first versions will need to be refined, and it’ll be months, perhaps six-ish, before this system is really working at its best for recruiters. It may be a year or more until it’s ready for sale.

Martin Burns, with HireClix (who also weighed in the Monster deal), recently saw a demo on a video call with HiringSolved. “If it works, there’s a solid chance this could be a game-changer in the ongoing people aggregator wars,” he says. “The key thing is, it’s easy … Blackberry and Palm had smart phones before Apple. (But) what made the iPhone catch on? It was easy. Intuitive.”

Burns says the jury’s still out as to the quality of the data you get when doing a search, which ultimately will determine the effectiveness of the product.

Lance Haun from The Starr Conspiracy has also taken a look. “I feel like I’ve heard this promise before,” he says. “We keep talking about smarter hiring but I only see glimpses of potential with most vendors — including what I’ve seen thus far from HiringSolved.”

This is just a glimpse of potential, says Roberts.”This is future tech,” he says. It’s just now being built and tested, he says. It’s an Alpha product, he says, not ready for sale, just demonstration and testing.

Haun also says: “I’m curious to see if they will stick with it long enough to fix the numerous issues with using machine learning in recruiting. Most providers don’t have access to the breadth and depth of data you need to make an AI or robot-assisted technology work with any level of confidence, and HiringSolved will have those same barriers. I think they’ll need a significant round of venture investment to make any headway.”

That investment may be coming to AI and recruiting. Sooner or later, more of recruiting is going to be done via robot, at least according to Matt Jeffery & Andrea Wooley, Rob McIntosh, and Raghav Singh, among many others. Says Gerry Crispin, of CareerXroads, “next year is definitely the year of AI enhancing every aspect of recruiting.”

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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