AI set to take the strain in the search for new talent.
The volume of candidates for jobs is increasing dramatically as employees often only stay with companies for short periods; they seek new opportunities to develop their skills and careers, with the aim of moving onwards and upwards quickly. The result is that the revolving door of vacancies and recruitment is speeding up. Recruiters’ time is increasingly taken up with a process that seems never ending.
According to a 2018 report from recruitment specialists Hays Ireland, 46 per cent of new employees have left a job within the first 12 months.
“Twenty years ago, people looked at their career and wanted to stay in the same place; they needed to build their foundations, that’s how you got promoted, that’s how you got the big money, doing your time with one company, but now its the opposite,” says Caroline Gleeson at tech start up BidRecruit. “People don’t tend to stay at companies very long, especially graduates who are entering the job market. The best way to gain experience is to do stints – two years here and a year there. The job market is extremely volatile.”
BidRecruit offers smaller businesses all the benefits of machine learning
Gleeson saw an opportunity where others saw an escalating workload. Working with two colleagues, she founded BidRecruit, an AI-led company offering smaller businesses all the benefits of machine learning, but at an affordable cost.
“Our lead proposition was offering smart, fast and cost-effective recruiting software. There’s lots of software working in the multinational space but no one is looking at the SME space, where most of the growth is at the moment. And where it is forecast to grow more.”
BidRecruit works on a three phase process, offering HR managers a model of ‘Engage, Manage, Report’. Crucially, highly accurate real-time metrics ensure rapid feedback of how the platform is performing.
On ‘engage’ a client can instantly share the available job across multiple recruiting channels, with free posts to premium jobs boards in a single process. Targeted job advertising to Facebook and Instagram and an integrated careers page is enhanced by access to a recruiter marketplace where clients can engage and evaluate more than 150 specialist recruitment agencies.
The ‘manage’ phase allows a client to track and manage candidates easily, with personalised steps in the recruitment workflow. Added to that are customised email templates and mass mailing features, with the option to prioritise preferred recruiters and notify them first of new opportunities. It is here also that the AI function screens CVs and shortlists the best candidates according to highly configurable criteria. It’s here that BidRecruit offers recruiters a massive reduction in workload with an algorithm that is increasingly sophisticated in its selection.
Finally, the ‘report’ phase ensures clients can accurately measure performance and ROI, know where CVs originate and monitor activity with real-time analytics so clients know which channels are yielding the best return.
But the road to AI freedom has not been without its problems. In 2018, Amazon had to ditch its AI-powered CV sifting system when flaws appeared to give it a bias against female candidates applying for engineering positions. The algorithm driving the software had used a ten-year historical record of successful CVs and in a male-dominated industry, this worked against women applicants from all-female US universities. It dealt a blow to those hoping that AI is the silver bullet for overloaded recruiters, but Gleeson is convinced that machine learning is here to stay, despite the hiccups.
“What we say to our clients is that what the AI does is the administrative, the pre-screening. The automation is there to do the mass emailing, it’s all about reducing the administration time so that you have the time to really focus and prioritise your time on finding the right person.”
And AI could just be the beginning in recruitment as more and more personal data is available to be read. Machine learning can be applied not just to CVs but to body language in automated video interviewing, voice patterns in phone interviews, social media content and more besides. It may be taking the weight of tedious repetitive tasks in the short term, but as it becomes more sophisticated it will get closer to the more intuitive and creative functions that humans excel in.
BidRecruit has been assisted in its growth by Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Government’s trade and innovation agency.
“Internationalisation is a key element of BidRecruit’s growth strategy, and they are supported in their expansion into UK and Poland, by Enterprise Ireland,” says David Corcoran, Global Talent Management Lead at Enterprise Ireland. “Identified by Enterprise Ireland as a high potential start up, BidRecruit initially received support from the agency’s Competitive Start Fund in 2017, and undertook a seed round of funding supported by Enterprise Ireland in 2018.
“In-market, Enterprise Ireland is supporting BidRecruit’s scaling agenda through active engagement and participation in events such as the Founders Forum, NexTech19 talent management conference, and the upcoming UK City Insights mentoring programme.”
Image caption: left to right, Enterprise Ireland’s HPSU Department Manager Joe Healy; BidRecruit CEO Caroline Gleeson; and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, and Heather Humphreys TD