Competition for candidates today is fierce. COVID, border closures, BREXIT, the last two years have created a global candidate shortage that’s hitting large organisations hard.
That’s why in today’s market, candidate experience is king. The consistent theme in all of my conversations with CHROs globally is how to improve candidate experience and get an edge on the competition.
However, the bottom line is ever present, especially in industries that are now in recovery mode. How can recruitment teams and hiring managers be expected to deliver a world-class, personalised and interactive candidate experience when they’re already stretched too thin?
The answer lies in human-centred technology with an experience that makes candidates feel valued and heard, while automating the components of the process that suck time out of your team’s day and extend the time to offer, losing candidates in the process.
Why Australia’s largest private employer turned to automation
With close to 1 million candidates annually, and a video interview experience that was sub-par for candidates and frustrating for hiring managers, Woolworths needed to drastically re-imagine their recruitment experience, making it more efficient and engaging.
How Sapia re-invigorated and streamlined Woolworth’s recruitment process
With a completely automated interview process, every retail candidate is interviewed by Smart Interviewer with Sapia’s Chat Interview chat. The automatically shortlisted candidates progress directly to VideoInterview – a chat based video interview that is reviewed by hiring managers who can then move straight to offer. It’s a seamless process that’s designed to be fair and human-centred.
The results are simply fantastic
Candidate satisfaction has blown the team away – 9.2/10 for FirstInterview and an unprecedented 9.0/10 for VideoInterview. Yes, you read that right – 9/10 for a video interview, from almost 9,000 candidates.
Completion rates for the video interview are above 75%, showing that candidates are happy to engage with a video interview that’s mobile-friendly, interactive and frankly, just works. Almost 50% of candidates complete both interviews on their mobile, making it easy for candidates to interview literally anytime, anywhere.
Here’s what Woolworths candidates had to say about their VideoInterview experience:
“The chat makes you feel like you’re in a safe space – it gives everyone an equal opportunity instead of in person interview as people can get extremely nervous”
“I found the process to be reflective and I liked how they wanted to know about me”
“everything was amazing! by far the best interview system i’ve encountered! it allowed me be comfortable and be myself, it really allowed me to take my time with my responses rather than stutter over my words”
“It was great. I like the potential to retake videos and how quick you’ve responded. ”
“I felt really calm during this interview. Which I definitely would not be in physical interviews. I was able to really sort out my thoughts and express myself to the fullest. I really love this format of interviewing !”
Automating the end to end experience has given time back to extremely time-poor hiring managers, who no longer need to manage shortlisting or scheduling and can simply review the video responses of the top candidates as they come in. Smart Interviewer has video interviewed almost 9,000 candidates,
In some cases, candidates have moved from ad to offer in 24 hours – giving Woolworths an edge as they can move quickly to capture candidates who otherwise might have accepted offers elsewhere.
If you’d like to have a candidate experience as good as Woolworths, get in touch here for a product demo.
About the awards
“HR Tech is now a $400bn global industry that enables employers and recruiters to put the right people in the right jobs and perform better,” said Becky Wilson, Editor of TALiNT International magazine. “The Talent Tech Star Awards will highlight the valuable contribution of HR Tech to the UK economy in a campaign brought to life by interviews with finalists and panel of judges.”
“The TIARAs are distinguished by the rigour of its judging process and the quality of its judging panel,” said Alex Evans. “We assess the impact of Talent Tech solutions on clients, candidates and employees through 5 key metrics. These are excellence in delivery; innovation; sustainable value; business growth; and purpose.”
Candidate interviews and assessment re-imagined! Through a smart chat interview of 5 free form questions, our AI uncovers soft skills, role-specific traits, and written communication skills of every applicant. This gives customers a bias-free ranked list of every applicant. We capture no sensitive information like gender, age and race.
Candidates love it – we have a 95% completion rate and a 99% satisfaction rating.
This is amazing, the most I’ve ever got out of a job application when I’ve never expected anything. You guys are going above and beyond to support employers and employees. This feedback has greatly improved my application and interview skills and has given me new insights to aid me in future employment.
I found this tool very magical, if I can put it this way. It just has a way of showing the inside part of someone. The outcomes are exactly what I have been feeling about myself, what a junior friend told me not long ago.
Wow this evaluation hits the nail on the head. Each of these are a perfect description of who I am and my beliefs working in a team environment.
The judging panel brings together expert perspectives from senior HR and Recruitment industry leaders, investors, and advisors. Together they make the TIARA Talent Tech Star Award a powerful and prestigious endorsement. The panel includes:
Are you interested in using an award-winning solution in your business to improve the candidate experience? Let’s chat
Sapia (Formerly PredictiveHire) was also named the Top 3 Best Conversational AI in HR Solution at CogX
Recruiters: The corporate hiring machine is evolving. Can you feel it?
As recently as a year ago, many top companies still selected candidates based on the most misleading of heuristics: The school they attended.
Harvard? Right this way! Community college? No thanks, we don’t take your kind around here.
This Pearson Hardman-style hiring strategy may have ‘worked’ in the past. Not any more, for two reasons: A) the talent isn’t out there, and B) everyday people expect a better standard of hiring fairness. They know that opportunity isn’t distributed equally, and that elite colleges are more a proxy for privilege than actual performance potential.
(Funny that it took a labor shortage to show companies that potential can come from anywhere. Psychologists and sociologists have known it, and have been saying it, for decades.)
Regardless, you’ve got LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky telling Fortune that its company is favouring soft skills over college degrees, because such a practice creates a ‘much more efficient, equitable labor market, which then creates better opportunities for all’. He’s right about this approach. Even if you take away the benefits to diversity and inclusion, it makes sense purely mathematically: Now your hiring pool has increased from a few hundred thousand candidates to, at the very least, millions.
Resumes foster bias. Despite this fact, we insist on using them. Why? Because, until now, there hasn’t been a compelling reason not to. You could screen, interview, hire, and get warm bodies in seats with relative ease. Business could go on. Consequently, bias became a can that could be continually kicked down the road. Not anymore, for reasons discussed above.
The same is true for hire quality. Google ‘how to measure quality of hire’ and you’ll get a million different answers. Some advocate the for speed- or time-to-productivity approach; others say it’s about measuring ‘culture fit’. One or both of those might be true, but that’s beside the point: hire quality is nebulous not by its nature, but because the inputs (i.e. resumes) are messing with the outcomes.
We know that conscientiousness (that is, the propensity for someone work diligently and systematically on tasks) is a good predictor of on-the-job success. We also know that structured interviews are the best explainer (at 26%) of employee performance (versus previous job experience, which explains just 3%).
We might construct a valid candidate interviewing and vetting process based on these two facts alone. Fundamentally, we know that if A) we look for conscientiousness, and B) we do it in a structured, fair, repeatable way, we’ll get good candidates. Hire quality will take care of itself. Good inputs, good outcomes. Voila.
(It’s not quite that simple, but you get the point: There are reliable, proven ways to ensure validity, and the two examples cited above are very real and useable.)
Instead we rely on unstructured interviews, unruly hiring managers, and resumes – none of which can determine how hard-working a candidate is. Bad inputs that create bad outcomes. Consequently, we regularly examine hire quality and wonder why we struggle to measure it, or worse, connect it to the wider financial outcomes of our business.
Let’s keep this as simple as possible.
Our free job interview rubric contains more than 20 questions designed by our psychologists to help you uncover hire quality. Get it here, use it, and let us know how you found it.
There are millions of ways to assess for soft skills in interviews, just as there are millions of ways to calculate quality of hire. You may get some success by going it alone, but humans are, historically speaking, terrible at accurately assessing personality traits (and therefore, hire quality).
Our Ai Smart Interviewer does this very thing. Using deep, always-evolving personality science, our platform interviews and assesses candidates for desirable soft skills and behaviors, and even matches the resultant talent profiles to your company values.
Of course, the benefit is that hire quality is achieved and proven for you – you don’t have to worry about biased interviewers, bad questions, enforcing consistent processes, and the other headaches of recruitment. With that time back, you can focus on your people.
Or, think about it this way: LinkedIn is getting really smart with its hiring. Other companies like Apple, Delta, and IBM are too. Will you be left behind?
I work with a team building a product-driven by AI which is used to inform decisions about people. This means I am often approached on social media or in-person by people who have a point of view about that, often with fear or frustration about being picked (or rejected) by a machine.
This week I received an email from a commerce/law graduate who had recently applied for a role at one of the big ‘accounting’ professional services firms. This student, let’s call him Dan, had to complete an online game in order to qualify for the next step which was a video interview.
To give himself the maximum chance of ‘doing well’ in the game, Dan created a dummy profile ‘Jason’ to see what the experience was like and get an inside read of the questions so that when he did it for real he would really nail it. This first time round he fudged the test as it was a trial run and he left most answers blank. When Dan went and did this for real, he was conscientious of course and wrote thoughtful answers and tried to pick the right behaviour in the balloon popping game!
Jason, who scored 44% received a video interview. Jason does not exist.
Dan, who scored 75% did not progress to the next round.
The machine picked the wrong guy
Every business like ours that works in this space recognises that this is new technology, and so still very much in the early stages of development. Like humans, machines will make mistakes. In our business, we call them false positives (people recommended who just aren’t right) or false negatives (people who are missed by the machine who could be right for the role).
Dan’s questions are legitimate…
When you are rejected by humans, either you hear nothing or you may get an explanation like — ‘you aren’t a good culture fit’ when they reject you. Machines may give you a score.
For me what this reveals is that any business who uses AI and ML for candidate selection, it’s critical to have empathy for the person who is experiencing this, in this case, empathy for the candidate experience.
Machines can make better selection decisions about people because they have access to a larger more comprehensive set of data, can process data faster, and if built with the right objective data, they can be far less bias than humans.
When used in recruitment, they need to work for both parties — the organisation and the candidate. Building trust in these technologies is critical in our space. It can’t all be about the organisation getting their efficiency gains.
This means :
Recruitment wants to rise above being a process. So AI in recruitment should enable that if it’s to be trusted by candidates.