Sapia Release Notes July ’22

Right now, you’re probably focussing on how to get more of the best talent into your funnel as the global talent shortage squeezes hiring teams. 

That’s why we’ve made some small (but significant) improvements to our experience, to make it even easier to access and use our platform, both for candidates and hiring teams. 


New features


Standalone Video Interview

Last year we created a world-first frictionless hiring experience, enabling incredible speed and immediate efficiency gains for our customers. An automated workflow that interviews every candidate using Ai over chat, and auto progresses the shortlist to a non-Ai Video Interview.

Our customers want to empower Hiring Managers to make the final hiring decision while eliminating wasted time that manual screening processes create, and giving every single candidate an empowering experience with their brand.

The results have blown us away. When combined with Chat Interview, Video Interview has achieved the following outcomes for our customers, across 30k candidates:

  • 9/10 Candidate Happiness Score 
  • 77% Completion Rate 
  • 39-hour avg. time to offer 

“This interview was really great since I had 5 chances to record my responses, and that I had time to prepare my answer. The interview was not rushed and I was able to say everything I had to say”

“I like that this system gives people the opportunity to express how they really feel, and streamlines the interviewing process.”​

Given the market demand for asynchronous video solutions, we’re delighted to announce that Video Interview is now available as a standalone solution.

We remain committed to hiring that minimizes human bias and always recommend using our Ai Chat Interview as the first step in your main recruitment process. It’s fair, engaging, and the most efficient way to assess your candidate pool.

However, this development suits the following scenarios:

  • Hiring in a non-English speaking country or encouraging non-English speakers to apply for a role; and
  • Offering Video Interview as a reasonable accommodation for users with disabilities that prevent them from providing written responses.

In both of these scenarios, candidates can still have an engaging experience with your brand by completing a Video Interview for your hiring team to review, in their own time.

For customers wanting to interview non-English speakers, or provide reasonable accommodations for candidates unable to provide written responses, you can now offer Video Interview as a standalone assessment stage. 

To be clear: we always advocate for our Ai Chat Interview to be used as the main assessment stage in your standard hiring process. It’s faster, fairer, and a more engaging candidate experience at the top of the funnel. 

However, for scenarios where it doesn’t work to use an English language written interview, now you can offer Video Interview on its own. 

Learn how

Improvements ✨


Ethnicity & Gender Source visible in DiscoverInsights  

To be able to measure diversity through the funnel, and help you to pinpoint bias across your business, we report on the ethnicity and gender of candidates. 

The source of this data comes from two places: 

  • Self-reported, when customers ask candidates to disclose this information as part of their interview 
  • Predicted – using our proprietary technology that infers gender & ethnicity from a candidate’s name. 

Now you’ll be able to see the percentage breakdown between these two sources, to better understand the overall accuracy with which these data points are reported. 

Ask questions using video in Video Interview

To create an even more engaging Video Interview experience, customers can now pre-record the questions asked in video format, so your candidates have more of a ‘conversation’ and get to know your team. 

Our Customer Success team manages this process, so if you want to use this feature, just get in touch.

Edge 3 MFA token timeout increased

We take security at Sapia seriously. The use of MFA is key to keeping our customer’s data safe, however, some customers were having some issues with the 5 min token timeout. 

To address this, we’ve increased the time limit to enter your MFA code from 5 to 10 minutes, to make it easier to log in to our platform, and to give some slower email delivery systems time to get your code to you. 

Planned delay in sending My Insights reports ⏰

Our Ai is fast.. Some could say, too fast! 

To set a more human cadence of communication, we’ve introduced a planned delay of around an hour in sending My Insights reports to candidates after they’ve submitted their Chat Interview responses. 

All in the spirit of creating a human, intuitive experience with our Smart Interviewer. 


“It’s been groundbreaking”: How Clemenger Group uses AI Smart Interviewing to hire accurately and efficiently

When Tash Sanjay joined Clemenger Group’s Retail Services business as its HR director, she was given a tough remit to hire 400 casual workers in just four weeks.

“So I was new to the company. A quick analysis of our hiring technology showed that the ATS itself was the problem. We were operating very manually, almost not using the ATS to its full functionality, because it wasn’t good. So we decided that we needed to upgrade our ATS, but then we discovered

“We’ve been with for about 12 months now. The solution for us has been game-changing: We actually couldn’t function, given the amount of hires that we do, without it. Speed to hire was critical.”

Going beyond speed to hire

But Tash quickly learned that speed wasn’t enough to properly service its clients. Clemenger Group needed to match candidates accurately to skills and values.

“The initial reason to go with was speed to hire. But now, it’s become much more of a talking point about the holistic benefits of AI, and our clients that we have are wanting to understand more about that. That it is a point of difference for us. It has been groundbreaking for us.”

Tash came across many other assessment and conversational AI platforms but found none that could satisfy both efficiency and deep talent intelligence.

“We saw that there were many traditional personality tests, and that sort of thing. They were interesting to me in the sense that it’s a good way to differentiate candidates quickly, but nothing was tailored to what our business values were. We didn’t have the choice element. So what I like most about implementation with was that it could tailor models and personality traits to specific roles, like a retail-based role. 

“We were able to edit those models to align with our values, and the other products in the market didn’t allow for that. The other providers have old school solutions, like Myers-Briggs type personality tests. There was just no flexibility.

The thought of AI for recruitment creates uncertainty and fear. Tash was quick to point out to her team that Sapia’s technology would not replace them, but empower and improve their decisions.

An AI that empowers TA and hiring managers

“I came into a business that was very conservative and traditional. So to go to AI was the best step for them. A company like ours would traditionally have an outsourced recruitment solution. The benefit of having an in-house one is personalization, and the fact that you are speaking to someone. So we convinced them that AI doesn’t actually remove that, it just gives us a way to get to the right candidate and have that personalized conversation.”

Sapia has taken the Clemenger team by storm. You wouldn’t think recruitment could be fun, but that’s exactly how Tash describes it.

“So when we get an application through, say, an Indeed platform, the way we operate is we actually automatically send them the link. Effectively, everyone gets an interview, and we advertise it that way. This has been a huge competitive advantage.”

“Launch day was really fun. Everyone was sitting there saying, ‘How many have we got? How many have completed it?’ And I was tracking it by the second, refreshing the dashboard to show them. So that was fun.

“Candidates are loving it too. They love the speed and the ease.”

And when Clemenger reaches out to top candidates, they have comprehensive profiles and tailored follow-up questions to drive the discussion forward.

“If you look at our candidate feedback through the dashboard, everyone’s saying, ‘Oh, that was actually super easy. That was a great experience. That was so much quicker. I actually prefer not talking to someone’.

Personalized candidate experience

“And when you’ve had the conversation, I think what I love most is, as I said, the personalization. It was the key to our business. We can jump on a call and say, ‘Congratulations – can we ask you another question?’ And these questions are built by referring to comments that candidates have made in their interview or things that they’ve said.”

Across the board, it’s a love-fest.

“[] is second-to-none. Everyone at Clemenger is bought into the platform. I think it’s funny now when I go to client pitches, and my team mates are saying, ‘We have this tool, and we can effectively hire candidates in minutes.’

“So it’s nice to see that they’ve come on the journey.”

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Could ‘Personalized Work’ Be What We Aim For Post-Covid?

Last week, the jewel of Australia’s tech sector, Atlassian, was lauded for giving staff the privilege of working from home – forever.

After posting this on our team slack channel with a comment by me warning of the longer-term impact of ‘remote forever’, one of our senior team members said:

“Why do people travel in the morning to an office? In a packed tram/train carrying a laptop , then work on that laptop only to carry it back home in a packed train, wasting precious time?”

When I worked for another technology company, we spent a lot of energy trying to convince leadership that WFH did not mean a free ride. And, in fact, would unleash productivity and improve engagement. COVID has brought forward the idea of WFH as an alternative arrangement for many that wouldn’t have otherwise considered it.

Whilst we may be revelling in the success of dismantling the long-held bias, that you need to see someone at work to trust that they are doing the work, it comes with its own set of challenges around organisational relevance.

Work is a relationship

Does it matter what company you work for if the only difference between one job is for whom you are completing a task, and perhaps the one or two people that you work with closely?

Work is a relationship, and relationships thrive on intimate and frequent connections. When we all worked in offices some of that intimacy was built by the serendipity of conversations that you had while going about your day’s work. There was always the potential to catch someone from outside of your team and share an idea and solicit a different perspective.

There was an ease of connections and interactions that can be hard to replicate in a remote work context.  Being remote is a little bit like trying to establish a long-distance relationship. Which all of us know have the chances of success stacked against them.

Then there is the influence of place, and of space. At REA Group where I worked for some years the building fed the culture. Its design and redesign were carefully thought through to maximize connections and space to collaborate. With anyone. Not just those in your immediate team.


Why do people go to church to pray, the pub to drink, and the footy to watch their team, when they have the bible at home, beer in the fridge, and a TV in the living room? Because they are looking for connection, community, and inspiration.

Once the novelty of WFH wears off, and for many it already has, comes the very real challenge of maintaining connection, building affiliation, and building cultures when people and teams are not spending time together – physically, in any shared space.

Ongoing remote work presents very practical challenges for organisations, particularly around company culture and organisational HR.

  • How do you assess performance when you can’t see people at work?
  • And how do you look out for people, mentor them, develop them when your interactions are all booked in, bound within a strict working day?
  • How do you acknowledge someone for something you heard they did well in another meeting like you might as you jump in a lift together?

There is a real risk that our employment relationship becomes transactional, which then impacts engagement, which then impacts productivity etc.
We know from our own work in this space, personality is not 16 types on a table, it is way more nuanced and diverse than that. In a population of 85,000 equal men and women, we find at least 400 uniquely identifiable personality types.


While we live in a world of hyper-personalization – our morning news feed is our feed, our Netflix profile is our personal profile based on our viewing history,

How can an organisation retain that diversity of perspective when it usually thinks of two binary ways of working – in an office, or at home? It can’t.

That’s why the future of work has to involve a new type of technology, a technology that can navigate the rich mix of types we work with, adapt to their communication style, their working style.

While I have championed for WFH in senior HR positions I’ve held, this experience has highlighted for me the many things I might have always taken for granted in an office environment.

It has nothing to do with fancy décor and an ergonomic chair. More those human moments of serendipitous connection. It all disappeared so quickly without almost any time to say good-bye.

I’m learning what my motivations are, and what connections I want in a day.

From the conversations I’ve had with friends and workmates, they’re also making similar self-discoveries. I’d like to think we all emerge from this situation with a mind to honour the things we’ve learned about our “work selves.”

And most importantly, to build company cultures that thrive by accommodating those diverse needs.

Barbara Hyman, 03/09/20


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Revisiting The Social Dilemma: What can HR learn?

By Barb Hyman

The Social Dilemma tells a story of data gone mad, of it being used to personalise ‘the truth’ so that everyone’s truth is their own. The idea of ‘objective truth’ doesn’t exist anymore, it argues.

The combination of hyper-connectivity at scale that comes from social media, the addictive habits of engaging with it, and the incredible ability to personalise what we see, listen to, and believe, creates a feeling of satisfaction at best (think Spotify) and at its worst, a fractured society.

What does The Social Dilemma have to teach HR leaders?

HR has been on a journey to do the opposite of unchecked social media – to introduce an objective standard of truth. This is especially important given the risks that come from personalised decision making when it comes to hiring. The risk of making hiring decisions based on personal views means we see hiring being influenced by unconscious biases – something that can be easier to identify than fix. ‘Mirror hiring’, and companies that hire for “culture-fit”.

Consider the decline of so many legacy Fortune 500 companies over the last 50 years.

Do you think Kodak and its ilk would have crashed as quickly if they all had a genuinely diverse set of opinions and experiences at their leadership level?

It’s no coincidence that in The Social Dilemma most of the characters sharing their regrets and insights on “How the heck did we get here?” were mostly young white men.

From my own experience of being HRD at a leading digital tech company, engineers were hired based on two data inputs:  their coding ability, and their ‘fit’ with the team.

The former is readily tested using objective tools, but the latter is largely tested through having coffee chats with the team.

Or to put it another way: 100% subjective; 0% objective data.

Is it any wonder then that you end up with more of the same when you use the personal opinions of humans to drive these decisions? People are so scared of data amplifying bias, and humans can be pretty good at it too.

Bias in the recruiting process has been an issue for as long as modern-day hiring practices existed. In order to address some concerns, the idea of “blind applications” became popular a few years ago, with companies simply removing names on applications and thinking that it would remove any gender or racial profiling.

It made a difference, but bias still existed though the schools that people attended, as well as past experience they might have had. Interestingly, these are two things that have now been shown to have no impact on a person’s ability to do a job.

When it comes to hiring, HR needs to do the very thing that social media has rendered mute.

It has to ensure that there is objective truth on every candidate. It has to do this for every new hire, every promotion.

Ironically, it is what social media weaponised – ‘data’  that can only, truly help us achieve this. I talk often about “objective data” – that is data that has been collected without input bias – and it is only this data that helps us disrupt bias that comes from putting humans in the decision in making seat.  This objective data is more builds a truly holistic picture about an individual when helping inform hiring decisions, decisions that will shape a company’s culture, and its future.

The data seeks to understand who you are, not the school you went to, or the degree you hold, but how you think and behave and most of all your intrinsic traits. It was Facebook’s homogenous culture that encouraged technical brilliance over ethical thinking that ultimately created the issues discussed in The Social Dilemma. If only they’d used their skills to invest in objective data that set aside its technical bias and hired for humanity, we might not be questioning it in the way we are.

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