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Automation in Recruitment

October 10, 2018

Why automation is not ideal for recruitment?

After receiving multiple “frustrating, obnoxious, annoying” robocalls, from the U.S Xpress trying to generate the listener’s interest in taking a job as a truck driver, the company has been sued over robocalls with its plaintiffs seeking $500 per class member as compensation and a directive to discontinue the carrier’s robocall practice, claiming it violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991.


  • U.S Xpress:
    • Despite being a big carrier in the States, the recruiting program of the U.S Xpress happened to have dialed a potential driver four times within a year. This case can be viewed as an indicator of a new trend engulfing the realm of personnel recruitment, that is, automated technology. Today, it is actually possible to be recruited by robots of companies’ for jobs you have never heard, thought or even known about! It is no longer a need to fill out applications or seek information online or offline about a job.


  • Entelo:
    • The company called Entelo, for instance, is another example, where a privately held technology company, searches the entire web for people matching their customer’s profile. In its website, Entelo lists major corporations amongst its customers none of whom are carriers. As per its site, Entelo rummages through Facebook, Twitter, and practically all other online networking sites and public records gathering and filtering a colossal size of data. It collects data of almost all individuals which helps them find those with the right qualifications. They even target people they believe who are most willing and vulnerable to change jobs. As soon as a ‘prospective employee’ is identified, Entelo emails them, starting the process of recruiting.

Robot Vera (above), an avatar created for interviewing jobs and to speed up the hiring process.


  • Robot Vera:
    • Same can be seen in the case of another similar recruiting site called Robot Vera, that starts where Entelo seems to have drawn its line. Robot Vera is nothing more but a robot named Vera- a brown-haired, blue-eyed digital woman who speaks to prospective hires. Deemed as the ‘russian HR  robot’, Vera starts the conversation where she asks the questions and you have to answer them. These conversations are ‘interviews’ which can either be over phone calls or online via ‘video interviews’. During the interview process, Vera is also capable of responding to few answers with computer encrypted responses like ‘have a prosperous day’, or ‘that’s inspiring’ however, it is not actually a conversation but more like filling a blank application form by voice. If we see their demo video on their online website, there comes a point where Vera asks a potential recruit to “define ‘leadership’ in one sentence without using the word ‘lead’”, the interviewee answers that it is about inspiring people to which she responds saying ‘brilliant!’. It becomes important here to stop and consider that no matter what or how absurd the answers given to her are, her responses will always remain positive and not real. This makes it difficult for the person appearing for such interviews to take it seriously as it doesn’t feel real or natural.

Overcoming the shortcomings of using automated technology for recruiting:

Despite being so limited, Stafory the company which created Vera says that she is an impressive use of voice recognition software which can be used in some circumstances requiring low-level jobs- like while completing the application or interview process. Stafory says that it uses AI (artificial intelligence) to make Vera smarter by at least making her able to recognize recurring situations and respond more appropriately. The company claims that within a few more years of work and advancement in AI, Vera will soon be able to recognize anger, pleasure, disappointment, even sarcasm.

Once you get past these robots, you are most certainly hired. What is more is that you don’t even need to encounter a robot yourself to make you available for any job interviews. Entelo, Robot Vera and many other such automated recruiting companies provide an application evaluation service which scans all the applications you may have uploaded online or in public record. They scan through them and make determinations based on character recognition software after which if the skilled applicants are allowed to move forward for the selection process.

Today, technology is in a constant state of development. Simultaneously, all its employers are looking for candidates with soft skills such as learning capacity, adaptability, and ability to work well in a team. According to Jeremy Lamri of the Paris based LabHR, “It is enough to tell the machine what to look out for; there is no need for machine learning in this”.

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