Improving Recruiting with Artificial Intelligence (A.I.): The RecruitBot Solution

By: Erin M. Faverty, Operating Partner, PeopleTech Partners

The impact of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) on recruiting is a frequent topic today, with trending articles coming out weekly about how AI will transform the Talent spaces. With “38% of companies now using AI, and over 62% expected to be using it by the end of the year”, according to a Deloitte Human Capital Report as noted by Next Generation, it’s clear that this isn’t just a trend; it’s a sea change.

PeopleTech Partners’ advisor Mathew Caldwell urges recruiters to take action now to prepare for the imminent arrival of A.I. to their organizations and functions, stating that “Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) will be as disruptive to the business of recruiting as LinkedIn was to executive search.

So what does A.I. for Recruiting really look like? What solutions can this modern technology provide to the Talent and Hiring functions of today? What will this look like for the Recruiting teams of tomorrow?

To learn more, Erin Faverty, Operating Partner at PeopleTech Partners, sat down with Dr. Jeremy Schiff, Founder and CEO of RecruitBot, an AI-based recruiting solution currently in hyper growth mode.

Prior to RecruitBot, Dr. Schiff led product and machine learning efforts at Ness Computing, a personalized restaurant recommendation app that was acquired by Opentable, after which he ran their Data Science for two years. Additionally, Dr. Schiff’s background includes a PhD and BS in Robotics from UC Berkeley, where he leveraged his skills and knowledge while in graduate school to co-found FotoFlexer.com, an image-editing application that powered companies such as MySpace, PhotoBucket, and E-Harmony.

Dr. Schiff shifted his focus to RecruitBot after recognizing the benefits machine learning and AI based technologies can have on Recruiting for organizations of all sizes, from startups to enterprise level companies. More on Dr. Jeremy Schiff, RecruitBot and the important use of AI technologies for HR and Talent organizations below…

What gave you the idea to start RecruitBot?

It’s always been amazing to me what a group of talented, motivated people can achieve. For instance, it took just a small group of the right people to crack Enigma during World War II, and change the course of the war. And so anytime I sat back and thought about those historical examples, the biggest lesson I took from them was just how much of a difference the quality of the team makes in determining the success of the enterprise

At OpenTable, I took that lesson to heart. I was a very active hiring manager. I would do anything to get in front of the right people: from casual coffees, to giving talks on the impactful work we were doing. After leaving, and reflecting on my time there, and the different technologies I had been employing through my career, I had a flash of insight about how we could better understand what customers were looking for based on their decisions, and thought this would fundamentally change the way we find talent. So I started RecruitBot.

Who benefits from your solution?

This is probably going to sound immodest, but there isn’t a single part of the company that won’t be indirectly improved by that company adopting RecruitBot. That said…the primary beneficiary of RecruitBot is the Talent organization. RecruitBot raises the quality of every organizational hire by prioritizing the best candidates, not just those good enough. In addition, RecruitBot will reduce the time to fill a role, because recruiters are much more likely to identify the most relevant candidates and reach out sooner, increasing the chance that they close the candidate. Lastly, RecruitBot turns your ATS into a sourcing resource, empowering you to find candidates that are a good fit for your new role. And these solutions are just the tip of a much larger iceberg.

Why is this so important?

The war for talent is only getting worse. For example, in the Bay Area, the unemployment rate is 2.8% as of August — that means that it’s harder than ever to identify and reach out to star candidates faster than your competitors do. Any technology that can provide a meaningful edge in this market is an essential piece of an effective recruiting strategy.

What are some examples of companies leveraging your tool?

We have a number of different solutions that span the gamut. We have customers that are rapidly growing startups like SnapDocs, to large recruiting organizations like Mission Essential.

What have you learned from your users and customers so far?

We’ve been shocked to learn that companies barely utilize their ATS as a resource to help with sourcing, which is crazy given how valuable that resource is. Here you have a whole bunch of people who are interested enough in your company and your mission to spend however many hours putting together an application tailored specifically to you, and most companies are just disregarding them entirely simply because they didn’t fit a very specific role at a specific time with a specific hiring manager or recruiter.

What would you like to say to People leaders who are thinking of using your platform?

I would say that RecruitBot is perfect for you, provided that you are overloaded with inbound candidates, or if you want to s scale up your outbound efforts significantly. In other words, RecruitBot will help your team with every aspect of talent acquisition efforts. But don’t just trust us on it — come and ask the hard questions. We’re always excited to talk to potential clients, especially because we can determine in a 10 minute conversation if we can be helpful or not.

As a founder, what has been most challenging for you or your company?

Determining what to say no to. We have lots of features on our roadmap that are very compelling and exciting, partners of many parts of the ecosystem, and different size customers. Add that all together and every client has something specific to them that they want us to implement into a new feature.It’s important to us that everyone who works with us has an amazing experience, and we would rather be more discriminating and make sure we get it right.

What has been the most fun or rewarding?

The most fun has definitely been showing customers how they can think about talent differently, and where the world will be in 5 years. There is a paradigm shift coming in how people find and engage talent, and it’s fun to be part of that agenda.

What advice do you have for other Talent Organizations?

Engage with advisors to help you navigate the recruiting space, especially on the AI side. It’s sort of the wild west out there right now. There are many companies making unreasonable claims, or hiding behind “we can’t tell you at all how it works, it’s proprietary.” I’ve been involved in AI and machine learning in some way since I was 19 — believe me when I say that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Demand that companies explicitly explain the mechanisms by which they’ll provide value to you and your team, and how they’re powering their algorithms to do so. They don’t have to tell you ever component of their process, obviously, but they should at least be able to explain it in metaphor.

What’s next for you and RecruitBot?

Now that we have proven out our core technology, understanding which candidates are relevant to which positions, we’re really excited at the vast set of problems we can solve. We will continue to double down both on additional challenges with both inbound and outbound, and bringing cutting edge AI to bear on the problem. While the tactics will change, our mission will remain the same: finding the right person for the right job at the right time, resulting in higher job satisfaction for the people, and a more productive company as a whole.